Grey Lands Right Arm
Published Sep 09, 2015On Grey Lands' debut, Songs By Other People, Wayne Petti (of Cuff the Duke fame) enlisted musicians like Joel Plaskett to do guest vocals for his stripped down psych-folk covers. While paying tribute to his influences, he also did the same to Canadian music in general.
Right Arm continues that sense of tribute. Over eight tracks, Petti delivers his take on '90s indie rock, favouring electric guitar over his usual acoustic. He cites inspiration from Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted and Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, but the highly dynamic, erratic feeling of those classic indie rock albums is largely absent here; Petti's delicate vocals and folk-sensibility make for something cleaner, lighter and more subdued, with the sounds of Canadian indie rock like early Sloan, the Flashing Lights, the Inbreds and Broken Social Scene shining through.
These lo-fi tracks flow smoothly and serenely, almost playing it too safely, save for the moments in which things break free and clatter a bit. This is most often during solos, like the math-y turn on "False Alarm," the jammy outro on "Arabian Knights" or the Sloan-esque rock-out on "Another Lie."
Highlights "Lo-Fi Junkie" and the fast and slow "Recluse" are the most memorable songs here though, their shadowy feel anchored by Thom Yorke-style vocals. (Paper Bag)