Expwy – Bag of Waters

Montreal’s Matt LeGroulx seems to have been doing his thing for quite a while now, with two other releases under his belt. Using the name Expwy (not to be confused with Expressway), LeGroulx has compiled here an honest-to-God album, in the purest sense. Bag of Waters is a collection of great songs, one after another, and each very distinct unto itself. If lo-fi was a particularly fashionable genre and approach to production of the late 2000’s, then we can hear in Bag of Waters a renaissance for the term. Expwy is luring the reverb-soaked vocal harmonies, harsh guitar fuzz, and blown-out cymbals beyond the surf-punk and garage-a-delic frontiers that seem to have been the defining points of lo-fi–although many of these songs definitely pass over that territory. This album just sounds new, even while invoking a plethora of older musical modes. The dual-guitar groove of “I Lost a Million Narrow Steps…” recalls Bowie at his raunchiest. “Glinting Buckles…” is aiming at the 60’s by way of the 90’s pop jangling. I can’t imagine where “Pack Away Your Knives…” came from, but it sounds really cool. This album is energetic, unique, and eminently re-listenable. In the era of disposable music, those are great qualities for an album to have.

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