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The Agency

Turn

(Perch; US: 6 Feb 2007)

Coming from the same launching pad as Seville and Dashboard Confessional (as in members of both bands here), The Agency is open for business on the power punk of “Walking Disaster”. It seems to flatten out near the homestretch, but is still quite good. “Found” is a winding, power ballad kind of ditty that is adequate but not jaw-dropping, meanwhile “I’m Innocent!”, an urgent, punchy song, is a great effort driven by drummer and vocalist Mike Marsh. Perhaps the best thing the band has going for it—aside from their highbrow smarts like Jimmy Eat World—is that they’re not too “emo” but not hard, heavy rock a la Nickelback or other meaty, beefy brutish bands. This is illustrates on “Picture”, which balances those two musical tendencies. The sleeper picks on Turn are the deliberate “Chasing” and “Mary Mourn”, which rides a lovely melody in the vein of XTC, albeit with a tad more edge or bite. However, they hit the wall head on with the tender, soppy “Clean Water”.

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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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