Dave Rave & the Governors

Sweet American Music

The name Dave Rave will mean a lot to anyone versed in Canadian rock and roll history, particularly the first wave of Canadian punk. He played rhythm guitar and sang, post-Frankie Venom, in Hamilton’s Teenage Head before becoming a session player with Big Star’s Alex Chilton, Daniel Lanois and former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.

The title track and first song on Sweet American Music, recorded in Minnesota with the Governors, is the perfect distillation of everything Rave must have learned from classic pop songwriting geniuses. Embodying its name, it bops and glimmers and delivers hook after hook, evoking Shoes, the best pub rock and energetic, early Nick Lowe. Nothing that follows comes close to its perfection, though there is still much to admire, like the Kinksian Pullman, Washington, and the snottier Night School. 

A pleasant addition to your power pop album collection. 

Top track: Sweet American Music

Dave Rave hosts an album listening party at the Strathcona in Hamilton on February 17.     

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