Thursday, November 30


What's say we go someplace exotic now? That's right, I'm thinking we should take a little trip to Canada. Not to Toronto, mind you. Oh no, too typical. Montreal? Forget it. Vancouver? Yawn. Winnipeg? Maybe next time.

No, today, we're off to London, Ontario -- which is somewhere roughly halfway between Toronto and where I live here in the States. I once took a train through London, Ontario. I seem to remember that the station was graffiti-free. That's about all that I remember about it.

But now we have something else to remember London, Ontario, Canada by -- and that would be the band
A Block of Yellow. ABOY break down as follows: Anthony Nastasi sings and plays guitar; Alex Whalley ALSO sings and plays guitar (the seeds of their ultimate break-up are probably sown right here). Dan Tomas has the good sense to play bass and keep his mouth shut. Likewise, Paul Everest -- no troublemaker he -- is content to sit quietly in the back and play his drums.

Temporarily putting aside thoughts of their inevitable future crash-and-burn ego clashes, I can tell you that A Block of Yellow traffics in what they like to call "Hip Pop." In short, it's music that's meant to make you feel GOOD (odd lot, these Canadians). They cite the Clash and the Quarrymen as influences. But also: the Supremes. And ABBA. And: "the Kinks having a pillow fight with Modest Mouse."

So... these guys either have very well-rounded musical tastes, or... they're simply too damned isolated up there in the Great White North to have any idea that some of these artists DO NOT SOUND ANYTHING LIKE some of the OTHER artists. Well, let's leave them in their blissful ignorance, shall we? Canadians are cute that way. Like puppies.

But don't think for a minute that Canadians don't have a yen for making a buck (to mix a monetary metaphor). For, you see, these boys also have product to peddle. They not-so-very-long-ago released their four-song EP, Grow Up or Grow Out, and would no doubt be happy as "Hip Pop" if you shelled out the very few bucks (or yen) required to purchase said EP. In fact, you can do just that by clicking [
here]. Or, get it on iTunes, if you prefer. Either way, the four lads of A Block of Yellow (ABOY) will be tickled pink (to mix a color metaphor). Now... somebody break open a Molson.

A Block of Yellow on MySpace.

[MP3] "It's Almost Over"

[MP3] "Helping Juliana (With Pilgrim Hands)"