The Book of Lists
Red Arrows ep
/global symphonic; 2005/


The Book of Lists, a Vancouver four piece headed by Radio Berlin’s Chris Frey, has shared the stage with a few of the best bands the province has to offer.  Destroyer, Frog Eyes (swoon) and Pink Mountaintops have all shared company with The Book of Lists, and with this EP’s opener “Through Stained Glass” it’s easy to see why.  Red Arrows is the bands first official release, and it should serve them well.  It begins with one of the most pleasing songs I’ve had the pleasure of coming across in my stinky review pile.  See, I’m a softie for Ride and generally anything early and British.  The song begins with distant strumming before drums come crashing in and Frey’s unaffected vocals wax poetic about colors and distance and dreams.  The last two minutes of the song feature a wonderfully elevated section of solo guitar over the fuzz a la similar such passages on Nowhere.  All six songs on Red Arrows are full and densely textured—I’m not referencing Ride for just any reason.  Oh, and here: Roxy Music, David Bowie, Syd Barrett (see “Pacifist Revolt”).

It seems as though BC is getting all areas covered.  They’ve got some of Canada’s best folk (Destroyer), pop-rock (New Pornographers), classic rock (Black Mountain), weird amazing amazing weirdo’s (Frog Eyes) and now that Old British Sound.  But I should really shut up with all this pigeonholing cause this is actually a pretty eclectic EP.  “Neurosis” is a dark pop song with sparse, hard drum hits and a plodding bass; Frey singing lines like “medicine smiles replace the lack in style.”  “Sweet Malady” starts off with quiet electric strumming before the whole song bursts out of the gates and maintains a galloping pace.  The deepest vocals on record accompany this frenetic setting and this adds a nice juxtaposition to the song, which eventually ends with some great group singing.  “Points of Arrival and Departure” ends the EP above par with its cascading guitar and wonderful drum fills and I’m left not feeling just a little bit stupid like I have from the rest of the crappy releases in my review pile.  Like Precious Fathers, The Book of Lists is another BC band to look out for.

 - Andrew Iliadis

/july 1st 2005/