Neins Circa Sunday Anthems

"There’s no drugs running through my veins/I’m just completely plain” protests Cameron Dilworth, creative genius behind Vancouver oddballs the Neins Circa. However, after being smacked upside the head by the adorably warped prog-pop ditties of Sunday Anthems, it’s hard to know if you can really trust him. To make a record this fun, this strange, this cleverly confused, you’d expect special chemicals would be standard equipment. Powered by buoyant melodies, Kurt Weill oompa-loompa, wilfully arcane lyrics and a bucketful of lysergic lo-fi weirdness, the Neins’ first album comes as a welcome panacea for greying indie kids starved for another Neutral Milk Hotel record. Shaun Brodie plays trumpet like the band camp equivalent of a tight-trousered guitar god — all plaintive wails, drunken whoops and seagull squawks. Elsewhere, a revolving cast of backing players kicks up a charmingly amateurish music-hall racket while Dilworth’s gawky tenor bends phrases into all kinds of unusual shapes, lending mouthfuls like "if they’ve got music, they don’t need to understand” ("Happy”) and "customs are unaccustomed to change” ("Father”); a breathless, almost Zen-like quasi-brilliance. (The Blue Curtain)