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CD of The Week

Week of 12/09/19

    Anyway Gang - Anyway Gang (Royal Mountain)

    Seemingly emerging out of nowhere earlier this fall, Anyway Gang is a Canadian supergroup of sorts made up of some long-time Y-Not faves. Our neighbors to the north joining forces are Sam Roberts (of Sam Roberts Band, obviously); Tokyo Police Club singer Dave MonksChris Murphy, singer/bassist for veteran power-poppers Sloan; and Menno Versteeg of Hollerado (who just announced their impending breakup).

    The band came together informally, as the four friends were casually hanging out and working on songs together, with an ethos of a "three-chord maximum" on all tunes. Their self-titled album kicks off with the single "Big Night," a fun, big jangly rocker led by Roberts that documents a night on the town which goes downhill into a drunken mess by its end.

    "Square One" features some strumming guitars and a rolling piano, with Monks on vocals, sounding similar to his solo work. "I'm Just That Good" is a classic, straight-up power-pop song and of course the most Sloan-sounding track on the record. The gentle "Fly Francisco" chimes like it's straight out The Byrds' catalog. And it all wraps up with "Lost Boy," the closest thing to a Tokyo Police Club track here, with Monks on vocals over a fuzzy bass and synthesizers.

    Clocking in at barely a half-hour, Anyway Gang is perhaps a lower-stakes, Canadian equivalent to The Raconteurs. A group of talented friends simply making music together for the fun of collaboration. Who knows if there will be more to this project beyond this album, but it's a pretty sweet stocking stuffer surprise here at the end of 2019.
    Review by Joey O.

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