The Lost Dakotas began as a duo, busking on the streets and in the subways of Toronto, only later expanding into a full, four-piece band. Judging by the results captured on their initial CD release, Last Train to Kipling (the title a reference to a stop on the Toronto subway line), the experience of playing live on the street helped to shape the band's stripped-down, mostly acoustic sound. While a few of the tracks here border on the repetitious ("To Love Someone," "Hooked on You," and "Thing for You" all mine very similar lyrical veins), overall, lead vocalist Paul Dakota establishes himself as a fine lyricist, particularly on the haunting "California," while the band distinguish themselves with beautiful vocal harmonies and stellar musicianship. The lead track, "Over You," was a regional hit for the band, despite falling prey to the tired "too country for rock radio, too rock for country radio" argument. The disc concludes with the band blasting through a raucous cover of the AC/DC classic "Back in Black" before slowing things down with a moving version of the traditional folk song "Wild Rover." In all, Last Train to Kipling is a solid folk-rock record with above-average lyrical content.
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