Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.
It’s a good day for weirdo pop music in Toronto. Following 2008′s Life is Legal EP, Josh Reichmann returns with Crazy Power, out today on Paper Bag Records. It’s a spastic, genre-bending collection, layered thick with instruments, ideas, and endless, relentless hooks.
Getting a little help from his Oracle Band—which, on record, includes Sebastian Grainger on drums and both fellow-ex-Tangier and ex-Thrush Hermit/current T.O. indie-rock-everyman Ian McGettigan on bass—Reichmann has created an album of studio experimentation complementary to his songcraft. The mostly self-recorded, self-produced opus fuses bits of soul, jazz, funk, and just the right amount of post-punk energy (and fuzztones) to keep the cool kids interested; Crazy Power can’t help but catch the ear of even the most jaded listener.
Trying to process everything going on in each song can either be really exhausting or really fun. Some examples of how much attention Crazy Power demands from your wee ears: just when all of the squawking keyboards are at risk of becoming a little too cartoony (“Fractal Web”), the track moves smoothly into a calm chorus, leaving your click-wheel happy thumb in the cold; “Sea at Night” closes its funk-pop romp with a scratchy guitar line so catchy, simple, and joyful, it’d probably even make U2 jealous; and you’d be forgiven for mistaking album opener “Spirits Don’t Leave” for TV on the Radio—opening with authoritative bass and drums, Reichmann slithers in almost unnoticed until the layered falsetto soars through the chorus, the accompanying keys and horns still not doing anything to convince you it isn’t the Brooklyn band. This isn’t a bad thing.
Josh Reichmann Oracle Band brings its different beast of a six-piece live band (complete with a former National Ballet dancer! Just for dancing!) to the Gladstone Hotel on Friday, March 13, as part of Canadian Music Week. Bring your very best smiles.