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Switches

Heart Tuned to D.E.A.D.

(Interscope; US: Available as import; UK: 23 Apr 2007)

Bringing to mind the likes of infectious rock bands like The Fratellis but with a bit more brawn in terms of guitar work, Switches turn the switch on quickly with the thunderous and powerful “Drama Queen” that immediately lures you in. And near the end of the album they’re doing the same damn thing with the steady “Lovin’ It”. Meanwhile the band also shines on the delightful “Snakes & Ladders” with its Queen-tinged bridge fuelling things along. Fortunately, the band isn’t just one of these “one-or-two-songs-good, nine-or-ten-songs-yak-crap” groups. Just take a listen to “The Need To Be Needed” with its adorable Cheap Trick vibe and you’ll be converted. They soar over the high bar with the cocksure, strutting title track that is full of vim, vigor and Franz-friendly, dance-rock hi-hat. And the same rock solid approach is there during “Coming Down” despite taking things down a notch or three.  But things pick up again with the feel good, party-starting “Message From Yuz”. If there was a moral to this album, and to all bands worth their salt, it might come it the song “Every Second Counts”. Switches certainly do that and then some.

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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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