I don’t know much about living in Vancouver. My travels there are limited to busy areas: Gastown, Commercial Drive. Even the arcadian pleasures of Stanley Park suffer from the omnipresent glass towers of a busting downtown. No wonder the historical prevalence of the city’s punk scene, rife with aggression, anxiety, suburban dysfunction.
The great strength of “Gang Crimes” is the ability to settle such urbane issues with great clarity. A subtle discomfort steeps the record in melancholy without roaring or baring its teeth. The arrangements lay a perfect backbone: slow-building guitar lines anchor a roving and almost playful bass ideology.
I’m reminded of “Volume 1” era Besnard Lakes — understated, minimal, deliberate, ambitious. And did you notice the influence of Calgary folk superstar Kris Ellestad, who recorded and mixed the record?