Eamon Mcgrath - Young Canadians
Canada has had more than its share of artists who have blessed us with music of ragged, poetic power, beginning with Cohen, Young and Robertson, on down to (insert current fave here). My current fave is the amazing Eamon McGrath who, even if he wasn't all of 23, would stun with his songwriting and melodic gifts. "Young Canadians" is stunning, and ought to be one of those records that the diggers will find year after year and pass on to their friends.
"Eternal Adolescence" has that Cohen-esque croon, with scratchy, acoustic/electric guitar grittiness; it is brilliant, haunting and defiant. With "Instrument of My Release," a chugging pop driving song, McGrath shows off an acute ear for a good hook, which he displays also with ballads like the alt-country weeper "Johnny Brought the Bottles Back," the atonal, grinding "Great Lakes" and the beautiful, mostly acoustic "Teardrop of the Sun."
With an eye down south toward America, McGrath wears his Westerberg on his sleeve on "Pain of Love," a brittle, jaundiced ballad full of crunchy guitars and unshakeable hooks, the insurgent, Mats-esque "Signals," and, to make it even more explicit, on the epic rocker "Rabid Dog", he gives a poignant shout out to the ghost of the late Bob Stinson.
As with melody, great lines leap out of every song, ranging from the cheeky-" If myself don't kill me, Ill ride off on you," ("Breaking Horses") to the jaundiced, as from the stark abrasive ballad "Auditorium:" "In the auditorium if you say the wrong thing they won't come."
The poetic, garage rock majesty of "Young Canadians" deserves to the shouted from the rooftops, or at least from the pages of many a music website. Eamon McGrath's genius is real, and only beginning to blossom. Let it be.
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