Contrived Blank, Blank, Blank

ContrivedBlank, Blank, Blank
What do you do when you're not invited to the big party? Throw your own and invite the coolest kid in school. At least that's what the folks in the Nova Scotia-based Dependent Music collective have done with their latest creation. Though heroes in their home province, the collective's flagship groups (Holy Fuck and Wintersleep) were largely ignored by the rest of the country until last year, their members failing to get the nod of approval an appearance on a Broken Social Scene record gives Canadian indie musicians. So, much like New Pornographers have done out west, the crew have created their own East-coast sphere of collaboration and influence. Contrived find a middle ground between Holy Fuck's instrumental chaos and the pop sensibility Wintersleep displayed on Welcome to the Night Sky. Muscular, overdriven hooks sit next to chiming verses while high pitched vocals float overhead. The whole thing feels like it should collapse under its own weight but BSS producer David Newfeld holds it all together. At times, like the feedback-soaked "Angels Rioting Against Nothing," the tunes veer a little too close to BSS territory. But the quality of songwriting is too high to quibble over borrowed reverb, ensuring that Blank, Blank, Blank becomes more satisfying with each listen. (Hand Drawn Dracula)