Microbunny 49 Swans

The roots of disbanded electro/indie pioneers King Cobb Steelie ran deep throughout Canada's indie music scene; former collaborators include Nathan Lawr of Royal City, Don Pyle of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and Michelle McAdorey of Crash Vegas. But it's Al Okada of Microbunny, who continues to run the furthest with the King Cobb Steelie torch. 49 Swans, Microbunny's third LP, sees the five-piece combining macrobiotic beats while pulling influences from the rubbery floor mats of early '80s British dub, all the way to the steel girders of late '80s West Coast industrial. It's no surprise that songs like album opener "Gravity and Air" and "Blue September Blues" (featuring veteran Canadian chanteuse Rebecca Campbell on vocals) sound a bit tired and dated. 49 Swans represents a band whose work harkens back to a time when the Canadian electronic scene was still young and inhibited, and this is exactly the album's biggest flaw. (Independent)