After two scattered and at times, unlistenable previous releases, Montreal’s (By way of Victoria) Shapes and Sizes have finally managed to find their groove as a cohesive and timely act. It’s no small feat for this four-piece to nail that cohesive groove, seeing as how it’s damn near impossible to classify this eclectic release.
It was one of the most enigmatic indie kings who discovered Shapes and Sizes and signed them to Asthmatic Kitty. True to form, the band draws huge influence from him, but also dips into other waters with the kind of restraint that never sounds cautious; only smart.
The bluesy haunt of “Too Late For Dancing” is as catchy a track as you might ever hear not to feature a obvious chorus. What’s more, it features the painfully beautiful vocal work of Caila Thompson-Hannant and settles as one of the stand out tracks on the record.
It could be that the band trimmed Candle To Your Eyes to a lean nine tracks; and while there are points where the record does wander a little too far from home, as on the monotonous drive of “23 and Rizing,” they manage to keep things fairly tight-knit. The sparse arrangements and subtle electronic influences (The hollow but enticing feel of “The Hit Parade”) are definitely something the band should stick to. It’s as if every time they tries to sound larger, such as on the spacey opener, “Tell Your Mum,” they lose control altogether. Candle To Your Eyes still leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s a big, big step in the right direction for a band that has made a name as doing whatever the fuck they want.
By Joshua Kloke[Rating: 2.5/5]