Houds CD Release 

Hounds have new sounds on Neighbourhood

WHO: Hounds of Buskerville CD Release

WHERE: Garfinkel’s

WHEN: March 19

Vancouver reggae/ska band Hounds of Buskerville will be in the resort this week for the release of their first full-length CD Neighbourhood .

After several listens through the nine songs, I felt like something was missing. One more listen revealed tight and neat instrumentals… perhaps a little too clean. The usual infectious energy this band puts out in their live shows just doesn’t seem to make the transition to vinyl.

With a title like Blowing Off Some Steam, I was expecting this song to inspire me to rocket from my seat and dance on the table top. The harder edge adds some inspired soft punk variation to the mix, but the electric guitar is kept so subdued in the chorus, it misses the point of the song. Live, however, this tune has the potential to become an instant favourite.

The title song, Neighbourhood, is a bit of a head-scratcher. Amongst tales of weed, booze, brawls and arrests is a song featuring children shouting, " Please don’t wreck our neighbourhood! " The song is clearly not aimed at the party-hardy neighbours, but at raising your kids in an affordable environment, without the worries of " the VW van next door being replaced by the beamer. " A relevant concern, in fact, here in Whistler. However, the continuous use of children giggling in the background sounds somehow uneasy, and plain annoying, on an album that otherwise features adult-only themes. The content is obviously an attempt to reflect the growing lives of the songwriters, but not entirely believable coming from a band associated with boozy entertainment.

About two-thirds of the way through the CD is the bright spot: Corporate Crap. It’s a little political and more than just a little serious ("all these kids in poverty, and they’re living right down my street, they’re wearing clothes, but they’re looking hungry." ). But the lyrics are mature, the sound polished and not without surprises. Whistles, electric guitar and breaks into double-time tempo stop Corporate Crap from sounding too preachy and will undoubtedly send the dance floor into a frenzy. The raw and experienced vocals of guest Kia Kandiri are an especially welcome addition.

Islands and Coffee Coffee, Beer Beer should also do well in smoky pubs and sunny patios. The lighthearted tunes of vacations and the morning after are easy to sing along with and complemented by a feel-good horn section.

Neighbourhood is available March 16th at various Vancouver stores including Highlife Records and Black Swan.

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