Blah Blah 666 It's Only Life!

If Roberto Benigni was Mexican and a musician, he may have recorded this CD, or something cheerful like it. Coming as it does from some of the musically loopier members of the Toronto improv community, who have banded together under the moniker Blah Blah 666, It’s Only Life delivers a healthy dose of plain old good feeling and "naïve” melodicism. Case in point, "Home Sexuality,” with its rippling melodica lines and Hawaiian lap steel undergirding. Slightly weirder, and also penned by Justin Haynes, "Chico Lympico” lurches along with a unison melody that continually totters near losing it, like a drunken tightrope walker. If you like things a bit more rock, check out drummer Nick Fraser’s "Dogs,” with its rubbery, fretless lead guitar licks sounding like a spunky Ribot-meets-Beefheart’s-Magic-Band hybrid. Ryan Driver’s droopy-eyed vocalizations and his "Distracted by the Moonlight” come with a sweet melodica solo that verges on self-destruction but keeps it together with warm/fuzzy grace. Unlike so much post-modern stuff that drips with irony and condescension towards its plundered sources, It’s Only Life! brims with life-affirming vitality, humour and genuine good cheer. This is a heart-warming listening experience. (Barnyard)