Album Review: Gord Downie, The Sadies and the Conquering Sun (self-titled album)

With The Sadies, you have seminal roots-rockers etched in Canada’s rock and roll and country western lore. Combine that with one of the country’s greatest lyricists and frontman, Gord Downie, and you’ve got the ingredients for an explosive album.
 
Gord Downie, The Sadies and the Conquering Sun is an album that has long been in the making.
 
Since joining forces for a benefit show in 2006, Gord Downie and The Sadies have methodically been building this album.
 
Gord Downie, The Sadies and the Conquering Sun was recorded with Ken Friesen (Hawksley Workman, The Sadies) at the Bathhouse and mixed by legend Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Metallica, Our Lady Peace, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams) in Vancouver. Downie and The Sadies collaborated on all songs.
 
In an interview with Exclaim! in 2010, Downie said they were in “no hurry” to get the album done, and that certainly seems to be the case as the album was released April 15 of this year.
 

“Crater” By Gord Downie and The Sadies
 
In a press release, Gord Downie, The Sadies and the Conquering Sun is described as “10 songs of visceral punk rock exultation, a spirited half-hour exploration of the darkness surrounding daylight.”
 
And that’s bang on the money.
 
From the opening song “Crater,” Downie and The Sadies combine a punk rock energy with a country roots minded twang. This album has the imperfections of a band finding it’s voice, but it’s in those imperfections that you find primal excitement. The sort of excitement you’d find in a band of teenagers writing their first songs in their parents basement.
 

Album Trailer for Gord Downie, The Sadies and the Conquering Sun
 
Each song is bursting with energy that gives the album a feel of chaotic organization. Never is this more apparent than in the chugging punk rock anthem “It didn’t start to break my hear until this afternoon.” With Mike Belitsky’s pounding drums and Travis and Dallas Good’s pulverizing guitar this song gives the album some real grit.
 
It is no surprise to find Downie’s lyrics working in elegant unison with The Sadies charging riffs and the visual images painted from Downie’s words only enhance the urgency the music seems to imply.
 
You can stream Gord Downie, The Sadies and the Conquering Sun now at CBC.ca.
 
Be sure to check out Gord Downie and The Sadies this summer as they run the summer festival circuit.

Tour Dates:

May 2 – New York – Bowery Ballroom
May 3 – Boston – The Sinclair
May 10 – Chicago – Lincoln Hall
May 11 – Detroit – Magic Stick
June 7 – Toronto – Field Trip Music & Arts Festival
June 8 – Toronto – Field Trip Music & Arts Festival
July 11 – Victoria – Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre
July 12 – Atlin – Atlin Arts and Music Festival
July 18 – Hinton – Wild Mountain Music Festival
July 27 – Edmonton – Heritage Amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park
Sept 12 – Fredericton – 2014 Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival
Sept 13 – Halifax – The Marquee Ballroom

Matt Beauchamp
 

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