one of my blog resolutions for this year is to do more CD reviews… You’ve already had BJ Cole’s marvellous ‘Transparent Music’, and today I got a copy of Peter Murray’s ‘Ants and Angels’.
Pete is someone I know best as a bassist, having seen him live playing for Ron Sexsmith in London a few years ago, and having jammed with him a few times at NAMM shows in LA over the years. ‘Ants and Angels’ is much closer to the Ron end of things than the ‘jamming with stevie’ end of things. It’s a proper singer/songwriter album, with a heavy dose of XTC/Squeeze/Elvis Costello – all those great early 80s songwriters – and tunesmiths like The Rembrandts/Lit/Fountains Of Wayne etc. The songwriting, production, playing and packaging are all top notch – it’s amazing to think that it’s a self-produced album. I guess the quality of the musicians on it is a testament to Peter’s standing in the Toronto music scene – everything is impeccably played, the tunes are incredibly strong – if it gets in the right hands, he’s guaranteed a couple of radio hits off this. Really, it’s a must for fans of intelligent alt-guitar singer/songwriter stuff. From the ultra-catchy punky tracks like the opener ‘Gen X DJ on E’ and ‘Ears Make Wax’ to the more mellow almost Neil Young-ish tunes like ‘Murray Vs The Ants’ and ‘Skydiver Friends’, the album is packed with great hooks, instantly memorable stuff.
Have a listen to some of the tracks at Peter’s MySpace page – and follow whatever ordering instructions are there. Definitely one of the strongest self-produced albums I’ve ever heard.by