The last three weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for me, as I’ve been knee-deep in professional development for my real job and so some things at home have sort of piled up. And by “some things” I mean “my desk”. And by “piled up” I mean “Holy crap, where’d all this junk come from?”
One thing that fell on my desk that is most definitely not junk is Kestrels‘ Primary Colours, the band’s debut album. It’s released by Noyes Records, a small indie label based in the band’s home province of Nova Scotia, and it’s certainly been worth the wait for the full album. Already high on my list of favourite songs for ’09 is “Sailed On” and “Our Velocity”, tracks one and two respectively, both impressively blending Sloan’s sense of pop-rock timing and My Bloody Valentine’s guitar drones (albeit at slightly lower volumes and with more instrumentation). The Sloan comparison is a very interesting one, as these fellow Nova Scotians evoke Smeared-era Sloan, whose post-grunge sound lasted for all of that one album before turning to indie pop. You wouldn’t hear anything as overtly rock-orientated on that firs Sloan album as the guitar solo midway through “Plastic Trees”, though. It’s a crazy little riff that could have come straight off a Guns ‘N Roses ballad; it’s not the best–or oddest–thing about the song, though. That title goes to the sweet violin solo that closes the track. Again, not an obvious choice, but one that works nonetheless.
And that is Primary Colours and Kestrels in a nutshell: indie rock music that doesn’t always make the obvious choices. There are times when it doesn’t work, like on the slow-tempo chorus to “Houdini”, which feels a bit too heavy-handed and pretty much slows any momentum the song builds up to a crawl. Things pick up again a few tracks later with the album’s title track and keeps going to the end of the 10-song debut. As an opening statement of intent, Primary Colours passes the Canadian-rock litmus test with, er, the flying variety of its titular hues.
That brings us to the details of today’s contest! Thanks to the good folk at Noyes Records, we have 4 copies of Primary Colours to give away to the good people who read QBiM, and you get to choose whether you want a VINYL copy or a COMPACT DISC copy! All you have to do to get yourself in the game is send an email to CONTESTS [AT] QUICKBEFOREITMELTS [DOT] COM with your name, mailing address, and format preference (CD or vinyl) in the body, and–SKILL TESTING QUESTION TIME–the three primary colours (in any order) listed in the subject line. Contest will close at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4, 2009, but why wait?