By Kerry Doole
Toronto, ON’s the Warped 45s burst onto the scene in 2009 with full-length debut 10 Day Poem for Saskatchewan, which instantly catapulted them into the top ranks of Canadian roots-rockers. It actually merited greater exposure ― an oversight hopefully rectified this time out. The band again recruited John Critchley (13 Engines, Dan Mangan) to produce and engineer, and he does a masterful job. The quintet already have a full-blooded, harmony-laden sound, one added to via guest appearances from the likes of Casey Laforet (Elliott Brood), Joshua Cockerill and Jaron Freeman-Fox. Samantha Martin and Annelise Noronha add vocals to the gospel-inflected “Grime of Earthly Glory,” while a full cast of backing singers add to the raucous feel of “Live Bait,” a show favourite. Guitarist/vocalist Dave McEathron contributes nine of the 11 songs, though it’s a tune by cousin Ryan Wayne McEathron that’s generating early buzz. “Grampa Carl” is the true story of his Prohibition, rum-running great-gramp, and its theme and infectious energy make it a Canuck equivalent to Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road.” Another highlight is the title track, which showcases Dave McEathron as one of our most evocative lyricists. For proof, how about “hectares of hay bales like curlers in an old woman’s hair”? No song here is quite as transcendent and gorgeous as “Radio Sky,” from the first album, though many come close. The consistent strength of Matador Sunset confirms the Warped 45s as the real deal.
To read the full review CLICK HERE