Novillero The Brindleford Follies

Spaced-out and weirdly melodic, with a mysterious brass undercurrent and definitely late '60s Kinks influenced, Novillero is an enigmatic pop band that draws heavily on the past members of Winnipeg's better bands - namely Duotang, Transonic and Bullet Proof Nothing. Singer/bassist Rod Slaughter, who penned most of the songs and sings lead on the majority, has painted on a wide musical canvas the illustrations to sad, if somewhat obscure stories. The titles to some sound like the chapters of a Louis de Bernieres novel ("The Plaguing Of An Ex-Comic's Mind," "The Day The Trumpet Player Fell In Love, And Learned To Hate Men"), which does seem appropriate. There is a magical, deeply romantic quality one finds in literature that is translated here onto a compact disc - an ambitious undertaking, carried out with restrained elegance. (Endearing)