Querkus No Direction

In choosing a title for their debut release, Winnipeg musicians Karen Dunham and Edgar Ozolins have anticipated the most likely criticism to be levelled at this six-song outing. However, given the duo's consistently meandering approach to its keyboard, guitar and programming routine, the seeming lack of direction is evidently part of the unit's crafty stylistic oeuvre. Both Dunham's keyboard playing and Ozolins' six-string work are classically inspired, yet are dark, original and innovative, in a new age cabaret sort of way. Dunham's dreamy, Beth Gibbons-like vocals rarely let up, providing a consistent thread throughout the CD, and imparting an additional avant-garde quality to the endeavour. Though often an awkward fit on live bills at local rock clubs, Querkus's studio efforts come off as comparatively bold and confident. Providing the disc finds its way into broader art-pop circles, the band ought to have no problem making a few fast fans. The disc represents the first production/recording credit for former Grand Theft Canoe guitarist Angus Kirkpatrick (outside of his own solo and GTC material, that is), while veteran Winnipeg sound artist Ken Gregory handled the mix. (Independent)