October 3, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 21  

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Billy Talent


Billy Talent’s new record is an extremely impressive debut for a group of punks from Mississauga. The album brims with angst-ridden anger as vocalist Ben Kowalewicz lets out years of pent-up rage about his teenagehood, his high school life and society in general.

A great deal of hype surrounded the release of BT’s first album, but luckily, the band seems capable of living up to it. The hard-driving punk feel of the album’s leadoff single, “Try Honesty,” is only intensified as the album continues. Standout sounds include the sincere strains of “Standing in the Rain,” as well as the brutally poignant irony of “Lies,” in which Kowalewicz declares: “Lies make it better/ Lies are forever/ Lies to go home to/ Lies to wake up to.”

Billy Talent are an extremely pleasant alternative to the Simple-Plan-By-Choice clones clogging up the industry.

— Megan O’Toole


The Gay

You Know The Rules
Mint Records

You can’t help but compare The New Pornographers, whose infectious sophomore album has been steadily rocking the charts at CHRW 94.9 FM, and The Gay — who, for clarification purposes, are two separate bands and not one sex supergroup. They share a label, a producer (Kurt Dahle) and have even toured together. However, it would be wrong for cynical indie-rockers to dismiss You Know the Rules as ‘New Pornographers Lite.’ Although similar, each band has a unique style.

The Gay are the kids on the street playing under a tree with acoustic guitars and an accordion while vegans, keeners and hippies dance around them like butterflies. The New Pornographers are the ones across the street with their amps turned way up, their hair saturated with grease and their T-shirts faded from wear (not the Abercrombie faded).

Dahle is the bridge between the two, the New Pornographer who crossed the road and brought a little kick to The Gay. You Know The Rules is a great pop-rock album with unforgettable upbeat melodies you can’t help but move your pale white ass to.

— Colin Fleming



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