Paperbacks An Episode of Sparrows

Some people just work well together. As part of the Bonaduces, Doug McLean, Janet McNabb and Jack Johansson managed to find a loyal enough following that their demise was greeted with a certain amount of sadness. Since then, McLean was involved in another band, Painted Thin, but it wasn’t until he reunited with his former band-mates that things began to fall into place again. The Paperbacks find the three joined by Jason Churko (Transistor Sound & Lighting Co.) and Tanya Zubert (the Mandarins), and this wealth of talent sounds better than the Bonaduces ever did, ensuring that all those other bands will be forgotten very quickly. An Episode of Sparrows is an incredibly polished and even mature album for a band’s debut. They sound like a less political Weakerthans. That doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to say — they just tend to conceal it better with more cryptic lyrics and sweeter tunes that take a while to expose themselves. An Episode of Sparrows is a very likeable record, right from the very first listen and it just gets better and better with time. This is one of the best Canadian albums I’ve heard this year. (Pshaw!)