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June 10, 2010

Play GuitarShields/Don’t Worry About Death (NoYes/Coraille, 2010)

The first LP from this Halifax outfit, now relocated to Montréal. One of the more enigmatic groups of the recent Maritime lot, Play Guitar has been affected on and off by changes in members/locations/sounds since their emergence in 2007 (ish), making this LP an anticipated thing.

The band’s excellent debut 45, released in 2008, was the only thing they had out until now, apart from the Cold Crystal Shield cassette-only EP, which came out in quite limited numbers last fall. Those releases, plus appearances on the Songs for Eric compilation and in the 6015 Willow film, offered a taste of an exciting new band, which was enhanced by their impressive, but infrequent, live shows (at least outside of Halifax). This brand new full-length, though, presents at last a substantial record of this group, who are now really hitting their stride. The thought often was: if they got it all together, they could do something really great. And here it is.

The band excels at what frontman Christian Simmons often brought to the numerous Halifax bands he was involved with: atypical melodic sensibility. The tunes are led by interesting, lithe guitar lines and aloof vocals, which are reinforced by steady bass, and drumming that often playfully morphs tempos as it moves from section to section. It all ends up near-perfect, nothing being quite as straightforward as it seems, but never too complicated for its own good, either. Apart from one section toward the end of the record which drifts off into a bit of pointless noisemaking, the songs are excellent. Guaranteed, it’s not going to appeal to everyone, but there are plenty of other bands around for that. If you’re looking for something new and happening, though, give this record a listen.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2010 7:44 pm

    thanks – appreciated! -c.

    • passerine songs permalink*
      July 10, 2010 10:25 am

      Thanks for reading, and keep up the good work.

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  1. 2010 – The Records « Gunshy

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