Jim Bryson & the Occasionals

The Occasionals

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A blending of slowed-down country-ish pop mixed with some rollicking guitar rock, Ottawa singer Jim Bryson can carry a tune in any sort of bucket judging by the crispness and polish oozing from each song. "Travelled by Land" exemplifies this approach perfectly, swaying from the guitar effects of Starling member Ian Lefeuvre to a more relaxed country croon. If there is anything the album suffers from, it's perhaps a downcast, somber tone in a majority of the songs, including "26 Miles by Car." "You still seem a little distant from my heart," Bryson intones over wailing electric guitars, which is a bit of a dichotomy. The pop nuggets in "February" and the simply great "Soupy Sayles" sound like the Bodeans at their zenith. Another benefit is the distinct lack of filler material, although given that the album clocks in at less than 40 minutes, it shouldn't pose a problem anyway. Short and incredibly cavity-inducing.

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