NO JUNK MAIL PLEASE
By 21 Tandem Repeats
When you read the bio for By 21 Tandem Repeats – yes that ranks up there with the lost unusual band names out there – they talk about being part of Vancouver's underground music scene.
Now the concept of a 'music underground' has always been one I have found rather interesting, and in many ways ridiculous. To begin with, the perception of an underground would be that a band operates outside the mainstream, where most have not heard of them. That makes zero sense for a band. Come on almost every band out there wants to attract a mainstream audience. If you make music, you want as many people as possible to hear it.
For those few bands that prefer general anonymity, they are either playing to a very defined group, see some elitist view in playing without being heard, or are so bad who cares.
So I do hope By 21 Tandem Repeats is looking to grow beyond the underground terminology.
I say that because these guys play some pretty fine tunes.
To begin with, these guys are Canadian through and through. It's cool hearing Saskatoon referenced in a song such as On Frozen Pond, and the former obscure Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden is even mentioned in a song. How much more Canadian can you get?
Beyond waving the flag a bit in their music, and that is good to see in a country where all too often musicians seem to write for Americans, there are some very solid modern/folk/rock songs here.
In particular the lead cut; Summertime Will End When It's Over is a beautiful song. It sets the stage for the soft rock to follow.
Heidi Stopover is another top song, with a sort of haunting quality which works nicely.
While definitely rock, a bit of the old British invasion feel, By 21 Tandem Repeats also show they have a folkie heart, at least in terms of lyrics. These are generally songs which tell a story. The words paint a picture in the listener's mind. Nicely done.
I wasn't sure where this CD might go, but must say I was more than pleasantly surprised by the journey By 21 Tandem Repeats takes the listener. They might be underground, but they shouldn't be. They deserve a broader audience for this fine recording.
Check them put at www.21tr.ca
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Aug. 26, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada