The Stanfields Death & Taxes

The StanfieldsDeath & Taxes
Blending East coast Celt-rock with West coast, Nickelback-ian chest pounders, the Stanfields are tailor-made for large, Trailer Park Boys quotin', Alexander Keith drinkin', Canada Day partyin' crowds. Although most of the star-making ingredients lie within the liner-notes — major label backing (Warner Music Canada) and a superstar producer (Mike Fraser, who's produced albums for AC/DC, Chickenfoot and Poison) — it's what's actually found within their second LP, Death & Taxes, that's disquieting. There's no doubt that the Nova Scotian quartet have their chops in line, as songs like "Run on the Banks," "Fox in the Heather" and "Blacktop Blues" pack the requisite grit and oomph, thanks to Jon Landry's tar sand vocals and the chugging electric guitar/bouzouki team of Jason MacIsaac and Jason Wright. But after a few spins, the smell of rum and taste of Player's Light start to wear thin, exposing the Standfields' weakness in writing hooks that extend beyond the "repeat chorus four times" template. (Groundswell)