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Speck Mountain

Summer Above

(US: 5 Aug 2007; UK: Unavailable)

Review [30.Sep.2007]

I have no idea where Speck Mountain is, but I do know the band named after it take their good old time settling into the warm, soothing title track. Part indie-rock, part Americana and with a dash of jazz to boot, it sounds like some melding of The Velvet Underground with Lambchop. “Hey Blue” is a slightly darker affair that brings to mind Canadian indie rock darlings Eric’s Trip. Perhaps the prettiest number of this album is the wistful, lengthy and lovely “Girl Out West” that has a lot in common with The Jesus And Mary Chain without the signature fuzzed-out feedback. But it’s lead singer Marie-Claire Balabanian’s vocals which seal the deal on much of the material, particularly the ‘50s sounding “Midnight Sun” and the spacey, Spiritualized-meets-Cowboy Junkies verve of “Fjord Song”.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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