Published May 25, 2015Self-described "bastard band" Luke Bill brings together some of Toronto's finest music makers, and they're set to unleash their debut album Wren next week. Before it lands, though, Exclaim! is streaming it in its entirety for your previewing pleasure.
Led by Ian McDonnell, the group also features members of Beams, Sam Cash and the Romantic Dogs, and Zeus' Neil Quin. Live jams turned into an album recorded over a dozen nights scattered throughout last year, at Toronto's Illeagle Studio. Frequent musical collaborator Taylor Knox stepped up into the role of producer.
Toying with classic rock'n'roll ideas, but delivered with a modern spin and the crunchy guitars and sweet harmonies the group members are known for, Luke Bill's debut effort will keep fans of each collaborator happy. Recorded live off the floor, it delivers an "honest" sound that veers far away from sounding over-produced.
Opener "Do It My Own Way" sets the warm, rockin' tone for the rest of the record, lashing out with twangy sounds from the six-strings and male-female harmonies. There are slower, softer moments ("How Does It Work," "How Was I Supposed to Live," "Until Once of Us Breaks"), but they always get punched up with a healthy dose of fuzzed-out garage rock eventually.
You can catch the group live at their upcoming shows, including a four-week residency at the Cameron House in honour of the record's release. Scroll past the gigs to give Wren a listen before it arrives on June 2.
05/21 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern *
06/04 Toronto, ON - Cameron House
06/11 Toronto, ON - Cameron House
06/18 Toronto, ON - Cameron House
06/25 Toronto, ON - Cameron House
* with Slim Cessna's Auto Club