Hilotrons At Least There's Commotion

Hilotrons At Least There's Commotion
8
There's an eclectic corner of Canadian music that has been empty for the past five years, begging for the return of Ottawa's Hilotrons. Thankfully, band-leader-turned-one-man-band Michael Dubue is back with a collection of songs that pick up where 2008's Happymatic left off. Recorded mostly on his own, after dealing with scheduling conflicts with other members, Dubue enlisted a number of extra hands to help out on At Least There's Commotion, including Jeremy Fisher, Jim Bryson and Sacha Gabriel. Opening track "Venus At Your Back Door" is a cheeky synth-pop number that's an aggressive kick into a loopy world that unravels into a sequence of songs that's as schizophrenic as the subject matter. "My Number" is a soulful jam that swells into a string-infused ballad of sorts in just under three minutes, right before the two-part opus of "She Knows My Condition," which ushers in a circus-like whirlwind of tumbling percussions, manic pianos and synths. Even with all its twists and turns, At Least There's Commotion is a neatly cohesive piece of work that highlights all of Dubue's strengths and proves that, conventions be damned, he's one of Canada's most unique songwriters. (Kelp)