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In the popular imagination, small towns are generalized as overwhelmingly friendly places, filled with smiling, neighbourly folks who always have a helping hand to lend. And every summer, the tourists who flocked to the shores of Lake Huron would find out just how much seething resentment and violence lay underneath the pleasant fa├žade we townspeople presented in our strained efforts to obtain their money. Bar fights were legendary, spilling out onto the main street with regularity. Generally, it would start when a fun-loving cottager attempted to chat up a local girl. Soon, a large gang of angry, sexually frustrated local men would challenge said cottager to step outside, whereupon they would beat him to a bloody pulp. At the supermarket, tourists were often decried for their lack of manners, lack of decency, and insatiable desire for McDonald’s, of which there was -to everyone’s bitter dismay- none in town. With his plaintive, ringing voice and disquieting eloquence, Nathan Coles has fashioned an album which gives some release to the bored, trapped, and lost amongst us. The band behind him is whipcord tight, propelling each intricate little chord change with ease, obviously taking pleasure in playing together on this warm, intimate sounding record. For one of those lonely nights when you’re driving the truck home up Highway 21. (Karyn Bonham)

CD, Facehead Records, www.nathancolesoutfit.com

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