Following on from last year’s calling-card EP Marching Sound, Winnipeg’s the Details return with a debut album that attempts a fine balancing act between “indie” guitar bombast, melodic balladry and country rock with feisty yet varying results. “Reunion Souvenirs” and “Demons / Heathens” have slashing feedback-laden guitars married to primal drums that threaten, but never quite overpower lead singer Jon Plett’s fragile bluesy rock howl that’s reminiscent of the Cure’s Robert Smith. Yet the Canadian quartet are simply at their best when they manage to reign in their sound on numbers like the bleakly atmospheric “Floor Plans” with its beautiful plaintive vocals accompanied by gentle piano keys, or the rousing organ-driven garage-meets-country twang of “Hit Parades”, which has the Weakerthans’ Stephen Carroll guesting on pedal steel and what sounds like a cast of thousands on choir duty.
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