Supers Mystery On Pop Mountain

Toronto's the Supers managed to find a comfortable niche for themselves with their debut record, Spklanng!, an irresistible collection of pop gems that won them a lot of fans. Mystery On Pop Mountain, their second album, takes the band in a new direction, turning their back on their power-pop roots and finding them dipping one foot into the welcoming waters of country music. And while that could be a big mistake for an established band, the Supers make this sound like an effortless transition, ending up just as accomplished in any genre. With this new outlook, the Supers begin to sound like that great under appreciated Canadian band Blue Rodeo - their laid-back country style is very easy to listen to and the simple arrangements help to showcase the band's songwriting abilities. When there isn't a steel guitar dominating the proceedings, the acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies make the songs reminiscent of the Everly Brothers. They even dust off a couple of their own songs and re-record them, making them sound better than ever. Throw in a couple of inspired covers (including a twang-laden version of A-Ha's "Take On Me" and the resultant record feels a lot more cohesive than you'd expect from a collection of tracks recorded for the CBC. Another impressive release from a band that just gets better and better. (Independent)