June 1, 2006

Review: Shapes And Sizes | Shapes And Sizes

Shapes And Sizes -- Shapes And SizesToday we're sounding the alarm about the latest and greatest Canadian import, Shapes And Sizes, whose eponymous debut streets July 11 on Asthmatic Kitty. The quartet touts three songwriters with next-level compositional chops who craft fractured baroque pop gems not unlike a morose version of fellow countrymen The Lovely Feathers. Shapes And Sizes shares that band and Islands' fondness for working what we here at ::CC:: call "the silly" or "the wacky." Album opener "Islands Gone Bad" is in the proximity of a fugue that quickly makes all of this apparent: the number waltzes in on a weepy Death Cab guitar riff, but eventually morphs into a bass-heavy bouncer with several saxphones skronking away contentedly. "I Am Cold" downshifts the set briefly for a throbbing, Teutonic and minimalist ballad. "Boy, You Shouldn't Have" closes out the record with a delicious and decidedly Royal City-ish power waltz.

Shapes And Sizes has a lot of competition from its aforementioned countrymen for smartest record of the year so far, but the act distinguishes itself with a singular and dare we say jazzy mix of solemnity and wit, a mix that is delivered with ornamentation but without clutter, with purpose but without haste. As such, the record has earned the special designation as a :: clicky clicky :: Now Sound Fave (which means you'll see the record in the right-hand column sometime soon). Asthmatic Kitty's hosting a download of "Islands Gone Bad" and Toolshed's got the horn-and-piano-driven "Wilderness," and we link to both below. If you dig what you hear, the band has also just finished recording its half of a split 7" Asthmatic Kitty will release in the future with Austin, Texas' Weird Weeds on the flip.

Shapes And Sizes -- "Islands Gone Bad" -- Shapes And Sizes
Shapes And Sizes -- "Wilderness" -- Shapes And Sizes
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