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Pilot Speed
Wooden Bones
Wind-Up Records
www.pilotspeed.net


The talent from Canada just seems to be flowing right now and right along that path has trickled the mesmerizing sounds of Pilot Speed. Formerly known as Pilate they've been on the scene for nearly 8 years. Now on their fourth full length album, I feel like they're finally getting a chance to really show the States what they're worth.

Wooden Bones is a trip through the subconscious of pretty much anyone you might know. It takes you through the nitty gritty of love and life. "Put The Phone Down" is the first track on the album and it breaks down a love story into catchy lyrics and melodic hooks that compare themselves easily to Snow Patrol. Following the SP sound is a beautiful song called "Bluff." Starting off the 3:20 pause from life is a piano and the delicate sound of Todd Clark's vocals on top. Eventually the tempo strikes up, but never enough to really take away from the original feeling. I jump down to "Where Does I Begin" for a good reason. The drastic change in sound when this song starts causes the intrigue to grow and then a confusing question pops out: "what kind of band is this?" That delicate notion is gone and instead a raw alternative one has taken its place. The vocals are angry and stripped down, all the way to a point of a Blue October level. Along with the actual lyrics you nearly expect "hate me today" to randomly come out. The next song doesn't really help in answering the looming question. In "Today I Feel Sure" the band tries their hand in computer effects, but not in the typical way. Rather you hear what sounds like a computer keyboard, hooked up to a monitor and a few notes/keys are set to accompany the percussion. The presence of a guitar is pretty much lost on this one, but it leaves way for those effects and a high school-style drum section. The title track "Wooden Bones" comes in unexpectedly; instead of the common 2nd song placement, this one's 2nd from the end. And for a title track, it's also surprisingly tranquil and slower. The power of this song doesn't come in for nearly 3:00 (and it's a 4:25 song). However, once those rock guitar riffs explode and the electric notes come plucking out, this song completely transforms.

The album ends in a mixture of poetry and proclamations. "Our lives are fading thin/Hey brother are you out there?/My hopes' alive within/Hey brother are you out there?" are just some of the inspirational lyrics from "Open Arms." The sound in this song is really rather simple. The drums don't do much more than add a gentle background noise. But, it's the vocals and the guitar that seem to go brilliantly hand-in-hand. Both elements integrating into each other so perfectly that you could almost miss the organ. Yeah sure, they could've rocked out the end of the album, but instead they had you singing along in a very uplifting fashion.

The promise of amazing musicians from Canada has me very excited. It's like an untapped resource for the industry. And with a band like Pilot Speed doing their part, I have a feeling that there's going to be so much more in store for us not only from the band but from the country as well.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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Mike Doughty



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