Chris Page A Date With A Smoke Machine

Chris Page A Date With A Smoke Machine
I've known plenty of musicians who are sticklers for tone to know from this album's first notes that Chris Page is one of them. Leader of current Ottawa, ON alt-rock powerhouse Camp Radio, and formerly the Stand GT, here Page steps out solo with only a battery of guitars (electric and acoustic) to accompany him. Surprisingly, the absence of a rhythm section is never an issue, as Page has plenty of room to craft his multi-layered guitar attack within this impressively hook-laden 12-song collection. The album is almost an homage to the '90s generation of alt-rock troubadours, as shades of Evan Dando, the Grapes Of Wrath and perhaps tangentially, Bill Fox's recently rediscovered masterpiece, Transit Byzantium, are apparent throughout. Even early Billy Bragg is touched upon in "Coax The Ending Day," as well as vintage R.E.M. in "Keep Me On Your Radar." It's this sense that Page is deftly walking the fine line between folk and rock that gives A Date With A Smoke Machine its resonance. True power pop fans will not be disappointed. (Kelp/Outside/Saved By Vinyl)