The Olympic Symphonium – The City Won’t Have Time to Fight

Forward Music

The last release from The Olympic Symphonium 2008’s More in Sorrow Than in Anger was a most curious beast — an album that slipped by almost unnoticed on first listen only to secretly weld itself to your self-consciousness forcing you to revisit it much later. This time out the band’s effort is much more immediately satisfying. Whether it owes that to its compressed recording time is irrelevant. What is relevant however is that The City Won’t Have Time to Fight easily cements its rep among those banjo-heavy post-folk acts like The Acorn that Canada seems to be churning out with regularity.

It’s the kind of delicate intimate recording that charms the sad-bastard hipsters as much as it does the easygoing folkies and with good reason. The songwriting is rich the arrangements aren’t overly flashy and the delivery is heartfelt.

Balancing ramshackle charm with studious musicianship The City has plenty of golden moments but none more stunning than album closer “Crowded House.” It’s a hypnotic five-minute crescendo that does exactly what you imagined it would —like an echo of Death Cab For Cutie’s “Transatlanticism” the song builds to an ecstatic swell of lap steel and onomatopoeia before retreating to near silence. It’s a galvanizing conclusion that also offers the promise of something more. It may be hard to top but it leads you to suspect that the band is up to the challenge.