Fire Next Time Wild Rose Sorrow

Fire Next Time Wild Rose Sorrow
For us non-Albertans, it's been easy to paint a picture of the entire province as one big boomtown wallowing in oil money. On that basis alone, it's refreshing to hear this Edmonton band take a stab at conveying the reality of their surroundings on this raging debut album. The tales of greed, addiction, murder and prostitution are unrelenting, but Fire Next Time's equally unrelenting goth country sound ― at times, approaching Nick Cave and Arcade Fire grandiosity, as on "River City Blues" ― carries Wild Rose Sorrow through to its inevitably bittersweet conclusion. Frontman James Renton can easily be forgiven for wearing his fondness for Conor Oberst on his sleeve, since his conviction is undeniable. The rest of the band share his sincerity, adding just the right touch of Celtic punk to stoke the flames even further. It adds up to Wild Rose Sorrow being a great introduction to one of the most promising new Canadian bands of this year. (Independent)