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The Sadies (from the album Colder Streams on Yep Roc Records (by Lee Zimmerman)
Produced by Richard Reed Parry of the arch adventurous outfit Arcade Fire, The Sadies eleventh studio album indicates a distinct change in direction. Under Parry’s influence, the band defies its Roots Rock reputation in favor of elaborate effects and ethereal arrangements that sometimes seem to overshadow the songs and cast the proceedings into something akin to more cerebral circumstance. It also marks the band’s final recording with founding member Dallas Good, who died quite suddenly last February while work on the album was coming to its conclusion. Good pronounced it the band’s best record yet, and while it remains to be seen how fans will weigh in on that prognosis, it’s clear that it represents a bold step forward, one that marks a new era for a group that’s never shied away from taking a decisive and determined approach.
That said, Colder Streams reflects some profound — and in many cases — wholly unexpected influences. Opening track “Stop and Start” provides an exhilarating example, boasting a sound similar to The Who circa Who’s Next. Several tracks — “Message to Belial”, “More Alone”, “So Far So Few”, and “Cut Up High and Dry” in particular — share a psychedelic style fueled by jangly guitars and hushed harmonies, while bringing to mind The Byrds in their early post-Folk Rock incarnation. Think “Eight Miles High” and “5D” for a quick comparison.
That said, the band doesn’t allow themselves to get totally swept up in any sort of remote realms. “All the Good”, “Better Yet”, and “Ginger Mood” are fully fueled and focused, each a definitive statement that reflects The Sadies’ absolute authenticity and their stature as one of Canada’s most compelling combos. As the new album makes absolutely clear, they’re also one of its most imaginative ensembles as well.
Naturally, there will be those who find Colder Streams somewhat out of the ordinary, mostly due to those aforementioned additives and Parry’s efforts behind the boards. Yet, given the imagination and ingenuity infused in the album overall, repeated listens reap their rewards. Any band that bows to ‘60s sensibilities and uses them as a stepping-stone to create their own aural impression deserves credit for finding a forward trajectory and the means of adding to their imprint. Wand indeed with Colder Streams, The Sadies find new oceans of opportunity.
(By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of The Sadies from AMAZON
For more information and purchase options, please visit The Sadies website
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