Secret Suburbia Midi Gritty

Secret Suburbia Midi Gritty
Quite a few songs off electro rock act Secret Suburbia’s Midi Gritty have the alt-pop sensibilities harboured by such Canadian acts as Sloan, Treble Charger and Matt Good, so it would only make sense that the Toronto-based outfit have shared a bill with these guys as well. Fronted by songwriter and composer T.J. Habibi, the group have seemingly already reached indie cult status, after ranking in the top ten on a plethora of online music sites, and even being voted the number one indie band in Toronto, while falling in the top ten in Canada, according to Bodog Music’s Battle to End All Battles. Not bad for a Toronto indie band, though the electronic tag is a bit confusing. You can hear Midi Gritty sometimes straddle the boundary between alt-pop and electro rock, with two or three tracks working the combination quite nicely, but more than half the album is straight up pop rock. On the other end emerges a triumphant mixture of up-tempo electronic tracks that could easily stand alone. "Astral Planing” jogs memories of Squarepusher, "Mid Eastern” could have been pulled straight from Thievery Corporation’s Mirror Conspiracy and "Digital Herpes” is just downright gritty and fun. While some bands can effortlessly pull off genre splicing, Secret Suburbia sound like they’re struggling between two extremes. Ranking as one of the top ten indie bands in Canada says a lot — the electronic designation is simply simmering on the back burner. (Fontana North/Universal)