Tue, Nov 6, 2012.
I love the EP. Just a few songs, it's a great idea to keep the flow going in a recording career. That's how The Trews are using this 7-song release, with an eye to a whole new album coming in 2013. The best thing is these aren't throw-aways, but rather a strong collection, and interestingly, a bit of a different sound for the band as well.
When I was first listening, I thought, "Gee this sounds a bit like The Black Crowes." I always try to put these thoughts away, because it's too simplistic a way to describe somebody's sounds, unless it's blatently obvious. Bands hate it usually. But then I picked up the liner notes, and wouldn't you know, there's Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson guesting on three cuts. Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan shows up as well, reprising an earlier appearance in the band's career. There's definitely a 70's feel to several of the cuts here, old school rock band with real instruments, no loops or atmospheric sounds effects in use, as you'd expect from them and producer Gordie (Big Sugar) Johnson. The songs have a loose, live vibe to them, lots of guitar power chords chiming along. There's also a slower number that has the feel of those old Elton John country-flavoured ballads from the Tumbleweed Connection era, complete with organ.
The Power of Positive Drinking is the single, but keep an ear out for my favourite on the disc, called ...And We Are The Trews. It's an homage to Canadian rock bands, touring, and the legacy that The Trews have picked up on. The song ends with a two-minute shout-out to groups new and old who have done the same thing they are doing now, constantly hopping in the fan and going coast-to-coast, from The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver to The (old) Marquee in Halifax. It's a tribute to those who lead the life, "Singing my heart out, I've crossed that line, rock and roll burn-out, I've crossed that line." They call out "Here's to you, and all you do," and go on to name Sloan, Ryan's Fancy, Trooper, 54-40, The Watchmen, BTO, Stompin' Tom, Wide Mouth Mason, Jean Leloup, and many more.
The Trews are back in N.B. later this month for the first time since they joined Bruce Springsteen on stage at Magnetic Hill this past August. They are at the soft-seaters this time, at Fredericton's Playhouse Nov. 27, Moncton's Capitol on the 30th, and in Saint John at the Imperial December 3rd.
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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).