David Vandervelde The Moonstation House Band

Sounds like someone’s got a bit of a thing for ’70s rock. Well, not enough for this to be a complete rip-off but more of an homage to certain artists, most notably T. Rex. Hell, just take a gander at the title of the album. This is most apparent in the rip-roaring and extremely fun opener "Nothin’ No.” Beginning with a stomping drum and layered electric guitar, it sets the mood instantly along with Vandervelde’s charmingly strained voice. Indeed, looking at the incredible amount of instruments that Vandervelde played on this effort, it seems every pore of this album comes from his fertile mind. Things aren’t always up-tempo, as introspection reigns over the faux-orchestral "Corduroy Blues.” It works but it seems Midlake had the same ideas and achieved them in a more emotionally connecting way. Vandervelde gets back to his strength on the great "Murder in Michigan,” where vocal harmonies, tack piano and shuffling percussion imbue a great energy in an otherwise softer sounding song. Vandervelde hasn’t crafted a perfect album but it is quite inventive and engaging, and for those with a fondness for a certain ’70s sensibility there is much to enjoy. (Secretly Canadian)