Fembots Small Town Murder Scene

Acoustic campfire folk collides with analog keyboards and all manner of studio and junk-drawer shenanigans on this subtly brilliant sophomore full-lengther from Toronto’s dynamic Fembots duo. Though not entirely bereft of melodic gloom, most of these tracks are much brighter than the disc’s dark moniker would have you believe, including the title track — a plucky, percussive exercise that picks itself up off the porch and ends up in a gospel hall. Multi-instrumentalists Dave MacKinnon and Brian Poirier call on the services of a number of guest players, including frequent live collaborators Jason Tait (Weakerthans) and Julie Penner (Bob Wiseman). For the most part, Fembots appear to have moved away from much of their tape-loop hijinks of old, although some cut-and-paste aspects remain, like "Mom’s Ether Blues,” for instance. Another solid release from two artists whose relative obscurity belies the quality of their work. (Independent)