Modern Currencies

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After pleasing fans with the dance-rock feel on "Understanding the New Violence," this Toronto-area group has returned with more of a heavier, guitar-oriented sound. The quartet makes the most of a winding, indie-rock style nugget with "Dark Horse" which sets this album off in a great direction. Big but not over the top, the song's chorus and fabulous homestretch is a forerunner of what's to ensue. The soft-then-loud approach also enables a tune like "Hideaway" to be another early pleaser, although this one leans more towards the dance-rock feel as drummer Jon Drew occasionally goes overboard on the hi-hat. Perhaps what works best on Modern Currencies is how the momentum is never stifled, especially with the gorgeous "New Cities" that sounds a bit like a blending of the Killers, U2 and Joy Division that opens up with strong guitar work for the homestretch. Things take a slight detour with the murky and challenging "Out of Sight" that brings to mind Black Rebel Motorcycle Club but the urgency is again heard clearly during the fantastic "Breaking Glass." Perhaps the band's moment where the Jesus And Mary Chain might be a great comparison is the lean, steady and stellar "Kiss Me," whose only drawback is that it seems to end far too soon. Although there are several highlights throughout this consistently fine album, the defining moment seems to be "These Times" which symbolizes the energy, verve and drive of the album from start to finish. However, "Chain Fight" seems to pick up exactly where "These Times" left off. Overall this is an extremely delicious guitar-driven feast.

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