Jets Overhead No Nations

Albums like No Nations exemplify the easy-going, comfortable national identity of Canadians. The kind of stuff you'd listen to whilst driving through the small towns of northern Ontario on a summer's evening, there is no anger, no dissidence and no self-consciousness at all. Both the male and female vocals swim easily with the gentle tide of the music, and the album as a whole rises and lulls without a hint of a storm. Though this sounds painfully boring on paper the production and arrangements bring crystal fragility to some songs and a solid wall-of-sound tradition to others, neither of which are even slightly out of place. The band share with their home country the easy assimilation of a vast array of influences. "I Should Be Born" has all the hallmarks of '70s British psych rock, while "Heading For Nowhere" is certainly a product of the contemporary indie-centric music scene. All this stimulus is contained within the band's greater personality, so that no matter which genre they're leaning towards each song is undoubtedly Jets Overhead. This album is as Canadian as Stompin' Tom Connors, and I honestly mean that in a good way. (Microgroove/Warner)