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The Conformists

Three Hundred

(54 40 Or Fight; US: 12 Jun 2007; UK: 26 Jun 2007)

The album doesn’t conform to anything nor does this band. The Conformists, whose last album was Two Hundred, try to dazzle critics with a cross between improvisational and math rock, resulting in disjointed affairs such as “Laundry Hepburn” and “Stairway to Heaven”—which is far from anything Robert Plant and Jimmy Page ever contemplated. This album might be appealing to some, but just being different for the sake of being different rarely comes across as breathtaking, resulting in a rather boring “Meredith Knezvitch” that sounds like At the Drive-In if they were performing at an old folks’ home. “Tax Deduction” is a mild improvement as it inches along with an eerie undercurrent and “Black People” has more of the same artsy sludge. Need more proof? The percussion-driven “Are These Flowers” is at times interesting but generally boring. Although recorded by Steve Albini, there’s not a lot here that one should get their knickers in a knot over.

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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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