13 Engines

A Blur to Me Now

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    5
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The Canadian quartet comes out full-tilt from the opening track, the throbbing "Big Surprise," on their major label debut, A Blur to Me Now. Lead singer/guitarist John Critchley and company deliver an album full of tuneful, power-chord alternative rockers that manage to have both brains and brawn. Critchley has a slight drawl and his vocals fall somewhere in the neighborhood of Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne. Although most of A Blur to Me Now is in the vein of driving rockers like "Suffocate," the band also is adept at mid-tempo melodies like the playful "King of Saturday Night" and power pop like "Another Toss of the Coin," which features the band's usual dose of clever wordplay. It's all anchored by the rock-solid rhythm section of bassist Jim Hughes and drummer Grant Ether, who also contribute some great background harmonies as on "Clean."