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The British Columbians
Artist: The British Columbians
Label: Rural Records
Time: 9 Tracks / 42 minutes
RIYL: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Keys, White Stripes
When I saw the RIYL sticker on the front that compared this band to Band of Horses and Ryan Adams I was intrigued. I really like both of these artists a lot. However, I was a bit taken aback when I heard the sound. It certainly didn’t remind me of either of these. In fact, I had to play the last Band of Horses disc to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. Not that this release isn’t any good. In fact, after a few plays, I have found myself really liking this record a lot.
This band, which ironically enough is from British Columbia, incorporates a healthy mix of blues and classic rock sound into their palate. The band is composed of Girard Knox (guitar and vocals), Dave Moran (drums and vocals), Christopher Ellis (electric & upright bass), and Owen Connell (keyboards, guitar and pedal steel). The use of the upright bass and pedal steel give the album an sound that reminded me of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club release “Howl” a few years back. The album was recorded over the course of a year in BC and was then mixed by Colin Stuart (Black Mountain, Destroyer).
Songs like “In The Leaves” take on a My Morning Jacket feel, with the huge vocal reverb, while “Gasoline Shake” take on a more heavy metal blues sound. The song “Hail To The Rising Sun” has a nice psychedelic feel to it and is probably my favorite off the record.
Really the only misstep to me is the instrumental track in the middle of the record. It felt like it took away from the momentum that the record had going, though the last 3 songs easily gain that back.
Sure, these guys don’t rewrite the template for making a rock and roll record, but what they did is take their influences and make a solid effort. It will be interesting to hear from these guys again but for now, a very worthwhile effort.