March 17, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 87  

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Ten Foot Pole
Subliminable Messages
Go Kart Records

With song titles like “Wake Up (and Smell the Fascism),” you might think Ten Foot Pole is a cool political punk band sent to save us from pop-punk — but you’d be wrong.

Instead, they sound like a cheesy, 15-year-old version of Rage Against the Machine. Their album picks up with some Gob-esque sounds, but the cliché lyrics about cool punk girls sound like Good Charlotte, circa 2002.

You’d think that after having recorded four full-length albums, the band’s lyrics would be a bit more substantial, yet their “quest for the perfect song” (“The Quest”) has yet to succeed. Even worse is frontman Dennis Jagard’s voice, which sounds like the kid at karaoke who thinks he’s awesome, but who everyone else wishes would just get off the stage.

Subliminable Messages rocks the same right through. With no surprises, what you hear from the start is equally as bad for the next 32 minutes. This boy band-disguised-as-punk is lame to the extreme.

Don’t touch Messages with a 10-foot pole.

—Christine Davis

Kate and Anna McGarrigle
La Vache Qui Pleure

Think the French language is useless? It’s not if you intend to listen to Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s newest release, La Vache Qui Pleure (The Crying Cow, for curious anglophones). The disc, recorded almost entirely in French, is a pleasant listen for anybody who has bothered to learn Canada’s second official language. For others, it will be a confusing mess of lovely singing and mellow, acoustic melodies.

The McGarrigle sisters have put together 40 minutes of soothing folk sounds to break down all language barriers. Turn on this album to complete your day as an honourary French-Canadian.

—Arthur Thuot



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