Five Star Trailer Park, Groove Kings & Matt Kearney

Five Star Trailer Park – The Fight That Broke Your Heart: For naysayers who think passionate radio rock is dead, check out Five Star Trailer Park’s debut album. The Fight That Broke Your Heart is chalked full of classic rock anthems stemming from a barrage of power chords, dead-honest lyrics and Canada’s tightest, driving rhythm section. Like their influences, Hawksley Workman, The Barenaked Ladies and Alanis Morisette, Broke Your Heart is void of any obvious studio tricks and reclaims the art of hook laden rock n' roll. Songs like, “All My Friends,” “Goodbye Caroline” and “Leave the Light On” are all melodically intricate and will quickly become the soundtrack to your daily life. Currently in the studio recording the follow-up, FSTP will soon be your new favourite band. (Independent) ~ 4 Stars

Mat Kearney – City of Black and White: “Tired of the same song everyone’s singing” is a line Mat Kearney throws out quickly on his opener, “All I Have,” and it bites him in the ass just as fast. City of Black and White is full of mid-tempo melodies and slow build-up anthems that Coldplay, Counting Crows and Pete Yorn have all perfected over the years. You cannot help but feel you have heard these songs somewhere before (and ten times better). Vague lyrics, cute meandering piano lines and an overall sense that even Kearney is bored with himself ends in no payoff for the listener. (Columbia) ~ 2 Stars

Groove Kings – Blood Red: Montreal duo The Groove Kings are your classic house band that play an ‘80s mix of blues, soul and light jazz. This may seem like an uneasy mix in 2009 but producer/guitarist Howard Forman has written some strong songs to back up the seemingly dated sound. It helps that lead vocalist Irene Marc sings with such a fierce conviction that it shatters you to the core. After multiple listens, I realized that The Groove Kings tapped into what Bob Dylan was attempting to create back in the ‘80s with his collection of albums featuring bright horns, girl harmonies and blues-y guitar licks. Now imagine what it would sound like with the right songs and done with pure emotion and passion – that's what The Groove Kings sound like. (Visual Music) ~ 3 Stars

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