Arkells – High Noon (2014)
Doubly Awesome Double Guitar logo by LeBrain @ mikeladano.com
Although musically, I’m hopelessly living in the past, I’m grateful that this multi-site event has given me a chance to, at least momentarily, live dangerously close to the present.
And with a release date of 2014? This album is so new it’s practically unreleased!
The first album, Jackson Square (2008), was solid, with a handful of spectacular tracks (The Ballad of Hugo Chavez, Pullin’ Punches, John Lennon).
The follow-up, Michigan Left (2011), was a more cohesive set, albeit not as strong in the singles department.
Third time’s the charm I suppose with High Noon (2014), as it’s a front-to-backer, with no shortage of individual gems along the way.
20th Century advice for crafting an effective radio tune? Keep it to 3 minutes, max.
In the 21st Century?
Nobody writes better alternative radio tunes than Arkells, though their best songs are generally closer to 3:30-4:00.
The songs are catchy, but far from disposable, as shown in the Fake Money wordplay (“You’re praying to gods who are meaningless to me, You’re preying on the weak, and those who don’t believe”).
They’re also a band that, by all accounts, is pretty down to earth.
The video for 11:11 above? Filmed @ Cheapies in Hamilton.
You can imagine my giddyness when my hometown of Burlington was name-checked in Cyncial Bastards (“Those Burlington dads keep their daughters at home”).
Speaking of daughters, my music & my kids’ music collided a couple of years ago in a delightful way when lead singer Max Kerman appeared with Sharon & Bram to perform Peanut Butter!
On the rare occasions that we reclaim control of the car stereo, High Noon is also near the top of the shortlist of albums that my wonderful wife & I both really enjoy.
And great as the studio recordings are, they’re even better live.
They’re one of the few groups chosen to open for the Hip that didn’t feel like an opener; instead of polite, seated applause (or impatient chants of ‘hip hip hip’), Arkells had the crowd on their feet, singing/screaming along.
When High Noon is playing, singing/screaming along is exactly what I do.
So I guess with Arkells, apart from the somewhat awkward lack of “The” in the band name, what’s not to like?
Verbalize the Positive
Cheers to Ontari-ari-ario for being a great place to live & to the Ontarian musicians who have made so much memorable music!