Last Dance at the Shockcenter
Last Dance @ the Shockcenter (Canada Lynx Records) Roadbed, comrades of genre mash-up and self-referential hijinks, are back with a new record dedicated to their old headquarters, the Shockcenter. Roadbed are masters of disguise, musical and personal, and like your favourite 'uncle' they never let the truth ruin a good story. Their music may be autobiographical, but it's also accessible, thanks to a humble interest in life's failures as well as it's triumphs. Stylistically and thematically Last Dance finds the band as focused as ever. Let's see, there's jazz, rock, pop, ska, friendship, lost love, bass fishing, self-confidence, family, chess, loyalty, lynx and tigers, good natured hooliganism, creativity, isolation, preservation, self-doubt, making music, the shy and secretive Rallus limicola, and of course, food. But that's what happens when your imagination bone is connected to your determination bone. In the first three songs you'll find proletarian hand-claps, a perfect pop coda, and the best prog fantasy this side of your local SCA. Later tracks highlight the bands tight arrangements and eccentrically dense compositions fleshed out with strings and horns. This record is more than just a scavenger hunt though. There's another element that creeps up on you just like it has on the band - maturity, but it's a modest maturity, the kind that's been tempered by disappointment but refuses to abandon it's dreams or be swindled by the cheap comfort of nostalgia. Twilight, reflection, and turning thirty-five seem to go together so well that you might just sit there contemplating your way to irrelevance. Roadbed, on the other hand, are settling their accounts with the past and cleaning out the closet they will need to hold new ideas. By Lap.