Published May 24, 2009Certainly a super-group for fans of the mid-'90s Halifax pop explosion, the Lodge are a dynamic, new venture for some grizzled, multi-talented indie rock vets. Before experimental pop band Neuseiland called it a day, their line-up consisted of Charles Austin and Drew Yamada (the Super Friendz), Andrew Glencross (the Euphonic), "Miniature" Tim Stewart and Joel Plaskett. Austin and Glencross eventually hooked up with former Thrush Hermit drummer Cliff Gibb and began honing a batch of new songs that exhibit equal amounts of sophisticated pop finesse and balls-out post-punk grit. Luring Mike O'Neill (the Inbreds) into the fold to sing lead and flex his magnetic vocal range, the Lodge could be an unstoppable force should they work together beyond this quickly recorded, just-for-fun debut. "World in Me" leaps forward with snaky guitars, a quick-step rhythmic foundation and O'Neill's distinctive (and sorely missed) voice. "Thaw Me Out" is an infectious, maturely rendered narrative, while "Your Theology" is brilliant, outspoken pop-craft. Elsewhere, "They're Watching You" and "Hey, Kidz" barely conceal just how much fun these serious dudes are having playing together. Like some heady amalgam of Television and Pavement, the Lodge are a wonderful, impassioned musical force.
Is this a super-group?
O'Neill: I'm thrilled to be playing with these guys so, in that way, it's a "super"-group. All of them were in Neuseiland, which were a very cool band. They reformed in 2006 as Lac Secret and one day I got an email asking if I'd want to sing with them, so I went and started jamming with them. The primary songwriters are Charles and Andrew here and they gave me a crack at developing vocal melodies. It's already developed since this recording; now we're attempting to write songs more as a group, but it's a work-in-progress.
What inspired this sound?
Austin: The idea behind it is to be a really stripped-down band and have the recording represent how we actually sound. I tricked them into doing the bed-tracks in two hours and it probably took three days total to make. We feel pretty good about it mainly because we didn't spend so much time on it that we spoiled the broth, you know? Sometimes, instead of being so mired in something and trying to produce it, it's best to just throw it down and live with it. (Gooseberry)