Learning to Live on Poison.[CD]
It has become a common place to credit the deathly cold of Montreal's lengthy winter season for the hot-chronology of creative outpour that has entered the global music scene from Canada's tiny heart-shaped island. Archivist's debut release Learning to Live on Poison, does not present an exception to this particular rule, though it will inevitably be accused of challenging a great many others. Is there not a law against literary lyrics over shake-your-ass drumbeats and synths that turn your aural canals into ecstasy-riven sex organs? Rapier irony and scathing confessionalism framed by pop-luscious arrangements and achingly sweet vocal harmonies? If there is no such law, why is it only now that such a collection of recordings has emerged? Beginning as a home-recording project, Ben McCarthy (writer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist) invited a number of his talented and generous friends (including members of the Dears, Sunset Rubdown, Pony Up and Land of Talk) into his chilly bedroom-come-studio on the lonely side of Mile End to help him fully realize his sonic vision. The result defies even the eccentric, hyphen-ridden genre-generation of these late-postmodern days: lit-rock, folk-wave, existential-party-pop, whatever it's denomination, this is an album whose dark poignancy will embrace you in the stark umber of the sleepless four a.m. morning, in the crowded, rush-hour subway, or squeezed between the sweaty and undulating bodies of utter strangers in the thrumming of an endless loft party. It has been said that ours is the first generation that will learn to take nourishment from toxin. Archivist's Learning to Live on Poison (to be released independently June 2nd), bears witness to, archives, this becoming, this everyday event of surviving on what would do us in.
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