January 11, 2007
Rock Plaza Central – a few tracks, a few dates
When a copy of their new album “Are We Not Horses” fell into my hands I didn’t really know anything about Rock Plaza Central. Upon the first listen, I was confused (robot horses???Whaa???) but hooked nevertheless. It took a while to figure out what they are going on about (a post-apocalyptic future where robotic horses, who think they are real, are victorious in a battle against angels…or something along those lines) so thankfully this is a record that lends itself to repeat listens. The music is as complex and wonderful as the lyrics. While the subject matter is science fiction the sound is Americana (Canadiana? they are from Toronto, after all). But this is not your standard country-folk: along with guitar, banjo, mandolin and the other usual suspects, the sound is filled out with xylophone and shakers and a grade 3 choir and horns, amazing horns, which serve to build and build and then blast out in emphasis. The record is almost bipolar in tone, moving from moments of defeat and exasperation, found in lines like “…should tonight we die tonight, dear, there will be nothing left” (on “How Shall I To Heaven Aspire?”), to defiant jubilation with “Be joyful/My children be joyful!” a moment later. An album that deals with existential crises of robot horses (see the title track) is certainly a rare thing and if the theme sounds a bit odd or confusing don’t let it be off-putting. Rock Plaza Central has created an dazzling soundtrack to their unique, finely crafted fantasy world.
They are on the road for the next month or so, so be sure to check them out if you can here:
Saturday, Jan 13, 2007
Ottawa at Zaphod’s w/ As the Poets Affirm and My Dad vs Yours
Thursday, Jan 18, 2007
Guelph at E-Bar w/ The Constantines
Saturday, Jan 27, 2007
Montreal at Main Hall (5390 St. Laurent) w/ Oxford Collapse
Sunday, Jan 28, 2007
Toronto at Lee’s Palace w/ Oxford Collapse and Thunderbirds Are Now
Feb 17, 2007
NYC at The Glasslands (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) w/ Oxford Collapse and Meneguar
Of course I can’t leave you without posting a few tracks. These come from RPC’s visit to Irene’s Pub in Ottawa, with my thanks to MockingMusic.
I am loving the posters for the MM shows: