|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Toons today suck
XLarge offers wee sound
Jomomma is so phat
IME singer Byrne ill
The Friday Rant
XLarge offers wee sound
Running Out of Time
The Quebec based band Xlarge is racing against the clock in their newest album Running Out of Time.
Their first release, Living Large, sold 5000 copies in Canada and spurred the band to performances on the Vans Warped Tour and Much Music's Snow Jam 3. Xlarge were influenced by classic punk bands Bad Religion and NOFX. This sound is clearly heard throughout the entire album. Though not the most enjoyable listen, the album does contain several good songs.
"My Sunglasses," can best be described as an amalgamation of punk and rock. The change in pace as the chorus begins results in the refrain sticking out in the listeners mind long after hearing the track. Lead singer Hugo Gosselin provides a catchy vocal performance.
The other dynamite track is "Over You." Featuring a guest appearance by Veronique Tapp, the song tells the story of a woman informing her boyfriend that she has been cheating on him.
The drawback on Running Out Of Time is that Gosselin has a thick Quebecois accent, which constantly distracts the listener and gives the already jarring music an unappealing and annoying sound.
Xlarge might repeat their performance of "indie gold" but this album will not propel them to distinction far outside of Ontario and Quebec.
One Minute Science
With radio filled with candy-coated, poppy goodness dark and brooding rock can be a breath of fresh air. But even fresh air can get stale fast, which is the case with Sunna.
Sunna is a band with distant links to Massive Attack. Guitarist/vocalist John Harris is most noted for laying down guitar tracks for the trip-hop ubergroup.
Despite the odd loop and electronica effect, Sunna's latest album, One Minute Science, bares no traces of any Massive Attack influence. Instead, the band opts for rockier soundscapes, complete with power chord, neighbour waking tirades and bitter, longing ballads.
"I'm Not Trading" is radio-ready rock that manages to be impressive and also sets the tone for the rest of the album. Harris is an angry man, banging his head against the wall in rage one minute, sulking and shivering in the corner the next.
One Minute Science features many of these tirades in the vein of "I'm Not Trading." In the spot between anger and beauty, Sunna does make incredible music. But more often than not, the piss and fire boil over leaving an angry sloppy mess.
Then come the striking reflective moments of relative calm as in "Miss" and "Too Much." The ability to go from rage to quiet and back again is to be commended, but the bile becomes tough to stomach after a while.
It's quite possible this album accomplishes exactly what Harris and his bandmates set out to express hard-to-stomach, raw emotion which expresses an uncomfortable state in an uncomfortable manner. If this is the case, Sunna have accomplished their goal. One Minute Science is a dark, troubling listen.