Summer Lad Themes: International

With an interesting mix of genres and scope that is no less than epic, Calgary’s the Summerlad have made a hell of an impression, but one that only seems to works in fits. Blasting into the album with the shoegazing "Scalpel Morning,” its’ anthemic vocals, pounding drums and buzzing guitars, leaves a perfect impression. Of course, all is not straightforward, as the sound moves from introspective instrumentals to indie, and usually within the same song. The Summerlad sometimes seem to be reaching beyond their grasp, as evidenced in the scorching, but uninspired, "Spent the Weak,” but they do hit the mark more than not. A better song to look to is the catchy and perfect "Vallée of Cobras,” with is Broken Social Scene-driven rock or the light, airy and indie "Golden Hammers.” The fact that the best songs are the less epic in scope does not detract from the Summerlad’s ability, as closer "(We Need a) Breakdown Gang” is actually uniformly strong, but these quality nuggets pop up irregularly. The Summerlad are definitely swinging for the fences and from some of the songs here, it will be only a matter of time before they connect. (Saved by Radio)