CHRIS WOLLARD AND THE SHIP THIEVES: Canyons: CD/LP

I’m not a Hot Water Music fan. All I know is that Chuck Ragan is one of two singers. The other singer, it turns out, is Chris Wollard. And he has a back-up band called The Ship Thieves. The four of them play rock and roll that’s different from Hot Water Music but still quite enjoyable. Sometimes I hear the Replacements or other ‘80s college rock, and other times it’s just rootsy, southern-influenced rock’n’roll. The ten songs clocking in at thirty-seven minutes include some acoustic and slide guitar, electric piano, and organ, as well as the regular rock instruments. I’ve listened to this album a few dozen times now and it’s still hard for me to put my finger on what it is I like about it. Sometimes, as a reviewer you just want to shout, “IT’S A GOOD ALBUM! JUST BUY IT!” And then hope everyone knows what all your thoughts and feelings are that are included in that exclamation. My point is; the past couple of years I’ve received some albums released by No Idea Records to review and everything I’ve heard I’ve enjoyed or at least could respect. I would add Canyons to both categories.

 –kurt (No Idea)