Pigeon-Hole And The One They Call Lightening

This is the debut album from Montreal's teenage organic dynamic folksters, produced by Garth Futcher (Be Good Tanyas). Assisted at times by Bob Egan's subtle steel guitar and Kinnie Starr's chunky vocal chords, And The One They Call Lightening is a promising beginning for a wide-eyed youthful band that's brimming with songs of post-high school musings. What sets Pigeon-Hole apart from their peers is the way the two female leads, Isabelle Fahmy and Natasha Szuber, interact with each other. On the album's strongest tracks, such as the 5/4 "Cops and the Crazies," the two musicians have all the coordination of Siamese twins, giving bursts of complementary lyrics instead of simply tried and true harmonies. Only occasionally does this have the effect of sounding like you're stuck in the middle of two rehearsal halls hearing separate songs. Musically, the album is very expansive and rewarding, as Pigeon-Hole dabbles in jazz-folk ("13 Stairs") and Jesse James' rancheros ("Pirates"), and occasionally adds hip-hop spins to their Edie Brickell-style dreamy folk songs. If only they had left off the bonus track, a cover of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Going to Take it," which effectively amounts to an exhaustive exercise in "look how many ways we can play this song" - a quickly tiring tour of reggae, cock rock, country, bluegrass and straight-up campfire folk. (Aquarius)