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coverpic flag Canada - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 13 - 11/14/97

Thrush Hermit
Sweet Homewrecker

AH Thrush Hermit, the scrappy indie rawkers from Halifax, Nova Scotia, whose unique rock'n'roll has warmed our hearts since they left high school not too many years ago.

It took me way too long to add this album to my collection - what a nice record it is. This is the Hermit's third album, (with two great EP's under their belts) and it was released earlier this year on Elektra records, a major label debut for the Hermits (after some controversy last year when they left the beloved Murderecords).

Sure, the songs on this album may be a tad slicker, a little more smoothed over and cool (produced by Doug Easley in Memphis, May 1996) but you can sure tell it's the Hermit's playin' on it! There is no mistaking the slightly nasal forceful, yet gentle vocals on this album, the straight up rock'n'roll style riffs, that East-coast pop twang, or that cocky showman attitude.

A lot of the songs on this record are considerably quieter, the lyrics seem to delve into a new section of the Thrush Hermit psyche, a slightly more personal one. While the Hermits are certainly not strangers to the wistful wish song, the older songs like, um, say All Dressed Up (smart bomb) seem to be focused more on change, and solid events, but this record focuses more on personal relationships. Songs like the single North Dakota, that have lines like: "A look like that only makes me look older, you put your head on the coldest shoulder" (Joel), and "We all went to Puerto Rico, there was nothing to talk about" (Rob, Puerto Rico) , "Don't worry darling you've made your decision, you've taken my heart and left the incision" (Joel, Darling Don't Worry). But there are some very prominent lyrical themes which continue a seemingly popular East-coast theme - distances between people - and which is paid tribute to in many Thrush Hermit songs. If you compare "I phoned you from the highway, you said you'd be here Friday, I was waiting in the driveway, and you didn't show up" (older stuff) to lines in Skip The Life that go: "902-5396, long distance operator don't charge me for this, It's the last conversation passing through these wires", then you can see the link between these albums.

This album has some slightly different tunes goin' on, and it is a friendly expansion to the the Thrush Hermit sound. Songs like I'm Sorry If Your Heart Has No More Room make Thrush Hermit-style passionate vocals into an art, and the softer, almost poignant love songs like Strange To Be Involved bring in some truly poetic and stylish new writing from Rob. (if you haven't noticed yet, I am pretty DAMN impressed with the lyrics on this album, as well as many other TH albums.) Rob seems to be pretty consistently the more serious lyricist, while Joel takes on some more goofy, rawkin angles to pretty much the same thing. Ian only has one song on this album, On The Sneak, which is certainly no less worthy than the others.

Overall, this album is rockin'. It easily competes with Thrush Hermit's independent records, and I don't feel that Elektra has damaged their sound at all. Congrats to this band for putting out a very fine record. I believe the boys are planning on doing some new recordings very soon

Copyright © 1997 Laura Bowman e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Thrush Hermit article/review: Clayton Park.

© 2011 Luna Kafé