MUSIC REVIEW: ENGLISH WORDS - RED POTION

Hey, clubsters, it's a good weekend to get out for a show, especially if you like some strong, danceable grooves in smart songs. Charlottetown's English Words are in the province, playing tonight (Friday) at Pepper's Pub in Saint John, and then Saturday the 17th at The Capitol in Fredericton. These are launch shows for their new, debut album, called Red Potion. The five-piece band have been around a bit, and have built a solid reputation for their 80's influenced electronic pop. There's lots of synth, mixed with regular band instruments, to make a solid blend of electronic and rock. Layered with reverb and echo, the tunes sound like refugees from the heyday of the original British synth boom, your Orchestral Manouevres In The Dark, etc., except that it's a much more seemless concept these days. Effects, samples, beats, it's all added on with much more thought towards a whole production.

2029659919-1.jpg
The album features a good mix of driving, up-beat rockers, like a happy Joy Division, and softer, reflective dreamscapes. But even the slow ones have a groove, and will keep you on the floor. Plus, there's some interesting words going on, repeatable hooks: "Here's a bad joke and you won't laugh." The vocoder-style opening and chorus of People I Love is downright beautiful: "With my friends, with the people I love, oh yeah." English Words are a fine example of how the promise of 80's New Wave and synth groups, so sadly blown on the likes of Duran Duran that followed, has now blossomed anew in the past couple of years.

Monctonians, fear not, you just have to wait a couple of more weeks. The band will bring the launch show for Red Potion to the Tide and Boar on Dec. 1.

more »

Latest East Coast Music Reviews

Rose Cousins sneaks out gem of a mini-album
Rose Cousins sneaks out gem of a mini-album
Dec 19, 1:18 PM

If you'd like a tasty little stocking stuffer, Rose Cousins slipped out a six-track disc recently. Made up of four covers and two originals, it's called Stray Birds. Cousins says she enjoys the freedom of playing covers, either old favourites... more »

Moncton music pioneer Jean-Guy Melanson of Missing Lynks passes
Moncton music pioneer Jean-Guy Melanson of Missing Lynks passes
Dec 18, 2:35 PM

News has arrived of the passing of long-time Moncton musician Jean-Guy Melanson this past Tuesday, Dec. 16. He was one of the pioneers of the Moncton rock 'n' roll scene from the 1960's and 1970's, as a member of the... more »

Vogue Dots one of the N.B. music success stories of 2014
Vogue Dots one of the N.B. music success stories of 2014
Dec 17, 3:11 PM

One of the nice surprises of this year's music scene in the province has been the emergence of a new group, featuring Saint John's Babette Hayward. The young singer-songwriter made a mark with her rich voice and engaging lyrics when... more »

Marie-Jo Therio captivates on new live album
Marie-Jo Therio captivates on new live album
Dec 12, 3:41 PM

The wonderful and engaging Moncton native doesn't make albums so much, she makes artistic projects. As she showed on her last studio collection, Chasing Lydie, showed how interested she is in mixing dialogue and sound with music, also story lines... more »

First Nations music collection reveals lost classics of '60's - '80's
First Nations music collection reveals lost classics of '60's - '80's
Dec 10, 3:51 PM

Aboriginal music in North America has faced an uphill battle in recent years. Despite music being a vibrant and integral part of the community, it gets little support outside of First Nations, and mostly flies under the radar. When we... more »

Free To Grow offers a mix of influences for debut disc
Free To Grow offers a mix of influences for debut disc
Dec 8, 3:19 PM

Most groups making a debut album have young members, all about the same age, experience and taste. Free To Grow, with members from the Fredericton area and western N.B., doesn't fit that formula, and its one of the strengths of... more »

View all reviews for December 2014 »

About Bob Mersereau

Rockin' BobBob 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).

Share this review