Various Artists, Record Of The Week Club

VA_-_Record_Of_The_Week_Club_phixrThe idea of Record Of The Week Club is rather simple; bring three different artists from Winnipeg’s Manitoba’s vast musical landscape once a week (Every Wednesday throughout the summer of 2008, if those kind of things are of interest to you) into MCM Studios. None of the artists knew who else was going to be invited. All that was known was their task; write and record a song that night. On Record Of the Week Club, not only is Winnipeg’s diverse roster of artists made apparent, but that diversity is heard in this collection of 16 often outrageous tracks.

It’s not as if Record Of The Week Club is a gimmick record or anything. It’s just that, were one to put this record one without knowing anything about it, the overall sound and aesthetic would be terribly unbalanced and at times, confusing. But to appreciate Record Of The Week Club as what a record should be truly be heard as-a moment in time-then there are more than enough redeeming qualities to keep this disc in your music box for multiple spins.

“Take What You Can,” lends itself to Neil Young, what with its crashing guitars and almost seamless transitions. And “Call Me,” an impossible to contain dance-floor barnburner features the hypnotic vocals of Brandy Zdan, mashed with DJ Grant Paley’s pounding backbeat. Oh, and you can throw in Rachel Moody’s delicate violin in there for good measure. And these two polar opposites of tracks ought to give you an idea of how varied the record is. But until you actually hear it, chalk this one up as one of the most unpredictable releases of the last year.

Not without a dash of starpower, producer Mike Petkau brought in John K. Samson of indie-folk legends The Weakerthans to lend his voice to the Northern inspired “Keewatin Artic,” which garnered many a download before the record was released.

As to be expected, Record Of The Week Club often lends itself to some seriously out-there numbers. This doesn’t detract from the record as much as it does support its vibe. Record Of The Week Club is easy to get lost in; the journey from start to finish is full of characters (49, to be precise) and there’s enough highs and lows to keep you occupied for what, say, an entire summer?

By Joshua Kloke

[Rating: 3/5]

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