Why are the best albums always so damn short? Like the best romances, they never last long – you start to fall in love and then just like that, it’s over. No phone call, no warning, just a reminder of perfection echoed on repeat. It is nothing but a tease, an unfair taste of unfinished love.
All pouting aside, Stay Down, the brilliant albeit tortuous EP from Halifax-based Writers’ Strike, is simply fantastic. The EP’s three tracks (yes, only three) are awesome. They are clever, well-written and hard to forget, and despite its length, this album has everything. Catchy riffs, popsy and even dance-worthy beats, intelligent lyrics and completely stellar vocals round out each song, leaving little to be improved and nothing to change. How often does an album like this come along? It’s a struggle to find something negative to criticize, making this short romance even harder to get over and more difficult to replace.
Stylistically Writers’ Strike fits in the same category as Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire, and Modest Mouse, that high-spirited Indie-pop sound that is taking the world over. The band itself fits nicely into the niche of the “overeducated, underwhelmed and underpaid” (“Stay Down”), a familiar and indie-music loving fan base that will love the sound of Writers’ Strike. The band has clearly been influenced by some other incredible artists, but with their own style and direction, Writers’ Strike may be one of the best bands to come out of Nova Scotia in the past decade.
This is an album that you keep meaning to turn off, but it just doesn’t happen. “Just once more” turns into another two hours, and despite having only three tracks the album never gets tiresome. It’s a muted, classy, and interesting collection of songs that beg to be listened to again and again, and until their next album comes out, that’s what we’ll have to do.
Their debut full-length album will be released in early 2012, but for a taste of Writers’ Strike, download the EP’s title track “Stay Down” below. You can also stream each of the tracks on the band’s website. The band is also embarking on an Eastern Canada tour early next year, so follow Facebook and Pigeon Row PR religiously for regular updates. Writers’ Strike is damn good, and with so much left to show and do, this love affair is bound to go on.
MP3: “Stay Down” from Stay Down: