Deromantic Deromantic

Steve Puchalski isn’t the most talented singer-songwriter on the planet. His lyrics are clunky and his musicianship is conventional. Yet as an example of honest, old-fashioned songwriting, his debut album with his band Deromantic remains a pleasing listen. No spring chicken, Puchalski has spent the last ten years as a jobbing actor in Toronto, and an age-weathered maturity characterises Deromantic. On "Drunk & 35,” he paints a picture of a woman clinging to her youth, while the lazy, bluesy "Please Forget” leaves the bitter tastes of betrayal and failed relationships. The influence of Jesse Laine, responsible for the horn and string arrangements, is evident throughout. Including the impressive orchestral intro to opening track "Under City Lights,” some lovely production adds a depth to Puchalski’s songs they simply wouldn’t have were they recorded stripped-down and acoustic. Deromantic isn’t an inspired album but as an example of earnest and emotional songwriting, it punches above its weight. (Familiar)