Buttless Chaps Death Scenes I II III

Canada's best named band the Buttless Chaps return with their third CD, Death Scenes I II III, a country rock record in the best sense of the word ¾ one with both taste and a disregard for mere traditional revisionism. But Death Scenes is their first album that really hangs together as a whole ¾ with more morbid Western themes and fewer of the amusing asides that dotted their first two releases. The Chaps have always had an experimental streak and a willingness to tackle most genres with a hearty sense of fun, and might collect an EP of gems that don't otherwise fit ¾ an unrecorded techno song, or a medieval prog rock epic, both of which they might play during this month's Canadian tour. "When we first started, we were perceived as being an alt-country band, but then we're singing a song called 'Disco Dancer' or screaming and yelling," says singer Dave Gowans. "I always worry that we're gonna disappoint people." Gowans' crooning vocals give Death Scenes a moody gloom as the band occasionally aspires to Nick Cave at U2's house at times, or break out the Depeche Mode-style synths. Recorded mostly live-off-the-floor with lots of assist producing and playing from fellow Victoria, BC native, Show Business Giant Scott Henderson, guests include Vancouver's Carolyn Mark (where the band recently relocated). But as great as Death Scenes is, it only reflects a few sides of a band that likes to show off its diverse musical tastes, and have high leg kick fun doing it, something well worth seeing live. (Independent)