In a year that gave us the doc Let's All Hate Toronto, which invited the rest of Canada to tell us why we sucked so bad, it surely would have been easy to lash out defensively. This local indie rock/alt-country quartet, though, takes a decidedly more proactive stance on civic pride.
The Dickens's second disc is a love letter to the Big Smoke, a collection of songs that are as much a throwback to the city's 90s alt heyday as they are a celebration of every wide-eyed whippersnapper with a guitar who hopes for a shot on the Horseshoe stage. Nostalgia and good intentions aside, the album works purely in terms of how genuine and full of life the band sounds, as on the celebratory Downtown Is Awesome, a retooled homage to Randy Newman's I Love L.A. for the local all-ages matinee indie set. Fun and attitude-free.
The Dickens play Saturday (October 13) at the Dakota.