MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: PENNY BLACKS - LONG LIGHTS
The Saint John, N.B. group launches its second full album (along with three EP's) Friday, Sept. 29 at the Carleton in Halifax, before hitting the road through the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario. It's a classic indie guitar album, unadorned and unaffected by trends, with high quality playing, clean but no tricks, just some well-integrated violin weaving from Ali Leonard. There are guitar jams, some explosions, but mostly its moody and really thoughtful, rock when its needed, folk in the contemplative parts.
And contemplate they do. Jason Ogden's lyrics set that mood, as he struggles to find a place for himself in unsettled times. There's a lot of poetic weight to the words, a lot of darkness and nighttime, and lonely time for thought. Meanwhile, opener Blackwool sizzles with CSNY guitar parts, while The High Tides Motel starts calmly but a huge, dark mix of drums and violin consumes the initial quiet. It's stirring stuff.