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System and Station

Here Is Now

(Latest Flame Records; US: 12 Sep 2006)

This Portland outfit has been compared to everyone from Quasi to Built To Spill. And it’s a decent comparison when listening to the indie-meets-shoe-gazing “Find the Shore” with RFK Heise’s interesting delivery. Definitely more appealing is the ramshackle rock oozing out of “When You’re the Witness”, as it weaves a pretty sonic pattern. The group isn’t your standard, formulaic ensemble, at times mixing electronic or ambient touches with a straightforward rock feeling. The result is a bigger than life song like, “I’ll See It When I Believe It”, which resembles Stereophonics covering Coldplay. At times, songs come off as too moody, with too many things occurring at once, as is the case with “No One Could Know”. It’s the exception to a rule that System and Station sticks to, namely creating finely tuned tracks such as the rich “Give Us a Sign”, and the retro Zep-like feel behind “Awful Shame”, as well as the classic rock found in “Future Of You”.

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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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