Mackenzie-Parker Gang Ride For Glory

Although the members of this band try hard to mask their identities as a bunch of Wild West outlaws, anyone with a knowledge of Canadian roots rock will recognize Mack Mackenzie as the one-time leader of Montreal's legendary Three O'Clock Train. In fact, the entire band is a reunion of sorts for Montreal's '80s underground, with Men Without Hats' Stefan Doroschuck and Voivod's Michel Langevin playing prominent roles as well. Somehow out of these varied personalities they manage to pull together an authentic, rollicking sound that joyfully recalls the early, unselfconscious days of cowpunk. The concept of a group of wanted train robbers may be overdoing it a little, but it ultimately isn't much of a distraction. They clearly sound like they're having a good time on "Wild & Free," "Between A Gunslinger And His Gal" and the title track. And just having Mackenzie back on the scene is enough to recommend this album to a new audience, which probably never heard his previous work. There's hardly anything groundbreaking here, but the MPG's unabashed innocence sounds remarkably fresh right now. Long may they run. (Cloud 9)