Fast Romantics – Afterlife Blues


Matthew Angus, who writes all the songs for Fast Romantics, says the songs on their second album are largely about breakups and generally written in such simple language there is no mystery about the fact. Let’s take his word for that and just focus on the musical flavours offered up by this Calgary band in this decidedly assured collection of tunes. Title track “Afterlife Blues” sounds like it could have been pulled right from the outtake reel of Spoon’s Kill the Moonlight, which means it’s a well-crafted and catchy pop song that starts off sounding sparse before adding a bunch of interesting layers. Similar words could be applied to a number of these songs, and it all adds up to a fun album. “90s Life” is another highlight, the best example to be found here of that thing where you start off with a soft ditty then build it up to a climactic crescendo. It works, which is not as easy as it may sound, so props to Angus and his crew. “White Lights” is one of the most spacious tunes to be found here, and its booming passages would probably have less impact if not for being interspersed with quieter bits. Like most of this album, it feels carefully crafted enough that hearing where it goes makes up for a lack of shock value by simply satisfying. (Pipe and Hat, Daniel Emberg


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