Yardsale Sweet Pea

The new CD from Vancouver's Yardsale begins with the line, "Hockey cut, big-ass truck/Dog in the back chewin' on a hat," which hardly sounds like a common "Vancouver" image, but this folksy foursome had me convinced that they truly understood the earthy charm of mullets and pickup trucks. This spare collection of songs was proudly recorded at front-man Steve Mitchell's apartment, and its acoustic, unplugged feel is well suited to the poeticisation of trailer parks and desert highways. The whole album feels like it should be played like a sing-along on someone's front porch on a dusky summer evening; "Creosote" (not the Son Volt song) has a refrain that seems designed for everyone to join in. There are lots of Flatt and Scruggs-style banjo and harmonica to add to the down-home feel, and on lilting tracks like "If You Get There Before I Do" and "Had a Flash" the harmonies virtually soar. (Independent)