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From the opening track of Elbow Beach Surf Club’s Billy Club EP, you know you’re in a high speed chase scene, perhaps on a surfboard. The opening bass guitar line, building drum sequence on the first track, “Turf Dream” can only be described as a soundtrack to escape. You can almost picture the zany, beach-suitable teens running along the sand, surfboards in hand, trying to escape the gruff-looking oil baron out to build a hotel at their favourite surf-spot. Then onwards to “Same Side” — where the band pays homage to Sleater-Kinney’s nearly forgotten brand of grungy, angst-fueled rock. Singer Lindsay Roe, whose voice is reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker, conjures images of turbulent indie rockers in ripped jeans and flannel shirts sporting cherry cokes and stale cigarettes. That being said, traces of Architecture in Helsinki’s experimentalist sound can be found in Elbow Beach’s unique style of indie-pop. Billy Club is a mosaic of steady drumming, and slightly off-key guitars dancing around bottom-feeding bass lines. The subtle involvement of the saxophone is enough to brand the Guelph, Ontario group as a distinctly Canadian-sounding band. Recorded by the band live off the floor in a boat warehouse on the Eramosa River in Guelph, Elbow Beach’s Billy Club is a perfect preservation of the ’90s that wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack to a Pulp Fiction sequel. (Andrew Seale)

CD, Burnt Oak Records,


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