Cosmic Canadian music veterans tread well-worn path without wearing thin
Since their 1998 Steve Albini-produced debut EP and full-lenth, The Sadies have not only managed to develop a distinct personality; they’ve found endless subtle variations on a formula that could’ve easily grown tiresome by now, seven studio records and a double-live album down the roots-music road. The basic ingredients in this heaping plate of Spaghetti Western have always been moody Morricone themes, desolate Cash-esque vocals and even more desolate red-dust-choked Mars-rock-field soundscapes. All this, alternately seasoned with soul-searching Byrds-circa-Easy Rider psychedelicism, post-apocalyptic folk, Pulp Fiction-soundtrack-ready surf workouts and creek-drunk Appalachian idioms. Slather this mixture in a classic Sun Records slapback echo and serve atop the lonesome, desperate rumble of a distant blue roan’s hoofbeats, and you may just find yourself at a Toronto dinner table with these ably talented musicians.
The Sadies are also one of those notorious live powerhouses—famously backing Neko Case on the tour that spawned The Tigers Have Spoken, and earning a reputation for both their epic performances and A-list guests. But coming off of last year’s energetic double-disc, In Concert Vol. 1, The Sadies’ latest finds the band getting back to doing what—despite expert live chops—it does best: loosely conceptual studio records that maintain strong musical moods throughout. Yes, New Seasons is more of the almost-same—a new season not so much in the sense of a completely fresh beginning, but rather the same old season coming ’round again, bringing familiar feelings, but offering new possibilities.