Independent with pop-radio potential, Cookie Duster’s second album – in ten years – has buzzy vocals and simple backbeats typifying a lot of one-hit wonder groups. But main-man Brendan Canning is far from having only one hit under his belt. The six degrees of Brendan stretch from founding member of Broken Social Scene to associations with Feist and By Divine Right, and he takes a little bit of each with this production. Don’t let the cartoonish cover art fool you: this is some serious music
Two Feet Stand Up is a summertime Bangleesque tune featuring Jeen O’Brien on lead. I don’t know if there is a video planned for this album, but this track would totally rock it. No Solo has a similar pace, with a 90’s Eagles sound.
The album is very different musically from track to track, but not in the way that would make you shake your head and wonder if the producer just jammed a bunch of songs together. Tempo and changes in emphasis in reverb and percussion draw the listener in in subtle ways. We Stepped On Glass has a lovely elevator-music backbeat (I know, it doesn’t sound right, but it’s true) but the vocals are strong and dreamy and there is an occasional tymphonic crash, maybe some thunder in there too? I don’t know, but it’s a great song. Acoustic mandolin and guitar work in Living On A Fine Line satisfy the listener who would rather their indie artists sound solemn and thoughtful and without electronica.
For those who may have missed the group when it debuted a decade ago, this is a perfect album to get introduced to the kind of music that needs a few years to step and marinate in the artist’s heads and hearts before its ready. Hopefully, CD will stick around and continue the tunes. This is a great road-trip playlist, one you wouldn’t get tired of listening to on the way back.