Published Jul 08, 2015Earlier albums by Toronto-based roots-rockers the Key Frames, Out On The Point and Low Light High Light, were well received, and the band up the ante in terms of production quality on new mini-album Monophone Heart. Derek Downham (Serena Ryder, the Beauties) handles the production, with recording and mixing done by John Critchley (Elliott Brood, Dan Mangan). Downham also gets co-writing credit, and the craftsmanship of the writing here is impressive; the Key Frames cover more stylistic terrain in five songs than most bands do on a full-length album.
Their sound is an interesting hybrid, with the rootsy feel of the banjo nicely integrated with guitar-led rock'n'roll elements. The opening track "Won't Miss It" is an indie-rock styled cut with pretty vocal harmonies, but the prominent banjo adds to its distinctiveness. "Road To You" presents a similar mix, with the nice addition of harmonica. The power-pop gem "Tidal Wave" is a tune Sloan would be proud to call their own, yet it also has subtle banjo inflections in there, while the virile guitar work on closing cut "Seeds In The Stones" is pleasing. Word has it another mini-album is in in the works, and it's awaited with interest. (Independent)