Reviews in 200 Words

The Rural Alberta Advantage, live at Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC, 3/14/11

In Concert on March 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm


It’s a delicate thing, love. Wanting it, getting it, trying to hold onto it – it’s all about balance. It’ll slip away if your grip’s too slack. It’ll break if you squeeze too tightly. And like a cracked egg puddling in your open palm, love is a messy thing. And a challenge. And maybe it’s impossible – like trying to slide the yolk back inside a broken shell.

The RAA’s new album is called “Departing,” and some say it’s a departure from their first, amazing, arresting album. With more room to breathe, some have called it a step back.

On stage, though, the songs are nothing but forward motion, propelled by bandsaw strumming and the most furious drumming in indie rock. Setting up their gear preshow the band seemed irritated. The tension was palpable, like we were witnessing a lover’s quarrel.

And maybe we were. Because that’s where this band resides – right there, a messy puddle in a hand chapped raw by a Canadian winter. These songs reside in the place between whole and part, between make up and break up, tension and release, residing and departed. Right there in the present participle: departing.

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