Canada – This Cursed House
Record Label: Quite Scientific Records
Release Date: September 16, 2006
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
Bordered by three oceans, Canada is the second largest country in the world. Boasting a wide cultural array and a diverse landscape, it is consistently ranked as one of the best places on the planet to live. The nation’s most apparent downside is its close proximity to the trigger-happy country to the south, but this fact can be overlooked easily enough if one avoids the Americanized cities of Toronto and Vancouver. Overall, I’d give Canada a solid 9.5/10…
Oops, my bad; this review is for the Ann Arbor, Michigan band that goes by the moniker, Canada. Boy is my face red. Odd choice of name aside, Canada are about as diverse and unique as the country they so boldly robbed of its title. You won’t find any cliché dogsleds or igloos in 99% of the country, and you won’t find their musical equivalents in the music produced by the band.
Canada are a seven-piece group with a sound that is somewhat difficult to pin down. This Cursed House features feel good indie-type music that brings to mind almost a Page France type of aura. Plenty of instruments, multiple vocalists, etc; they’re a pretty unique band. From the droning group yells of “They all called out for his head!” on “The King’s Ashes” to the upbeat violin and tambourine heavy “Hexenhaus” (German for “haunted house” apparently), Canada keep it fresh. While the vocals are pretty supreme, Canada rely primarily on the strength of their non-vocal instruments; dual cellos, melodica, glockenspiel, Rhodes piano, and so on. There are four instrumentals throughout the fourteen track album. These little interludes effectively break up the album a bit and make This Cursed House seem shorter than it actually is (just shy of an hour).
Quite Scientific Records have something figured out. With Canada and Chris Bathgate on their roster, Ann Arbor, Michigan should be turning some serious heads. Canada as a band is as diverse, interesting, and unique as the country that shares their name. Give them a listen.