Tag Archives: Arkells

Short of Able – “The Last One’s Gone”

Music aficionados everywhere love discovering new albums. We have our favourites, but we’re always looking for different bands to love and new albums to excite us. Once in a while, we get a band that does exactly that: exceeds expectations, knocks us down and completely takes over our music playlists. This year, one of the very best bands to do that is Short of Able.

With their second full-length album, Short of Able seems to have come out of nowhere as a musical powerhouse. The Edmonton-based band has used bucketloads of talent and a fresh and well-developed sound to create a fantastic new album that is already considered one of the highlights of 2012. Named The Last One’s Gone, the album is completely and entirely magnificent, a 15-song collection of awesomeness set to music. It’s good. It’s really good. And whether you’re looking for something soft and sad (“You Know”), upbeat and rocky (“Fraggle”) or twangy and kind of country (“Last Call”), you’ll find something to love.

Short of Able is one of those great bands that can’t be clearly defined. They sound like everyone and like no one, and it really takes a whole list of comparable acts to even try to describe them. Think a combination of Hinder, Three Doors Down, Everclear, Arkells, Default, Thrice, Tom Petty and the universal appeal of the Foo Fighters, all rolled into a unique package that sounds like none of them. Generally they’re an acoustic alternative folk-rock pop, with songs you can sing to but aren’t quite able to copy. They carefully walk the line between familiar and ordinary, offering a sound everyone will like without being bored by, and in doing so have created an album that will go down as a lasting favourite.

The band’s skills are shown in different ways throughout the album, from the solid guitars and percussion to the gorgeous voice on lead singer Justin Wisser. Really, though, it’s the combination of these things that make the music so powerful. They blend together and complement each other well, and the harmonies and tones created are what resonate so strongly in the guts and soul of the album. It’s a well-developed, well-executed album, and Short of Album pulls it all together with clear perfection, balance and natural chemistry.

Short of Able really needs to be heard. The Last One’s Gone will be officially released October 20 at Edmonton’s Avenue Theatre, but for a taste of the band’s sound check out the album’s lead single, “Bring It On Home”. Short of Able is also getting attention for their newly released video, “Songs from the Streetcar”, and the band’s website has a ton of other music samples. Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and love them in real life: they’re exciting and new, and they’re going to be huge.

Short of Able - "The Last One's Gone"

Of Gentlemen and Cowards – “Warminster”

There’s a lot to be said for hometown pride. Most bands know it: people at home are our biggest supporters and they’ll talk about us ’til the cows come home. Home and fan support drive us forward, and whether our achievements are big or small we know the fans will be there to cheer us on. With the entire city of Hamilton, Ontario and McMaster University behind them, Of Gentlemen and Cowards has huge things in the works and an incredible future on the horizon. If you haven’t heard of these guys yet you will soon: the four-piece just won a spot on the Late Show with David Letterman and will be broadcast to millions on Monday, September 17, a gig of a lifetime for most bands and a definite dream come true. A fabulous intro to the band and a record we’re all talking about is their new 7″ single, Warminster.

Released in August 2012, Warminster gives a great taste of the band’s sound and possibilities. Like most singles, this one’s not long enough – but that’s a definite good sign. It’s a major tease, and the torture of wanting more is painful at best. They’ve given us eight great minutes of catchy pop-rock, an energetic and fun display of talent and audience-friendly songwriting. They know exactly how to create music that will take them places, putting together a sound that fits on mainstream radio while also finding a home in the collections of audiophiles and music snobs alike.

They’ve been described as alt-folk-pop in their sound: using harmonicas, a children’s choir, and great guitar solos, as well as solid vocals and some bluesy riffs, Of Gentlemen and Cowards might be compared to bands like The Decemberists, Third Eye Blind, Foo Fighters or John Mellencamp. It’s possible to associate them with The Arkells as well, but this is an urge to be resisted. Throw together catchy melodies, uncomplicated lyrics and pieces of folk, pop and rock and we’ve got something to admire.

Of Gentlemen and Cowards is a band you need to listen to. And guess what: you can! Warminster is available for free (yes – free!) on the band’s website. Check them out now while you can and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. The Letterman show is just a stop on their trip to fame, and Hamilton is behind them every step of the way.

Of Gentlemen and Cowards - "Warminster"