Slowcoaster – The Darkest of Discos

Jan. 11. 2011

“I feel your pain like a punch in the nose. We hang out in the darkest of discos.” Working up his best Hawksley-Sinatra persona Slowcoaster’s disarmingly charming guitarist-vocalist Steven MacDougall wants to squeeze your lemon under the black lights. Given to doling out thrills in carefully considered increments this Cape Breton trio takes you on a deeply intimate tour of their emotionally shattered scrapbook.

Plucky Jamaican strings tug at the broken heart of a teenage girl on “Fragilest Thing” coining a new language for the sake of the inexpressible. Meanwhile “B.Y.O. Life” keeps it tight bringing fully fledged instrumental and vocal arrangements to the street corner. Plenty of whoa- whoa-whoas (à la Sloan) come into play here but it’s certainly not upbeat enough to boost Slowcoaster into Canadian beer commercial band territory. An ode to a disenfranchised social scene “Light Years” aims to “piss on your innocence and disappear” even as “Mexican Guitar” attempts to bail out an ocean’s worth of maternal tears. Criss-crossing the tracks in pursuit of the nocturnal amusement the trite attention-seeker “Speaker” capitulates to the ska-soaked “Town” with its Capleton-esque incantations.

Somewhere between rambling and ambitious The Darkest of Disco’s death-to-love motto wages “War on War” setting girl against girl in a battle for Broadway “where facelifts go to die.” A decidedly armchair calibre album The Darkest of Discos eschews dance-floor glitz in favour of the harsh glare of daybreak on a Sunday morning hangover.