It is tough reviewing albums and being unbiased, or feeling cocky enough to say that what you like will also ring true with other readers. What eases this process is getting the opportunity to review a musical ensemble and their serving of sounds which is earnest, honest and true. The gentlemen in Purple Hill are great providers of musical soul food. Their new EP Top 40 Radio Memory Dream (Oh Yeah!) tastes true and it feels uplifting; taking elements of the Rolling Stones and Oasis, and throwing some nice touches of blue collar Canadiana in, you get a healthy serving of an ideal Sunday musical meal. The kind of music with such good taste it that it makes it completely alright that you skipped out on Sunday mass.
I myself am a great fan of the post punk revivalist movement: sounds which are sweet and sour, catchy guitar riffs, and scratchy vocals. It almost feels as though you showed up at the beach wearing a bathing suit and a leather jacket. Rolling down Route 66 in my mind with this album playing, I am digging everything this troop of rocking and rolling troubadours are shoveling up. Although different tracks, “Sweat Out the Take Out” and “Through Your Nightmares” are so great at getting you warmed up for this album. They open this album up in a way that prepares you for what is to come. You also get to taste test the many voices of Owen Marchildon as he croons to you on one track and then comes in with a bit more edge on the next. Just as quickly as they pick you up, they use the next two tracks to cool you down a bit.
“Being Young (Like It’s So Far Behind Them)” makes you feel like you are falling in love again, but for the first time, and with someone who is not the one you call your lover now. The romanticism of the lyrics, ”They talk of being young, as if it’s so far behind them” is so bittersweet I can feel its tangy sourness explode on my tongue like a mix of pop rocks and sourpatch kids. When you hear Owen ask, ”K, you guys ready?”, just be sure to prepare yourself for the journey which will ensue.
What Purple Hill display in their album Top 40 Radio Memory Dream (Oh Yeah!) is just how easy they will make it for you to fall in love with them and their brand of post-whatever-you-wanna-call-it rock ‘n’ roll. It has catchy lyrics galore, with Springsteen-meets-Broken Social Scene-meets-Glasvegas instrumentation and vocal patterns. This album is the perfect soundtrack to blare out of your pick-up truck while you rip down an ole dusty country road, or in your shit box while you head into town to take advantage of the warm weather, enjoy the company of a few good friends, and a few too many beers. Introduce this album to your friends and I can almost guarantee a drunken singalong to the eighth track on the album “At The 24th Hour.” Who wouldn’t want to belt out “At the 24th hour, I wanna be Jack Bauer!” while under the influence of the good ole fire water?
With all being said and done, I hope you enjoy listening to this album as much as I did. It is truly a journeyman’s soundtrack, and if you are one that connects with sounds and allows them to take you away from the here and now and float to the edges of your imagination, then you can meet me on the edges of where reality and dreams meet, listening to Owen and the boys playing their nouveau classics for the Rock Gods.
Great job gents!
Written by Joseph Francis Espinosa