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Day 294: The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing

19 Dec


Man, I love these guys.   I was just thinking about how good Hometowns is today, when my mom gave me this record as a Hanukkah present.  No, Hanukkah doesn’t start until tomorrow, but I am never one to turn down a gift, so I hope y’all are okay with me putting aside the suggestions for a day because I really wanted to listen to this record.  And if you’re not okay with that, let’s just say that I won’t lose too much sleep over it tonight.

This time around, I wasted no time when getting into RAA’s sound.  When I listened to Hometowns back in April, I was a little apprehensive about frontman Nils Edenloff’s vocals.  They’re weird as hell, but somehow awesome.  I don’t know how I didn’t make the comparison to Jeff Mangum eight months ago, but that doesn’t even matter because I’m making it now.  I’ll even go as far as to say that there are a few tracks on here that sound a tad like Neutral Milk Hotel.  Granted, these songs are the slower RAA tracks, and would still be a little upbeat for NMH, but the similarity is there nonetheless.

There’s also much to be said in favor of a relatively short record, too.  I love it when a band can do what they need to do in a timely manner, especially with my whole “listening to an album every day” thing.  The RAA get in, get the job done, and leave you satisfied and smiling in just 32.8 minutes, according to the bottom of my iTunes window.  Mad props for that.

Day 59: The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns

28 Apr

The Dethbridge in Lethbridge

I’m usually not one to care about vocals.  Two of my favorite bands are Los Campesinos! and The Hold Steady, two bands with front men who were…let’s just say, not blessed with the greatest voices.  This shows just how strange Nils Edenloff’s singing voice is.  His name is pretty weird too, but that’s for another time.

I actually thought that I didn’t like The Rural Alberta Advantage after the first couple of songs.  Edenloff assaulted my eardrums with a very strange–almost whiney–shout right off the bat.  It took me a while to adjust and accept this screech that he calls a voice, but once I did, I realized how kick-ass this record is.

The Rural Alberta Advantage plays some good indie rock.  I know that I’ve been saying that I’m getting tired of this genre a lot as of late, but I really got into Hometowns.  They’re not doing anything too groundbreaking…you know how it’s hard to describe what exactly you like about something sometimes? Well I go through that every time I like a record for this blog.  I’m having more trouble than usual with describing Hometowns, though.  It’s just a bunch of songs about childhood, love, lost love — you know, the standard indie-topics.  I guess it’s just really catchy.  Does an album need to be anything else for someone to consider it good?  I sure don’t think so.

Let’s go back to indie rock voices, because that’s something that I can actually write about without rambling too much.  I think that people like me appreciate unconventional singers, mainly because they show that you don’t need to be special to start an awesome band.  Anyone with solid ideas can make great music, regardless of vocal capabilities.  That gives people like me hope, because people like me always dream of being in a band, even without any particular musical talents, or motivation to acquire such talents.