Scarboro Aquarium Club Poisoned

Joining the long list of Canadian bands being touted for bigger things is Kitchener’s Scarboro Aquarium Club. The club president and head honcho, Corey W. Schmidt, writes all the songs, plays almost all the instruments and even provides vocals on some tracks. Fortunately, there are three other voices (all female) to add some variety to the proceedings, helping to break up the routine of a long album. They sound like a more lightweight version of Montreal’s Stars, both producing unassuming electronic pop that also brings to mind many of the other bands on Le Grand Magistery like Baxendale. And therein lies a problem — Scarboro Aquarium Club just sound like an amalgam of other bands rather than showing their own identity. Maybe they don’t even have their own identity, and so they are overcompensating instead. It’s hard to tell. The biggest problem, however, is that Schmidt just doesn’t know when to stop, and stretching Poisoned out to over an hour in length was a big mistake because it isn’t hard to spot the filler, most of which is instrumental. Yet amidst that filler, there are a half dozen gems such as "FuturePop” and "The Hemlock Girls” and that makes the album worth at least a cursory listen. (Le Grand Magistery)