Monday, November 23, 2009

The Rural Alberta Advantage and Great Bloomers – November 18 at Club Lambi

Great Bloomers
If your MySpace describes you as talented "beyond your years," that probably means you're young – which doesn't really have to mean anything. Take Toronto's Great Bloomers for instance, whose alt-country Canadiana served as a perfect prelude to The RAA last Wednesday. The band laid down Cuff the Duke basics with a voice that sounds like a twangy CHOM 97.7. They also overcame sound troubles when guitarist Nate Hindle gave up on his hollow body and instead sang on the finale, thought it was clear the poor guy had no idea what to do with his hands. Enjoyable, yes, though it made me yearn for another other band doing the old thing well.

The Rural Alberta Advantage
The first two songs from The RAA had two-thirds of the band restricted to back-up vocals and a floor tom, which was unfortunate because the drum sounded like shit. When drummer Paul Banwatt eventually moved to the kit, I was taken aback by how friggin' tight and loud he was, bringing the punk to tin-can Hometowns foundations like "Don't Haunt This Place" and "Drain the Blood," and the Chemical Brothers back to rock with "Sleep All Day."

Meanwhile, guitarist and real Albertan Nils Edenloff delivered on his Aeroplane-tinged vocals and small town authenticity, expressing genuine interest in meeting people after the set. But for some reason, he did a cover of "Eye of the Tiger." Why?

Before the show, The RAA's pithy, prairielectro-folk hadn't really won me over, but enjoying the set from the fringes of the Wednesday night dance party convinced me to give the tar-loving Canadians a chance.

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