Readymade On Point and Red

Vancouver's Readymade return with their second album, a rather delayed follow-up to 1997's outstanding The Dramatic Balanced. Since then, the band have remained quite incognito, releasing just a seven-inch single, The Block Alone, back in 1999. The time off apparently hasn't swayed Readymade from their mission to create dreamy, atmospheric guitar noise that takes the best elements of old-school shoegazer rock and updates it rather nicely into something unique. The original band line-up remains, with a couple of additions from the now-defunct Pipedream, namely D.T. and Dr. Roberts. The sound has definitely filled out and, more importantly, the songs have become much stronger. There seems to be greater attention paid to melody this time around, and the album weaves in and out of moody instrumentals like "Sam" and catchy hits in waiting like "A Blind Tomorrow" and "The New People." Those expecting a dramatically cleaned up production style should note that the bulk of On Point and Red is actually fuzzier sounding than their first release, with the exception of a couple tracks that are stripped of processing to let the songs shine with nothing more than an acoustic guitar. Electronic sounds are still present, but they are somewhat buried in Readymade's signature mist of guitar effects and reverb. Singer/guitarist Arch allows his voice to come forward a little more, and the overall mix benefits substantially. As a whole, this is a much more enjoyable album, with plenty of hooks to leave a lasting imprint, one that is totally listenable, either as a sleeping aid or something to play at full volume. With the last year's demise of South Pacific, Canada suffered a substantial loss when it comes to bands making music for your head. With Sianspheric's return and Readymade now coming out of hibernation, things are looking good. (Endearing)