Thursday, December 17, 2009

You Should Have Loved Them When You Had the Chance

Originally published in a December issue of prairie dog magazine.

You Should Have Killed Us When You Had the Chance


Saved By Radio

4 dogs

Proof there’s no God: The Parkas were twice as good as Two Hours Traffic, yet somehow failed to reach even half the national profile of the Two Minute Miracles. The Parkas played their final show last July in Toronto and you probably didn’t even know they existed until you read this paragraph. WTF, my friends?

You Should Have Killed Us When You Had the Chance comes to us like an infant in a rocketship from a doomed planet. Each song is a feat of strength magnified by our yellow sun and lesser gravity. “Isolation Pay” is David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” ferociously played as if an outtake from This Year’s Model, the lyrics rewritten as a convincing blue collar anthem. “Bad Comedian” is one of two odd setpieces (the other is the brilliantly simple “Face the Facts”), a roman a clef that recalls Toronto writer Jason Anderson’s overlooked 2005 novel Showbiz in the way it plies the tragedy out of comedy and then socks it right back. “Brighton Hurricane”, “Don’t Say No” and “The Gang’s All Gone” are prime examples of the meaty, muscular brand of rock the Parkas have always excelled at. “Goodnight, Nemesis” calls back to the themes of the Parkas’ first album, 2003’s Now This Is Fighting, and highlights how the band has matured. Back then, on “Giants in My Field” the Parkas cheekily riffed on Aretha, spelling “R-E-V-E-N-G-E, find out what it means to me.” Now, older and wiser, they broodingly tell us “Sometimes justice is just a grudge." You Should Have Killed Us... shows a band that held on to all that was good and interesting about itself and continuously found new ways to make it work.

mp3: "Face the Facts" by Parkas from their new, final album You Should Have Killed Us When You Had the Chance

mp3: "Scam the Tram" by Parkas from their first album Now This is Fighting

mp3: "Get on the Cardboard" by Phasers on Stun, a pre-Parkas band featuring the world famous Rhyno Bros Rhythm Section

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