Thu, Sep 13, 2012.
Another day, another great lineup of Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival shows. Thursday sees some local excitement, as long-time Fredericton favourites Grand Theft Bus are launching their new album with a show at the Barracks Stage. It's called Say It With Me, the fourth disc in their decade-long career. And its a new phase in the career, as a fifth member, Brad Perry, has joined up.
Funny thing about GTB, everybody always wants to call them a jam band, and I think I might have used that phrase myself at least once in the past. Even the Harvest program describes them as "popular jam-rockers". Well, the jam crowd may have first embraced them, and maybe in the past, they could go on a bit, but really, it's not the case. Sure, you can dance to them, but really they are way more of a tight,structured group. Quite poppy too, in a few ways. Even at their most progressive and adventurous, they never stray far from the meody and song form. The new disc is their most concise collection of songs to date, and catchy as all get out.
They've added some new sounds with the new guy, too. How Many Times has its roots in 80's New Wave, a little OMD here and there with some pleasing pulsing and waves of stuff in behind, and angular guitar. Kite has a droning bassline throughout, and atmospheric guitars on top, kind of psychedelic if you ask me. And isn't it great to be able to say there's lots of synth on an album, and it sounds great and cool and well-integrated in the songs. In short, this set is going to make you happy and should make for a fun, danceable live show as well, something GTB has always excelled at.
Catch them Thursday night at the Barracks Stage at the HJBF, an 8 PM venue start with The Belle Comedians and Paper Lions opening, all for $15, or just $10 for you student kids out there. Ya gotta love the kids these days.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).