April 7, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 99  

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We all float on...

the single guy
by brian wong


With an almost completely revamped band, Toronto’s Tangiers is prepping for the release of its sophomore disc Never Bring You Pleasure (out Apr. 27 on Sonic Unyon). Although this group of indie rock boys has been compared to The Strokes since last year’s Hot New Spirits album, their new single might be the most Strokes thing they’ve done. Grounded in wiry organ, the jangle-y number wrestles with a twitchy rhythm section — headed by ex-Guided By Voices member John McCann and his blasts of machine-gun drumming — and vocalist Josh Reichmann’s thin, yet loose, melodies. Another fine retro-rock entry, as visions of skinny ties dance in your head.

William Hung:
“I Believe I Can Fly”

[not ratable]

Gazette file photo
SO WELL HUNG. William Hung, an iconic figure of our time, releases his debut disc Inspiration later this month.

I’m not sure what to say. But listening to some of the songs from this American Idol reject’s debut disc, especially on this butchering of R. Kelly’s inspirational hit, I’m filled with mixed emotions. Yes, emotions. First there’s anger: those savvy marketers that sat in a room and thought, “Hey, let’s cash in on someone’s foreignness and ineptitude!” Then sadness: Hung is led to believe he can fly, believe he can soar, but when he runs through that open door, he’ll realize the joke’s on him. Then fear: Hung’s terrible off-key singing. Then laughter: off-key singing that only Hollywood directors could dream up for karaoke scenes. Then endearment: the innocent Hung is trying so hard... or not at all. Most emotional song of the year? Er, maybe. Radio morning show fodder? Yes.

Modest Mouse:
“Float On”

Let the mainstream versus underground war begin again. This new round won’t have the same fervour that surrounded the release of the last Liz Phair disc, but the snootiest Modest Mouse fans are already up-in-arms over the Washington alt-indie rockers’ new single that’s — gasp! — actually receiving radio airplay. Or maybe they object to the song’s appearance on a recent episode of The O.C.. But whatever their expectations of the Mouse may be, “Float On” (from Good News For People Who Love Bad News) is a glorious retro-new-wave song, inspired by the islands and the people who run to them to drown their sorrows. Vocalist Isaac Brock’s impassioned loose-cannon performance (think a crazed Robert Smith) is the gold here, conveying both frustration and reassurance in this guitar-pop gem that’s a good contender for summer song of 2004.



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