Saturday, 4 February 2012

Review: My Living Will

My living Will - Shallow Sleep (Independent)
My Living Will is a four-piece rock band from the indie music hotbed of Nova Scotia, the maritime province off the coast of eastern Canada where everyone seems to be in a band. The quartet’s eight-track debut is heavily weighted towards a classic rock style, which is underpinned by the songwriting talents of lead vocalist / guitarist Dan Sawler. The other members of the band are James Densley (lead guitar / vocals), Dion Crocker (bass) and Jeff Roper (drums / vocals).

In a crowded genre, it’s often difficult to stand out, but My Living Will are literally making all the right noises. Songwriter Sawler mostly avoids lyrical clich├ęs and is in possession of a fine clear voice. This is successfully contrasted by the band, who eschew slickness for a gritty enthusiasm (is that a hint of Replacements in the mix?) and the result is a record that errs towards “Exile On Main Street” rather than “Slippery When Wet” – if not in sound, then most definitely in attitude.

At just under half an hour, there’s no room for filler, and “Shallow Sleep” doesn’t disappoint. It begins with the sweeping title track, with guitarist Densley raising the temperature with each progression. It’s followed by “Wanted You to Stay”, a slowie, but choppy chords and an intense performance keeps the record on track. “She Knows I Know” is cut from the same cloth and is just as good – it’s studio trickery on the vocals adding another stratum. The album ends with the six and a half minute “Keep It Simple”. You’ll want more, but that’s what ‘repeat’ buttons are for.
Rob F.

My Living Will: Shallow Sleep

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