Release Date: Apr 10, 2012
Record label: Arts & Crafts
Genre(s): Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
2011 was the year of electronic music kick-assery, and even if Eight and a Half is a month late to the party, they brought decent booze, and no one’s sorry they showed up. Lacking the bombastic brain explosion of M83’s ecstatic Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and yet not quite as sinister as the hooks of Phantogram single “Don’t Move,” Eight and a Half are a little closer to the pillowy textures (sextures?) of Washed Out, though it’s less moody than Within and Without and doesn’t try to catch that album’s seamlessness. And because Eight and a Half left their vocals comprehensible (a conscious decision, these days), they trade mysticism and raw feeling (again, think Ernest Greene) for thoughtful lyricism.
EIGHT AND A HALF play 109 Ossington tonight (Thursday, April 26), and Sound Academy Friday (April 27). Rating: NNN Can you deal with yet another Broken Social Scene offshoot? This time it's drummer Justin Peroff's turn. He's teamed up with Dave Hamelin and Liam O'Neil of the Stills in the new electronic rock band Eight and a Half. Since neither the Stills nor BSS officially exist any more, it's hard to dismiss this as a side project, and hopefully they're taking it seriously, too - there's tons of potential here, even if the disc feels like a work in progress.
Eight and a Half garnered a flurry of interest well before the release of this self-titled debut album. While their name will certainly entice film critics and foodies (in case you're wondering, their moniker is adopted from Federico Fellini's famous film, not the celebrated Vancouver restaurant), it's music fans that will continue paying attention. The threesome are made up of Dave Hamelin and Liam O'Neil of the Stills (now-defunct), and Justin Peroff of Broken Social Scene (who are on an indefinite hiatus).
This review originally ran in AP 286. In some respects, this collaboration between Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff and two members of now-defunct rockers the Stills (keyboardist/percussionist Liam O’Neil and vocalist/guitarist Dave Hamelin) sounds exactly what you’d expect from musicians with their pedigree. Indie-leaning pop constructed using piano, acoustic guitar, glittering percussion and moody keyboards dominates their self-titled debut.