Gord Downie, The Sadies and the Conquering Sun

(Arts & Crafts)


Rating: NNN


It’s a Canrock nerd’s dream: Gord Downie and the Sadies team up to make a psychedelic concept album. It’s loosely based on the push-pull between day and night, light and darkness, though some of these songs sound like relationship tunes.

On opening track Crater, the band makes it clear this project is going to revel in noise: big guitar riffs, fat bass and air-drumming-inspiring drum rolls topped by Downie’s signature big vocals. It is hardcore, near-metal catharsis – equal parts dorky, loose and awesome.

But the musicians have more than loudness up their sleeve: familiar Sadies twin guitars fold in prominently on The Conquering Sun, and we get a reprieve from the decibel level on Go-Betweens-ish acoustic songs like Devil Enough (with pretty mandolin flourishes) and Los Angeles Times.

While the bands are still in the process of fusing their sounds, Demand Destruction, with its catchy melody and explosive drums, is the most seamless.

Top track: Demand Destruction

Gord Downie, the Sadies and the Conquering Sun play Field Trip Music and Arts Festival June 7 and 8.

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