Picastro Red Your Blues

One of Canada's best kept indie rock secrets, Picastro is comprised of adept cello, acoustic and electric guitars, drums and vocals articulating bittersweet tunes instilled with melancholy, moments of aggressive restlessness, and a good dose of morbid humour. The album opens up with "Winter Notes," a graceful, "lady in mourning" kind of tune with sombre guitar plucking leading into sustained cello notes that in turn drift into Liz Hysen's intimate, understated vocals. In fact, Hysen's voice throughout the CD, though periodically unintelligible, is like listening to a tragedy torn damsel singing to herself in a psychiatric ward. Red Your Blues also has its more mischievous sides, like "Night of Long Knives," an instrumental with raunchy guitar twangs and droning, sawing cello wails that would be perfect to soundtrack a David Lynch film. Conversely, songs like "5 Cent Church" and "The Sea Will Kill You" conveys a moodier, edgier feel; perhaps the muse escaped from her ward. If you drop this CD in your player, be ready to get glum faced, and love every minute of it. (Pehr)