MusicRecord Reviews

The Rural Alberta Advantage

Most things having to do with hometowns often have a touch of charm to them. There’s an authenticity to the hometown ideal that the big city just can’t beat. In that spirit, Canada’s The Rural Alberta Advantage made a fine choice in naming their debut record Hometowns. It’s chock full of sincere, folksy odes to one’s place of origin with occasional dashes of scratchy, ’80s college rock riffs and warm, honeyed strings that add a shocking amount of vigor and depth to even the most bare-bones arrangements. Imagine strumming Pixies tunes by way of Rasputina in a rocking chair on the front porch of a farm house, and you might get close to what I’m talking about.

While the band’s minimalist tendencies are striking, regardless of comparisons to indie rock and lingerie-clad cellists, they really don’t overdo it. Even when a song feels like a fireside chat, there is still a spark, a strange doomed vibe that accompanies a willing fall. Hometowns is a testament to a Canadian Southern gothic haze that blankets the basis of your oldest memories. We should all be so lucky to recollect so eerily.