Published May 23, 2014Dave Bidini's consistent creative output, be it in book form or through his time in the Rheostatics and with Bidiniband, is reliable for the benign joy it often inspires. Perhaps it's the enthusiasm he employs that others his age have lost, including the efforts he took to document the life of his boyhood idle Dave Keon in his most recent book, Keon and Me: My Search for the Lost Soul of the Leafs.
This sense of unabashed wonder and love for his country is present on The Motherland. It's no secret that Bidini has lived a life of adventure, and his third solo release showcases how his well of inspiration may never run dry. He apologizes for simple childhood mistakes amidst rolling, spontaneous guitar work on "(The Return Of) Fat," while the engrossing album closer, the Al Purdy-inspired "Say The Names," evolves from a soft lullaby into a grand, pastoral track.
Bidini's songs bend and sway with ease, but it never feels like trickery. Any reliance on traditional rock song structure is virtually non-existent; in fact, it is only the straight-up, riff-based title track that feels out of place here. Inspired by the Canada many take for granted, Bidini still has the ability to make the manners some deem trivial seem incredibly important. (Pheromone)