39 Steps

Slip into the Crowd

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Montreal's 39 Steps got a bit more attention than they probably bargained for when they released the Slip Into the Crowd album, and probably not the attention they were looking for either. Shortly after the album's release, the band was approached by Woody Allen to appear in the movie Hannah and Her Sisters as the punk rock band that annoys Allen's character in the nightclub -- and knowing Allen's aversion to loud rock music, it's not very likely that he picked the band for any love of the music. What gets lost in the hype of the whole movie incident is that the album is actually pretty good, if you like the clangin' and bangin' and the rockin' and rollin'. The title cut (the one featured in the movie) is actually a fairly clever and catchy number addressing teenage individuality/conformity. The rest of the tracks here don't quite match up in terms of energy of the title cut -- in fact, some of the tracks have a more laid-back and even slightly gothy feel ("Stay Faithless" and "Sex in Miami" almost feel like they could be lost tracks by the Mission). In the end, it was a nice collection that was unjustly overshadowed by the non-musical hype connected to it.

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