The Buttless Chaps
"Love This Time" CD
Genres: indie pop, country rock
PO Box 3613
Canada V6B 3Y6
Dec 15 - 21 2003
wants to be serious, anyway? One of the main reasons The
Buttless Chaps succeed is because they don't take themselves
seriously. Their music is funny from head to toe; their lyrics
joke, mock, parody, and jest - anything for a laugh. And yet,
despite their comedic demeanor, this Victoria four-piece still manages
to create that special type of ultra-melodic, infectious pop that Mint
Records is known for.
Though primarily a country-rock band, on Love This Time,
their fourth album, The Buttless Chaps have taken a step
towards pure pop. Although there is definitely some good ol'
twang here and there, this record is very preoccupied with pulling off
basic melodies - even if it means using some very non-Western
synthesizers. This formula is successful, although some of
the band's best moments come in the times when Dave Gowans
yields his trusty banjo. A song like "Banjee" is a
fine example; its downtrodden, folk-cum-country-cum-rock mixture is
both moody and darn catchy. You can just imagine yourself riding
through the prairie horizon on horseback.
"Brotherhood," similarly, is a wonderful piece of
infectious, dark folk-pop, and the opener, "18 Rabbits" is an
instantly memorable tune, in all its melodic glory.
But the synth-based pop material is a main focus on Love This Time,
and that's what is in abundance. The title-track and "Fresh
Horses" are fine examples; mixing synthesizers with vocals,
percussion, and some nice strings, the latter is a joyous romp with
lyrics based around the human enigma that is Molly Ringwald. I like it,
though I'm more of an Ally Sheedy fan myself. "Shuttle
Systems," meanwhile, is one of the best of its type; hardcore
synths form the backbone for Gowans' strong, infectious vocals,
which are impressively melodic, to say the least.
Love This Time takes a bit of getting used to, but once
you've warmed up to it, it's quite a treat.
[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the
label, released 2003]