Joel Plaskett Emergency

By Peter Hemminger

East Coast rocker Joel Plaskett, ex-Thrush Hermit vocalist and key songwriter, has never hidden his love of the rock. From the opening guitars of “Written All Over Me,” it’s clear that the love hasn’t faded. Thankfully, it’s also clear Plaskett understands rock and roll is about more than just power chords and a steady beat–leave that to the pop-punkers.

Truthfully Truthfully is an impassioned blend of ’70s hard rock and the Halifax-bred melodicism of Plaskett’s former peers, carried by some impressive guitar wankery and a truly unique vocal style.

“Work Out Fine” finds Plaskett experimenting with a Clash-styled groove, while “Extraordinary” sounds like By Divine Right in all the best ways. The optimism of “The Red Light” (“Just because you look up don’t mean it’s got to rain”) is contained within an arena-ready riff, and “Mystery and Crime” marries a sideways verse to what may be the album’s strongest chorus.

He has some stiff competition in the form of Danny Michel and the Weakerthans’ John K. Samson, but Plaskett is holding his own as one of the great Canadian indie songwriters.

Joel Plaskett plays the Liberty Lounge on Sat., Nov. 14 with The Dudes.

Leave a comment