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Octoberman
Run From Safety
White Whale Records
www.octoberman.ca


You could compare Octoberman to the alt-country supergroup Wilco. With lead singer Marc Morrissette's slightly strained, fragile vocals and the occasional country riffs that rear their heads, you can notice a similarity. But while it's obvious that Jeff Tweedy is the front man of his group, Octoberman seems a bit more democratic, with the spotlight shared by several backing singers and sometimes the entire band.

If anything, it's an older Wilco that Octoberman sounds like. A Wilco back when the songs featured an abundance of nonsensical lyrics - as if they were to be performed on a back porch. Lyrics like "I caught the flu and away I flew." You had no idea what the hell Tweedy was talking about but you knew he was having fun.

Or, maybe it's Mojave 3 that they sound more like.

Lyrically, these Canadians deliver simple phrases that hold a little more meaning. You know a band doesn't take itself too seriously when they title a song "Shit Just Falls Apart". One highlight is on "Elbow Room" where Morrissette actually sings, "you'd better check yourself before you wreck yourself" and he kind of pulls it off.

One of the album's great tracks is the title track "Run From Safety", a mid tempo shuffle with a touch of slide guitar and drunken Mariachi trumpet. Instrumentally, there's a well mixed variation of horns, harmonica, and guitars throughout the record and the liberal song structures are similar to Bright Eyes, as is the style and sometimes the vocals. You could also compare Morrissette's vocal delivery to Conor Oberst...minus the whiney screams and unnecessary sketches at the top of songs. So maybe they sound more like Bright Eyes.

Overall, Run From Safety is a really good album that will probably suck you in on the second or third listen. And in the end, it doesn't matter who Octoberman reminds you of. Either way, they're great.

-Jon Murray

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