Gnarwhalz - Foggy Gentlemen (Poncho Records) 
Gnarwhalz - Foggy Gentlemen

Campbell, Chesel, Erik, Gunnar and Peter. Now that's a collection of manly man's names which can only produce fine, chiselled rock music for sure. Well, not exactly. The quintet from Halifax (the Canadian one) actually produce scratchy, awkward indie music like a less slick Vampire Weekend but with wit and a laid back air that suggests they don't give a damn what you think. 'Beast Coast' opens up this short album as the band sing as one about "bros with baseball caps and aviators on" and "with every bottle opened there's adventure being born" as the song goes on for nearly seven minutes to spawn what must be the first sighting of slacker-indie-prog. 'Heading East' is a gently swaying piece of summery indie like Tennis at the end of the night or Weezer on a Sunday morning after a heavy party round the pool while 'Dieter' tells of drug taking doves and vomiting in sinks, naturally.

There is an almost Franz Ferdinand swagger to 'Pleasantly Surprised' but with a definite Atlantic twang before 'Spider Monkey' takes a simple garage riff, throws in some Beach Boys and then does its best to sound like Bryan Ferry or Sparks. There is a certain innocent lack of subtlety about the cherry popping ode to sex that is 'Mrs Beauville' which is hard to resist while closing track 'Years Young' is the kind of song that only a group of good buddies with guitars and beers could write without it sounding like it's trying too hard. I get the feeling these guys will get a tonne of gigs on the basis of being a good laugh and fun to hang around and, baby, there's nothing wrong with that. That's what the church of rock'n'roll was built on. I mean, imagine this as a chat up line "Hey, I'm Gunnar and I'm in a band called Gnarwhalz, wanna get high?". I'm moist already.

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