Heroes & Villains All the Giants Are Buried At Sea

It won’t take very long to figure out where these four Montrealers are headed with their debut seven-track EP. The blistering opener "First Night” sets the stage for easy Interpol comparisons given singer Raphael Parent’s ominous Ian Curtis-like vocal delivery. However, to judge Heroes & Villains as another NYC-style outfit would be too hasty. There are great, uplifting pop songs here, wrapped in tight drumming and bright ’80s guitar melodies. This is an impressive start, and you can’t get better help behind the knobs in Montreal than Howard Bilerman, who has helped define the sound of the Arcade Fire, Godspeed and the Dears. The tempo and energy of the tracks are consistently high, and there really are no weak points. The EP’s closer, "Perfect Grey,” slows things down a little at first, but then picks up with a catchy keyboard melody courtesy of Pierre Megarbane, the young guitarist who helped get his three friends together and form the band back in the fall of 2003. If this first crack is any indication, a debut album will definitely make an impact on the increasingly fertile Canadian music scene. (Independent)