The Scenics - Dead Man Walks Down Bayview
The Scenics' almost decade long tease is over. The legendary, criminally ignored Ontario punk pioneers have been opening the vaults and sharing a slew of live and demo releases that stake their claim once and for all as one of the more adventurous, enigmatic bands of the 70s punk era.
"Dead Man Walks Down Bayview," features new songs as well as songs they had long played live but never recorded. "This is the silence and the crazy sound/this is the sensation" The Scenics sing in a song off their first record of new material in over thirty years, a record with which they immediately join the short list of artists from the 70s who still have the passion, vision and daring of their youth.
"Dark Cave" is a surprising opener, with its alt-country engine and truly poetic lyrics, a sound that comes to full fruition on the great "When You Come Around." The band quickly shifts gears with "A Fox, Her Fur, and Where She Parks I," a slow shuffle with a whimsical/scatological wisdom made all the more subversive by its comforting delivery. The stylistic variety is everywhere, but within their classic graceful, brooding, minimalist anarchy, as evidenced by "Growing Pains," an epic, psych-drone pop track with memorable, melodic hooks at every turn, and "Miami, "a majestic driving song with a snotty punk edge.
Perhaps the best song on the record, the stunning ballad "I Can't Be Careful," slowly unwinds, revealing its brilliant guitar work and, yet again, deftly poetic lyrics. A close second is "The Farmer," which has one of the more overt connections to their past sound, with its drone, abrupt time changes and pensive meditative feel. The bonus track, "Don't Doubt Yourself Babe," is an apt and inspired cover, as the Byrds -who co-wrote this with Jackie Deshannon-- loom large on a lot of these tracks.
The Scenics, (founding members Ken Badger and Andy Meyers on guitar and vocals as well as co-producers and writers, along with drummer Mark Perkell and bassist Mike Young) are a band mindful of both their own legacy and of those who have paved their way. They are not, however, so reverent of either that they don't dig through them to root out new pathways from them. Both Meyers' and Badger's lyrics are filled with both direct imagery and abstract poetic logic. "Dead Man Walks Down Bayview" is a record of celebration and renewal, Scenics-style. It is also a revelation that makes you hope this is a new beginning for this apparently eternally inspired band.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.