Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω
Celtic punk may not be revered by critics and hipsters, but what it lacks in acclaim it makes up for in enthusiasm. It’s the underdog with heart, the try-hard that succeeds in the end, the working-class hero of musical genres. The Stanfields are exactly that.
From Halifax, the group is one of the most recent arrivals on punk’s national stage. Started in 2008, the band had a decent showing with the single “Ship to Shore” in 2011 off of the album Vanguard of the Young and Reckless, a mandolin-fueled, bass-heavy punk rock barnburner.
From there the band continued mixing working class themes, hard rock, some punk attitude and spiced it with Celtic flavours. This mix has sent The Stanfields to the front of the genre.
A new album hit the streets in September and continues the favourite themes; it’s titled Death and Taxes. While classic rock has normally been the genre of choice with plumbers, construction workers and similar careers, this quintet make an argument for leaving their predecessors behind with music relevant to today’s hard worker.
Not sold on that? Try out “Dirtiest Drunk (In the History of Liquor).”
Travis Persaud, Contributor Ω
Recording a debut album is a precarious feat. The enormity of a band’s first sonic impression can have rather large implications for the future of a band. That in mind, scrambling to record an album in a week might not seem like the best way to introduce talent to the world.
Yet, as with everything, there are exceptions to the rule. With certain method to the haste, indie rockers Close Talker have slid nicely into this exception clause.
With the February 2013 debut release, Timbers, Close Talker has the steam to be the next heavy hitting band out of Saskatchewan. Timbers is a very smooth listen, oozing a maturity that would seem well beyond the scope of a debut album, let alone one recorded in a week. With two of the band members attending school outside of their home province, the band had the pressure of recording over the holidays.
Playing with a weathered patience and a collection of well-directed guitar hooks, Timbers is a very listenable album that will find resonance with fans of Half Moon Run.
Front to back, Timbers is an impressive feat deserving at least a short list nod from the Polaris Prize jury.