Loitering Heroes Beast Alert!

A quirky lot encompassing several musical styles, Toronto, ON’s Loitering Heroes are an imaginative indie rock band whose spirited recklessness might be drawn directly from like-minded peers in their city. In the wake of unhinged groups like the apparently defunct Jon-Rae and the River and Rock Plaza Central, Loitering Heroes sound like a natural extension of what’s developed into the "gang of geeks” Toronto sound. Like the aforementioned bands, Loitering Heroes are centred on one man’s songs and, in this case, that man is Wavelength Toronto music series co-artistic director Kevin Parnell. Though songs like "Ballad of Bandaged Champions” and "Holes in the Story” possess folk frameworks, they end up careening all over the place at unexpected moments, with jazz and rock progressions morphing into indiscriminate multi-cultural grooves. As compelling and mystifying as the instrumental aspects of "City Spells” or "One Fell Swoop” might be, the focus throughout the record is Parnell’s voice, a loud, impassioned tool that, much like RPC’s Chris Eaton, seems capable of rising above any din. Often strengthened by a chorus of band members, Parnelll leads Loitering Heroes through an interesting collection of songs, and Beast Alert! is more endearing with each subsequent listen. (Independent)