March 7, 2011

New Music: Henry and the Nightcrawlers Deliver '100 Blows'

It's a little strange to call the French new wave influenced Vancouver rock outfit, Henry and the Nightcrawlers, a gem of a band. After all, frontman, the titular Henry Alcock-White, played in the B.C. indie band Bend Sinister, while Zachary Gray and Tom Dobrzanski make up the progressive rock duo, The Zolas.

The band also boasts various parts and influences from Kelowna's We Are the City and Said the Whale. But for me, the Nightcrawlers speak more musically and artistically on a different depth and level.

Their debut record 100 Blows is a great mixture of downbeat themes and upbeat melodies. Each track explores the edges of human relationships. I was intrigued by their darkly seriously yet catchy melodic feel live in concert.

100 Blows is moody in the best possible way, creating a musical arc with a distinct dream-like quality. It's remarkable the album never comes off as whiny or self-mocking with its universal themes of forlornness. Songs like "On a Week Night" and "Daytime Friend" bring a euphoric quality of energy with an impactful feel and tone.

The band embodies this nostalgic look and feel of a bygone, more melancholic period of music but bring contemporary sensibilities and style. The music and style of Henry and the Nightcrawlers bears a sharp, remarkable tone embodying the right balance of mood and rhythm.

Photo | Amanda McCuaig / Jonathan Taggart

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