Toronto, Ontario roots rock band The Key Frames is comprised of banjo player Theo Edmands, guitarist Rob Webster, drummer Dan Schwartz, bass player Ryan Higgins and guitarist Brian Passmore. The band, which recently toured the Maritimes on a nine date tour promoting their latest album “Out on the Point,” is a delightful group of musicians with a unique, interesting and cheery sound that brightens up the mood of its listeners, while delivering an ear-pleasing experience.
After a successful gig at the NXNE showcase, as well as a record release launch party at the Dakota Tavern, it is no wonder this quintet is a band that everyone should keep their eyes on.
“Out on the Point,” the latest release from the band, is an incredible album of music that showcases the bands diversity and celebrates the overall depth of each band member. Every musician does their part by playing their instrument of choice, but they also send up different members of the band to grasp the microphone on lead vocals during their songs.
The album begins with “The Divide,” a song that could remind listeners of strolling Toronto’s streets during the summer, or driving in a convertible, top down, wind blowing through the hair. The song bursts with positive music and makes you want to smile while listening to every word sung.
Next up is “Steal You Away,” a more country influenced song that features exciting banjo work and a continuation of great band cohesion that stems from “The Divide.” You can tell by listening to this song that The Key Frames are all about creating happy and fun tunes that encourage listeners to sing along.
“The Ballad of Eleventh Concession” slows down the tempo of the album. The song illustrates and describes a person’s home town life and how one could possibly miss it more then you could ever imagine. The song reminded me of staring into the stars of a small town’s sky, which would never be visible during big city life.
“Feel Like a Fool” transports the album back to an uplifting style of music. The song has the vibe and feel of a rhythm and blues rock song such as “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry, with the very evident addition of a piano and banjo. You could almost swing dance to this pleasing piece created by The Key Frames.
“Can’t Kiss you Again” definitely shows that The Key Frames are admirers of country music. The song IS country in every shape and form. The song showcases the band’s diversity and ability to shift gears into a completely different style of music, as well as shift the overall tempo and feel of the album. The song adds another layer to the listening experience of The Key Frames, a pleasant change.
“Weren’t We the Ones” is a tale of a man wanting a woman who doesn’t seem to want him back. The song is about love and how your life should be filled with it. Again, The Key Frames show their diversity. The song is simple, but delivers a message which is right on the money. It features an outstanding guitar solo midway through that only adds to the overall brilliance of the tune and the album as a whole.
As the album progresses the listener stumbles upon “Our Age.” Have you ever gone out and had a night at the bar where you wake up with no money, no recollection of what happened the night before and only pictures and stories from friends to remind you that the event actually occurred? “Our Age” describes one of those nights. The song sounds like something you would hear blasting through the building of your local pub, while listeners raise their pint glasses with cheers of admiration for the band playing. The feel good tune should be played by every bar to appease their beer swilling regulars.
The album continues with “It’s the Women,” a song that describes the transition from girl to woman and all the good and bad that could come with it. Lyrics such as “When we were young we built a tower in the sky, as she grew she built a ladder with her lies” shows that just because you grow up does not necessarily mean you always mature positively with age. The Key Frames deliver a message with this song, similar to the way they did earlier in the album with “Weren’t We the Ones.” An admirable trait of the band that does not occur as often as it should in today’s age of music.
“The Bullet to Lay me Down” may not sound like the title of a cheerful tune and the lyrics that accompany the title don’t speak this way either, but the overall feel of the song is exactly the opposite. The lyrics of the song could remind you of Louis Armstrong’s “I’ll be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You.” The mix of the enjoyable music and the slightly disturbing lyrics could be described as confusing, but The Key Frames present the song well and pull it off.
As the album nears to a close The Key Frames really deliver a winner with “Frowntown.” Picture snapping your fingers and stompin’ your foot to an energetic and satisfying combination of great vocal work and almost “honky-tonk” instrument melody and you’ve got one of the best tunes on the album.
The Key Frames close out the album with “A Light is Gonna Shine,” a soft closer to a magnificent album of work that creates a down tempo atmosphere while still expressing love and joy for its listeners. The band describes that no matter what happens “Someday a light is gonna shine on you.” The statement is a powerful and respectable close to a body of work that breathes signs of success for this up and coming band from Toronto.
Overall, The Key Frames delivered with “Out on the Point” and should be proud of the album. If you’re a fan of a rocking good mix of roots rock and country with a bit of an old fashioned bluegrass then pick up a copy of this album at the band’s official website.
Published by: MizRebelRecords
Published article link: http://mizrebelrecords.com/reviews/2011/09/19/out-on-the-point-%e2%80%93-the-key-frames/