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TSR #4 - Ten Ways From Sunday

Ten Ways From SundayOld school rock makes me happy. That would explain the smile that sprung onto my face as I listened to Insomnia Radio show #21 the other night.

Replacing the horrified expression I must have had at being forced to listen to The Thought Criminals’ Suicide Bomber for a second time, the smile came as I was treated to some excellent old school-style rock in the form of Gotta Get It by Vancouver band Ten Ways From Sunday. This track has the two major elements I look for in a rock track…strong vocals on top of a well-balanced bass and guitar combo. In fact, so impressed was I with the near-perfect interplay between guitar and bass in this track that I went to the band’s website looking to see how long the two had been playing together. I was guessing they’d had at least 3 or 4 years of being around each other to play off each other so intuitively, but the real explanation was even better. Dave (guitar) and Mike (bass) Young are brothers. The clean but un-wimpy drumming of Travis Robson sure doesn’t hurt the formula either.

Listening to the other tracks from the band’s newly-released and self-titled EP (available on their website) did not disappoint. A variety of styles are to be found, my personal favorites being hard-hitting tracks Gotta Get It and Nobody’s Business and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, rock ballads Without and Feel Awake.

Have you figured out by now that I like bands who can explore a variety of sounds while managing to keep their identity? This band impresses me not only by doing it, but by understanding how this has been a recipe for success in rock for more than a generation. “I think we like the fact that with this genre of music we aren’t constrained to a typical song structure and we’re free to experiment with whatever feels right,” says frontman Matt Layzell. “The appeal is in the flexibilty - you listen to a band like Led Zeppelin and they’ve got blues in one song, straight ahead rock in another, and jazz in the next.” Normally, any band comparing themselves to Zeppelin, even indirectly, would really piss me off. In their case, I’m making an exception.

In my opinion, any collection of indie rock is incomplete without these guys. While you’re waiting for their CD to arrive in the mail, at least you have their track on Insomnia Radio to listen to. If that isn’t enough, go buy a used copy of the NHL 2004 video game by EA Sports which features the song You’ve Been Around off their 2003 What I Wanted EP.

Mea maxima culpa

Sorry about the slightly prolonged absence, folks. I've been working on a number of projects, only some of them related to the Reader. Sometimes the house and the job that pays the mortgage for the house win the competition for time and attention.

Anyway, new editions of the Reader are on their way. I fully expect to have issue #4 out tonight (looking at a band from this week's Insomnia Radio) and will follow it up with issue #5 later this week, with an inside look at music you've heard on The Tragically Nameless Podcast.