I came of age musically listening to Classic Rock Radio, specifically Q-107 in Toronto. And I came to loathe virtually all CanCon played. (Obvious exceptions: Neil Young and Joni Mitchell when they counted, Rush. No The Band doesn’t usually count.) And so I figured I loathed Chilliwack, though I couldn’t name a song. Another albums I was supposed to listen to this month was Triumph’s Allied Forces and I couldn’t do more than a few songs. (To be fair, I already knew I loathed Triumph. No, I won’t be watching their new documentary.) But this Chilliwack album started with some faux Medieval music and suddenly I was intrigued. Was this what Chilliwack actually sounded like?
While we’re looking at my ignorance of Chilliwack, I should let you know that the only time I can remember hearing “My Girl” is on SCTV. So that should give you some idea of how little I knew about them. Ahem…
Now, let’s get this out of the way: I’m not a convert. This is an ambitious concept album that fails to adhere to its concept for very long – like most do – and that only contains little bits of interesting music. But given my expectations going in – and given the state of this band in terms of its lineup changes – I can’t help but be impressed.
There are some catchy songs here, though the lyrics are usually pretty awful. But more important to me are the faint stabs at making music that rises above mediocre CanCon. Sure, they didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel with anything they try here but at least they tried, right? The answer to my question about Chilliwack really sounding interesting weird is mostly a resounding “no” but there are moments. It’s unfair they start off with perhaps the most interesting (and funny) part of the record and go downhill from there but, again, at least they tried.
Better than I thought it would be.