The Alison Cameron Band The Alison Cameron Band

Toronto, ON's Rat Drifting usually gets tagged as "experimental" in disc reviews, but the label puts out pretty tuneful, if eccentric, music from the likes of Ryan Driver, St. Dirt Elementary School and Drumheller. Toronto composer Alison Cameron's self-titled release, with her guitar-oriented band (she plays banjo), maintains a friendly, easy pace, lulling the listener into concentric circles of guitar insanity. Focusing on the individual timbres of each string on acoustic guitar and banjo, Cameron's spiralling compositions are wrought in fine detail by engineer Jeff McMurrich. The other two members of the band are Rat Drifting head Eric Chenaux and Stephen Parkinson, each bringing something different to these slowly unfolding songs. A foundation of English folk forms quickly gives way to freer, more ambiguous ensemble play, which always shuffles forward, slightly zombie-like. Cameron's tape manipulation and some well-chosen harmonica wheezes create effective lower frequencies and more sonic variety. (Rat-Drifting)