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Quick Shot Reviews: Sleeping In The Aviary, Dirty Penny, Backseat Driver & No Outlet

22-May-2007 10:54 PM Contributed by: pete Music Reviews

In this volume: Sleeping In The Aviary, Dirty Penny, and Backseat Driver / No Outlet.

Sleeping In The Aviary / Oh, This Old Thing?

An opening track that comes in at 48 seconds may not be that abnormal, but it is when the band considers it a full length song. And it's not even the shortest track on the album - that honour goes to a track called Maureen that is mercifully short. The second track is named generically, Pop Song, and despite (or more likely, because) of it's length, it leaves me with a smile. In fact, Sleeping In The Aviary is dedicated short, sharp songs, with all 13 songs crammed into just over 23 minutes. There are influences of the Violent Femmes and The Buzzcocks with its garage guitar, strained vocals, and teenage angst. And for the most part, I'm thankful they just get it out and end it, because, well... honestly, I think it's sort of funny. But keep in mind that the two songs I like best on the album just happen to be the two longest songs, Sign My Cast and Love Song, that stand out at length of 3:06 each and filling about 25% of the entire CD.

Purchase | Info: Sleeping In The Aviary | Connect: MySpace
Dirty Penny / Ta Da!

Ta Da! is a strange little album that sticks out with with it's humour and fun style. The lyrics are spoken melodically in a way that will remind many of Lou Reed. The album opens with a track called Bubblejuice that could easily be about drunken teenage afternoon sex, but it's hard to tell for sure. The track Bomb Ardier is an odd story about a lynch mob in Quebec that is told over a funky rock backdrop. There's another story called Hip Operation that sounds like it might go somewhere, but in fact is just a premise for a silly sequence of words. The last credited song is a 6 minute odyssey about a French-Canadian greasy treat called La Poutine (french fries with cheese and gravy). Mmmm... your album is making me hungry! Dirty Penny's CD release party was on May 15th, so they're likely to be playing around Toronto more regularly now. I'll probably get out to see them sometime - I'm not expecting overly complex rock compositions, but I am expecting fun.

Purchase | Info: Dirty Penny | Connect: MySpace
Backseat Driver, No Outlet / Split EP

This split EP is made up of five tracks from Backseat Driver and five more tracks from their good friends No Outlet. The album starts out with a song from Backseat Driver called The Sexy Martini Party, which is laced with Ben Folds-style vocal melodies and backdrop of alternative pop guitar rock with just a tinge of jazz, as are the other four songs from this band. The remainder of the album is all No Outlet, a band that definitely shares some of the same influences as Backseat Driver and maybe a few other bands such as Guster (in Don't Put Me Away) or Kings Of Leon (in The Hardest Time). Not awe inspiring, but lots of good melodies from both bands make this a good find and a good listen.

Purchase | Info: Attic Records | Connect: Backseat Driver, No Outlet

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