Tacoma Hellfarm Tragedy Dirty Water Flows

The debut full-length from this Guelph quartet opens with the quietly menacing "Ballad of Sir January Frank,” which sets the tone for a spooky ride through the backwoods of Ontario. With a mix of twang, feedback, and old-fashioned storytelling, the band most readily recall the paradoxical sound of My Morning Jacket. As a group, they equally manage the arrangements well, with each member chipping in on vocals and a variety of instruments. And while the album starts off slow the THT get up to sufficient rocking speed on "Good Old Gal,” and the Cracker-ish, horn-driven "Thin Rose & Tall.” Although Dirty Water Flows may be too far on the lo-fi end of the spectrum for some listeners, that attitude lends a Basement Tapes-like charm to songs such as "Whiskey & Cryin’” and "You Ain’t Nothin’ (That I Ain’t Ever Had).” Overall, the THT are a refreshing new presence on the Canadian alt-country scene. (Independent)