Long awaited 11th studio album from the respected Toronto quartet.
The unexpected passing of band co-founder Dallas Good in February ensures that this fine album from The Sadies will stand as a remarkable epitaph to his talent as a writer, singer and musician.
Recorded between 2019 and 2021 in Montreal, ‘Colder Streams’ is a dense and colourful record that owes as much to psychedelia as it does to The Sadies’ country heritage. Through the opacity poke jagged shards of light that illuminate the sound with glittering flourishes and surprising turns.
‘Do any bands make their best work this far along in their career?’ Good asked, on completion of ‘Colder Streams’ in October 2021. ‘Yet, here we are and that’s what I’m accusing us of’ he concluded. His accusation is justified. Alongside brother Travis, Mike Belitsky and Sean Dean, Dallas Good has left behind a swirling, kaleidoscopic album that demands and deserves the listeners attention.
The production, by Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) is heavy but never overbearing, allowing the songs the room they need to breathe whilst setting a reverb laden, widescreen scene. The songs reveal more of themselves with each play, rewarding the listener with unexpected delights. Consistent throughout are the vocal harmonies that lead the eleven songs comprising the album, evoking the likes of The Byrds, or ‘Murmur’ era R.E.M. whilst being very much of their own time.
Despite the country background of Travis and Dallas Good (sons of Canadian country music royalty Bruce Good) the tone of ‘Colder Streams’ veers more towards that of Sixties influenced rock, propelled by Belitsky’s Keith Moon-esque fills and Dean’s serpentine bass lines. ‘All the Good’ is truest to the family roots with its prairie rhythm and swaggering banjo. Parents Bruce and Margaret are here too, contributing autoharp and backing vocals respectively – a poignant moment as they harmonise with their boy for the last time.
Shadows are cast and then quickly fall away as the light changes; the air of impending doom in ‘More Alone’ (“In this day and age, rage has become all the rage”), or the intricate, hypnotic guitar line on ‘Message to Belial’. The amphetamine rush of Sixties garage rock that kicks in ‘Better Still’ collapses into a lazy groove for the briefest of comedowns before jumping back to its feet for a thrilling finale. The final track ‘End Credits’ is just that, an epic, cinematic instrumental piece that plays out as this action packed, electrifying album melts into the heat haze on the horizon.
Dallas Good described ‘Colder Streams’ as “an album made with love by loved ones”. There’s nothing more to say.