Goodbye Wistful Lines is the second EP released by Montreal’s Urban Spells. Once again, Carl Roberge is taking on all post-production duties for this rock band as he did on their debut EP released early last year. He does a great job capturing the raw sound that the band excels in emitting without making the production sound amateurish.
As the five-song record goes, the songs range from sounding like ballsy, radio rock tunes to getting progressively darker and eerier. The first two tracks introduce the band members and their sound quite well, especially the dynamic between the two lead singers, Alex Coutant and Alice Carvalho. This dynamic between male and female voices makes for some interesting vocal action and the harmonies keep things interesting, despite some hit-or-miss melodies. It certainly is tricky nailing the vocal mix with these two vocalists lending their voices on the majority of the tracks, and it’s the one thing about this record that I think could really shine through if perfectly pulled off. However, the lack of perfection in that specific area doesn’t take away from their powerful performances.
“Re-emerge” is the album’s third track and stands out as the radio single of the EP. It features a simplistic, yet effective, rock formula that’s super reminiscent of something I could see the Stone Temple Pilots playing back in their heyday. The last two tracks I’m not a fan of. This is where the EP gets darker and a bit weirder. Grunge is definitely a genre that can significantly improve once it gets dark, but to me, the aggression and straightforwardness on the previous few tracks seems to take a backseat to weird scales and riffs with an unmemorable, or unenjoyable vocal melody. The last track, however, “Escape,” is worth mentioning. Although it features my least favourite melody on the whole album, it ends with this aggressively emotional buildup and climax, before the album abruptly ends to the sound of wringing guitar feedback. Despite my opinions on the songs itself, and the awkward ending, that breakdown is definitely a high note that the album ends on.
Goodbye Wistful Lines is an enjoyable EP whether or not you’re a fan of the don’t-give-a-fuck, rock n’ roll attitude that Urban Spells portray in their music.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Danielle Kenedy