FFWD REW

Githead – Landing

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While he was in Calgary to curate 2009’s Sled Island festival Colin Newman took to the stage with Githead his latest project to churn out a couple of highlight performances. The gigs had a charming straightforward style that fit perfectly with the wit poise and humility that Newman showed as the festival’s musical underwriter. That same character is re-created on Landing .

The disc kicks off with “Faster” an instrumental guitars-and-drums number that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Yo La Tengo record. When the vocals kick in they’re typically reserved and reverb-laden but it’s a style that complements the music well especially on numbers like the light-spirited “Before Tomorrow.” The strength here is simplicity — on each track the players establish a handful of musical reference points and weave predictably back and forth between them never careening into territory that’s too far removed from the original theme. It may not be the most adventurous record of the year but it doesn’t have to be: Instead of dragging his feet through a contrived re-hash of his musical past with supposedly seminal post-punk outfit Wire the veteran musician delivers a tidy package of whimsical gems and the outcome is quite easy on the ears.

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