Beyond the occasional timpani roll, Winnipeg's Weakerthans don't dress their music up with a lot of fancy frills. Perhaps that's for the best.
The foursome's sophomore disc picks up where 98's stirring Fallow left off, knocking out anthemic pop songs that begin building almost immediately and only get stronger. Ian Blurton's forceful but largely unobtrusive production makes Left And Leaving sound tough. It's frontman John K. Samson's nasal voice and uncanny way with words, though, that make the Weakerthans such a compelling listen. Surely, anyone with the audacity to preface his lyrics with quotations from Marx, Engels and Auden deserves extra attention.