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The April Skies

How It All Played Out

(Wiab; US: 17 Oct 2006; UK: Available as import)

The April Skies are teeming with quality Midwestern rock. The excellent opener, “X”, sounds like a great homage to The Replacements circa Tim. Meanwhile the mid-tempo “My Love Is in This House” is just as solid despite the gears shifting down somewhat, again bringing to mind The Replacements (if fronted by Elvis Costello).  The terrific guitar work by lead singer Jake Crawford and guitarist Andy Book shine throughout. Fans of The Connells and Gin Blossoms would also probably enjoy the softer but smart pop sensibilities of “Amnesia” as much as the rock radio-friendly nuggets such as “Grace”. Perhaps the surprise is the slow building, eight-minute and U2-ish “Always Never Finished”. The band rarely makes a mistake, with the closing tunes such as “The Weight” offering more of the same rock gold. It’s an album that you will most likely play out or wear out.

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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