Published Jan 27, 2015Proving once again just how small Canada's music scenes are, Gay Nineties are the latest spin-off from Mounties, itself a super group of Canadian musicians. Parker Bossley tours with that band and further distinguished himself as one half of Fur Trade, along with Steve Bays, so it should come as no surprise that Gay Nineties hew closely to those groups' style of pop-friendly indie rock; even Bossley's vocal style melds Bays' signature sing-yelp with a bit of Hawksley Workman's soulful croon. But opener "Hold Your Fire" shows that even working within that box, he's a formidable songwriter.
Dating back to bands like the Pointed Sticks, Vancouver artists always put a premium on hooks and melody, and that tradition continues here. The frenetic "Letterman" hits an early highpoint that Bossley can't manage to sustain for the record's eight-track run. Next to those two standouts, songs like "Good Times" and the sleazy "Turn Me On" feel undercooked, the alt-rock glam vibe a little too reminiscent of Space Hog. Bossley's pedigree will be an albatross for some time — this debut EP does nothing to assuage comparisons to his day jobs. Still, it makes a case for Gay Nineties as a band to watch. Bossley clearly knows his way around a hook; he just needs to find a voice of his own. (Fontana North)