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Instanika: Moon Rain

Hailing from Toronto, Instanika reveal their debut outing Moon Rain; an album that is deceptively non-deceptive. If you're wondering exactly what that means, well, maybe the paraphrase "what you hear is what you get" hits nearer the mark. For this strangely garagey, strangely alt mixture feels as though there should be an edgy undercurrent which might reveal itself after repeated listens, but never actually does. Instead this is pretty straight up fair; nicely structured songs hitting in a similar fashion as when Fish (yes, ex of Marillion) tries to go down a less progressive path. In fact there's a distinct similarity between Moon Rain and when Fish went through a phase of covering other artists' material.

That in itself is no bad thing, with interesting arrangements allowing "Demons A Shadow" or "Blind Ego Shot" (which in places gently borrows the melody line to "Whiter Shade Of Pale" by Procul Harem) to take simple ideas and present them with a little more drama and glamour. However it's not a trait carried out often enough, with "Helium" struggling to do more than remind of that band you saw somewhere, sometime, that were ok….what were they called again….? A lack of memorability hampering an otherwise engaging attack. "Filipina" illustrates the problem further, guiro all scrappery and fun, guitars all jingly and full of sun, yet at the song's conclusion, there's little to stick in the mind, or draw you back for more.

Singer Carl Rubino has a likeable voice, his gentle approach controlled, yet energetic, while Joe Poirer handles everything from guitars to dobro via percussion in expert fashion. All manner of keyed instrumentation is provided by Michael Kendal, leaving drummer Gord Emms to sit neatly, if unspectacularly behind the music, while backing singer Karine Lalancette adds colour. As you'll gather, there are no holes to pick in terms of performance, so really it's all down to the songs and this is where Instanika still have a little polishing to do here and a little tightening to do there. As it is, Moon Rain is an enjoyable little listen that never quite makes the impact you initially hope it might.

Track Listing
1. Moonrain
2. Vroom-Vroom
3. Living It All
4. Champagne Lady
5. Filipina
6. Helium
7. Blind Eye Shot
8. Don't Go
9. Sensuous Feeling
10. Demon's A shadow

Added: October 17th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Moon Rain at Amazon
Hits: 1520
Language: english

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