Label: TSM/SLW 2011
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Although Charge Of The Light Brigade quite simply blend everything from straight rock, to punk, pop and progressive rock on their first full-length, doens't mean that "The Defiant Ones" is short on blistering moments and a distinct formula. Originally the guitarist for Toronto electroc-rock act Mountain Mama, Luke Sneyd's quirky style of songwriting inspired him to put together a new band with a purpose to entertain people no matter what the cost. Ehem, yeah, the gang of four (the others are Jason Eagan, Zack Mykula, Owen Tennyson) have been together as a band for a couple of years and had merely released the EP "We Haven't Been Properly Introduced" in 2010 prior to their rather ecletic debut album.
"Temptation Lies" goes through a couple of cliche' like moments in the style of 'The Killers' (the band) before setting sails and drifting away to the land of plenty and obscure. "The Real Heart" is anything but ordinary, instead grooving away like a more direct version of The Pixies. "Desdemona" speak of eighties indie rock and "Charge!!!" is like a modern day version of music in the vein of The Clash. Sneyd's work and voice has been described as and I quote, "a voice that hasn't been heard since Joe Strummer was laid to rest". Not quite sure if I agree, but he's capable of many things and certainly aware of his strenght and weakness (vocally).
This is no ordinary album, nor is it too weird in my humble opinion, it's merely the result from hours spent listening to those who did things against the grain. They challenge your mind at every opportunity, forcing you to sit up and take notice and most importantly, take a stand. Indeed, it's music to love or hate since you'll either find this too "weird" and "indie" while others may feel right at home. This is frankly just a 'nice' example of the quality independent rock out there. I still believe they can improve though as I miss a couple of real "party stompers" and sing-a-long tunes. Not bad though.