WHO ARE THEY? A Can-Rock supergroup (if such a thing is even possible) featuring four of the country’s finest pop-rock frontmen: Veterans Sam Roberts and Chris Murphy of Sloan, along with newcomers Dave Monks (Tokyo Police Club) and Menno Versteeg (Hollerado).
WHAT IS THIS? A nine-song album that they supposedly tossed together over the course of a few days — and then spent more than a year tinkering with intermittently. Pity they didn’t find enough time to tinker with the (presumably intentionally) crappy, teenage metal band cover art.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? For the most part, it’s precisely what you’d expect from these guys: A short, sharp set of ultra-commercial, retro-minded pop-rock gems. But it also charts its own course, and offers enough surprises that it manages to hold your attention — and add up to more than the sum of its parts.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Four Of A Kind.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? On a playlist with your favourite tracks from their individual bands.
WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Catchy, spry, melodic, tasteful, friendly, accessible, breezy, brisk, bouncy, sweet.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The gently chugging power-pop of Big Night; the lilting Vampire Weekend shuffle-rock of Everybody Cries; the jaunty Only You; the paisley jangle of Fly Francisco.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘Nobody needs to quit their day jobs for this, but it’s still a pretty decent way for them to spend their spare time.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? It’ll pop up on your radar from time to time — mostly when you hear one of the members’ other tracks.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A SEASON, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Spring — just about the time you get the cottage up and running.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? If you already own albums by three or more of these guys, fork over. If it’s two or less, head online.