Lab Coast Pictures on the Wall/Wilding

It's difficult to listen to Calgary, AB's Lab Coast without comparing their lo-fi tunes to Guided by Voices. Their short, deceptively simple drops of catchy-as-hell indie rock certainly owe a debt to Robert Pollard and company, whether or not the quartet (masterminded by former Bent Spoon Ensemble members David Laing, Chris Dadge and Scott Munro) listen to the Ohioans' fuzzy records. But that reductive comparison ignores Laing's more sensitive approach to songwriting, which made Lab Coast the perfect foil to fellow Calgarians Extra Happy Ghost!!! on last year's Saved by Vinyl split seven-inch. Pictures on the Wall/Wilding is a compilation of two previously released, limited edition cassettes. Released 12 months apart, the two recordings display quickly maturing songwriting, but together these 23 tracks make a strong argument for a wider release and recognition for the band, as its clear that their prolific work ethic is going to yield something great next time out. (Independent)