(Dine Alone Records)
By Keith Sharp
It may have taken Hamilton Ontario’s Arkells four releases to truly find their groove but with the release of that fourth record, ‘Morning Report’, they have succeeded in releasing what this writer deems to be a creative masterpiece.
Not that there was anything wrong with those first three albums; `Jackson Square’, `Michigan Left’ and High Noon’ which all enjoyed their own level of success between 2008 and 2014. Yet even as they were chalking up Junos for Best New Group (2010) and Group Of The Year (2012 and 2015) you got the sense that lead vocalist/guitarist/chief songwriter Max Kerman, vocalist/guitarist Mike DeAngelis, bassist Nick Dika, drummer Tim Oxford and keyboardist Anthony Carbone were still searching and developing their own distinctive style.
To label them `alt rock’ just meant most fans and supporters hadn’t quite figured them out, but with `Morning Report’, Arkells have emerged with a record of such stunning clarity that it totally eclipses anthing they have created before. Melding contemporary dance beats and samples with hook-laiden vocals, gospellish vocal backing tracks and infectious instrumental arrangements, Arkells have fashioned 12 new tracks that just flow from the opening “Drake’s Dad” to the closing “Hangs The Moon”
[styled_box title=”The Arkells – Private School” color=”black”][/styled_box]
‘Morning Report’ is a coming of age benchmark for Max Kerman. Whether he’s writing about the pain of lost love as he does in “Come Back Home” and “Passenger Seat”, the joys and pains of a romantic relationship with the superb “My Heart’s Always Yours”, the infectious autobiographical “Drake’s Dad”, Kerman’s ode to friendship with the rousing sing-a-long “A Little Rain” and the stylish arrangement on their first single “Private School”, Arkells prove conclusively that they have really found themselves.
An all-around superb record which serves the band well as they embark on another tireless round of national and international tour dates.` Morning Report’ is at least five singles deep. Be prepared to listen to songs off of this record for a long time to come.
Download: “Drake’s Dad”, “Private School”. “My Heart’s Always Yours”, “Passenger Seat”