Kestrels A Ghost History

Kestrels A Ghost History
Bearing in mind just how well My Bloody Valentine's vintage shoegaze opus, Loveless, has aged, it's hardly surprising just how ubiquitous its blueprint remains. Halifax, NS trio Kestrels pitch their third LP somewhere between that record and its gnarlier predecessor, Isn't Anything, topping the broad swathes of drifting, earworm licks with emo-pop and a neatly disguised cameo from shred-pop hero and Ash main brain Tim Wheeler. Having signed with esteemed Canadian indie Sonic Unyon, A Ghost History finds the guys juggling loud, fast and visceral, playing with melodies that would turn your ears inside out if they could muster the energy. Anyone who considers Dean Allan Spunt's blank, affectedly limp vocals for No Age a deal breaker will, one way or another, be knocked off the fence by Chad Peck's blank, affectedly limp vocals. But when you have tracks like "The Past Rests," no one's scribbling pernickety notes in the margin. That said, nostalgia being what it is, the best moments on A Ghost History are those that sound most like Loveless ("There All the Time Without You," "Drowning Girl"), with fleeting moments bringing to mind Blink-182 messing around with their parents' effects pedals. But give up playing spot-the-influence and you'll find a band that slouch proudly along the originality/homage tightrope with guitars plugged into their hearts, indebted but never in thrall to their idols. (Sonic Unyon)