Fiftymen Fiftymen

Fiftymen Fiftymen
8
Although Fiftymen have been hometown heroes in the Ottawa area for ages, on their self-titled fourth album the band finally seems ready to take on the nation. Their crunchy twang may sound dialed in straight from 1995, but the band's chemistry, combined with the top-to-bottom catchiness of their material, comes off undeniably fresh. Few bands (outside of the Sadies) can boast a twin guitar attack on par with Mark Michaud and Todd Gibbon, with tracks like "Wedding Band" and "Shake It (like it's on fire)" showing off their shared brilliance; the psych/surf excursions, "That Look On Your Face" and "Already Gone," add some unexpected variety on top of that. Fiftymen's other main strength is singer J.J. Hardill, whose vintage honky tonk baritone on tracks like "The Fastlane" and "Diesel Fuel & Kerosene" paint vivid portraits of genuine heartbreak. Keith Snider's touches of fiddle and banjo are the icing on the cake, making Fiftymen an album that old school shit-kickers need to hear. (Independent)