City of Glass Equations

Filed somewhere between Minus The Bear and Incubus, this Vancouver, BC duo soar on Equations. "Wait" highlights the five-song EP. Opening with a soothing guitar riff, enhanced as a Rhodes picks up in the background, Michael Champion's very Brandon Boyd-esque voice drives the pop tune around pleasant valleys. "Stop Running" is a stunning ballad that ends the disc on an uncertain note — with its understated bass line and vocal arch there's a sense that this should mark the halfway point of a full album. The only complaint with City of Glass is that it feels as if they're holding back. They're on the cusp of becoming special, but they need a push. Champion's voice is like crystal, but his emotions don't fully come through. Same with the arrangements, which are filled with intricate synth, piano and guitar parts that create a beautiful palette, but they're buried deep. Regardless, there's enough joy on this release and hope that they will expand on this impressive offering. (Independent)