Fjord Rowboat Under Cover of Brightness

To lump Toronto, ON five-piece Fjord Rowboat with the active nu-gaze scene would be appropriate, but somehow empty. While many of the band's contemporaries utilize shoegaze's fuzz-stained, pensive script as a blueprint, Fjord Rowboat choose to use it as a canvas. Under Cover of Brightness (the band's sophomore release) translates lo-fi into high drama, as songs like "Even You Out" and "Underwater Hero" bravely thrust keyboardist Craig Gloster's vocals high into the mix, allowing his docked-ship-howl to sound anthemic. The remainder of the album benefits greatly from Matt Collum and Justin Grant's sonic ebb and flow guitar work, allowing songs like "The Only Ones" and "Cottonwood Glacier" to sound equal parts brainy and brawny, while album highlight "When I Speak of Violence" comes off just as menacing as the title suggests. Under Cover of Brightness is an affecting piece of work that shows Fjord Rowboat too focused on their craft to worry about how their shoes look. (Independent)