Variety is the spice of life. We all know that then why do music fans often get all up in arms when a band decides to explore different musical directions in an attempt to broaden their horizons and not be pigeon-holed into some specific niche or genre? On their self-titled CD, Toronto, Ontario based Kasablanca Blvd have taken the road less traveled and repeated listenings bear out the wisdom of their ways.
The CD starts out with the swagger of prime Oasis on the track Strange and it’s singer and main songwriter Damien Eaton who sets the bar as he possesses that same cocky swagger to his vocal delivery as Liam Gallagher, I mean you can almost hear the sneer as he spits out lyrics like “Sometimes I feel like I’ve got poison in my veins, Make a sonic noise for all the world to embrace.” The Angel and the Anarchist on the other hand sounds almost “progressive.” I hate to use that term because it carries such heavy baggage but it definitely conveys that Light/Heavy vibe that Jimmy Page was always so proud about in Led Zeppelin along with stylistic and melody changes that compliment the music rather than being too jarring like on some of the most pompous compositions by a band like Yes. And that’s just the first two tracks!
From the retro vibe of Girl in the Dirty Jeans to the monochromatic Idiot Savant and the beautifully surreal Charlie and His UFO there are enough twist and turns to make you want to go back and have a second, third and fourth listen so that you can better appreciate the various nuances in both instrumentation and vocal delivery that all these songs convey. For me one of the stand out tracks though is The Ghost. Almost pastoral in its instrumentation and delivery, this is big rock and roll delivered with a touch of grace. Wonderfully morose, beautifully subdued, it is a highlight from a band that has embraced a multitude of rock and roll influences and put together a CD that is as multi-dimensional as the band. Love it.
Have a listen to some tracks at their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/kasablancablvd