The Din are a three-piece rock and roll band hailing from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Their newest record, Suburban Dream, is the type of album that I’ve already given a handful of reviews to. The music is straightforward rock that’s trying to recreate a sound made famous decades ago, with the help of some bland production and average performances. Thankfully, the album’s got one key redeeming quality, and it’s easily the most important aspect of any album: the ability to write a good song.
It took me a few listens to really appreciate it, but The Din’s music on this album is littered with hooks, and are lyrically worded just as well. My favourite choruses are the ones in “High Park,” “Up In The Air,” and “35’s The Limit.” I need to give a nod to “Missing,” too, for being a song with such a heavy Tragically Hip influence that I can almost hear Mr. Gord Downie himself singing the verses.
Unfortunately, the album’s strong points end there. Sonically, none of the instruments sound that great, or are performed incredibly well. Even Mike Haggish’s lead vocals, which are responsible for singing these infectious hooks, aren’t all that strong. Some timid vocal harmonies, all of which are mixed way too loudly, the whole performance feels very vulnerable alongside the instrumentation.
In short, Suburban Dream doesn’t break any new ground, but the good songwriting overshadows a lot of the album’s mediocrity, and keeps the album from falling completely flat.
It’s a good thing that The Din can write a hell of a tune, but they really need to tighten the screws in nearly every other aspect if they want these well-written songs to carry further on their future records.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Kate Erickson