Bob Kemmis

Arena Ready

BY Scott ReidPublished Nov 1, 2004

Having been a active member of the Canadian music scene for years, bouncing around from 54-40 to the Odds, and yes, even Bryan Adams, Bob Kemmis is hardly a rookie, and his latest record, Arena Ready, certainly reflects this. Though certainly not outright terrible, your ability to truly get into this record will depend on your tolerance for its more slapstick moments like "Let Down,” where he spends the entire track calling off on a group for taking his 40 bucks and then "sucking.” With each record, Kemmis delves further into the David Wilcox school of tongue-in-cheek Can-rock/pop, and most will probably want to pass on several of the album’s other too-coy-for-their-own-good cuts like "Letter to Gotham” and "My Green Shirt,” as Kemmis’ focus seems to have been on couplets like "I had a dog / I loved that dog.” In all seriousness, the record does have its moments, like the lax hooks that make "Freak Luck” an obvious choice for a single or the gentle "Inferior,” but not nearly enough to capitalise or follow through on a talent that, instead, is wasted on half-jokes.
(Red Hare)

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