The Warped 45s The Warped 45's

The cool name hints at a garage rock but this new Toronto outfit have a roots rock sound. A damn pleasing one too. The line-up includes Mark Gabriel (of the fine Holy Microphone) and cousins Ryan Wayne and Dave McEathron, and it’s immediately obvious that these cats are no novices. They cover way more terrain on these six songs than most groups do over a whole album. The disc kicks off with the full-blooded country gospel feel of "Why Have You Passed Me By, Grim Reaper.” It’s a bit evocative of the Band, as is the mandolin and piano-driven "Radio Sky,” a lovely song with the following killer lyric: "Let my headstone be my favourite jukebox loaded with the songs of my friends.” "Turners Alley” has a Counting Crows meets the Thrills feel, while "(bring on that) New Depression” features the strongest vocal performance. Different lead vocalists add to the dynamic range, as do cameos from Andrew Penner (Sunparlour Players) and Annelise Noronha. Keeping all the elements nicely on track is producer John Critchley (13 Engines). On the rollicking "I’ve Been Around,” the Warped 45’s sing, "Until I write a good song, this’ll have to do,” but they lied. They’ve come up with six winners here, and we want more. (Independent)