Collapsing Opposites stays kitschy on Real Moving
Real Moving (Radical Clatter)
The fifth track on Collapsing Opposites’ latest full-length is a self-deprecating rocker called “Non-Profit Volunteer Band”, and that song title pretty much says it all about this long-running local act. After all, if anyone knows about the struggles of playing in a penniless indie band, it’s the group’s songwriter, Ryan McCormick. He founded Collapsing Opposites almost a decade ago and since then has issued a steady stream of albums, tapes, and CD-Rs with a revolving cast of contributors.
The band’s prolific output and frequent lineup turnover perhaps explain why Real Moving seems occasionally slapdash, as if the songs were churned out rather than laboured over. Most of these eight tracks contain straightforward arrangements that emphasize strummed guitars and cymbal-heavy drumbeats, and even the occasional dash of horns doesn’t do much to compensate for the conspicuous lack of hooks.
In lieu of memorable melodies, Collapsing Opposites relies on densely lyrical storytelling and a whimsical sense of humour to draw in listeners. McCormick sings with a childlike, half-spoken delivery, and this quirky style means that the slow and woozy “People in Your Neighbourhood”—a narrative about a mental-health patient’s wrongful arrest—comes across as irreverent rather than unsettling.
It’s hard to imagine Real Moving’s kitschy songs ever gaining much of a following on radio or in the blogosphere, meaning that Collapsing Opposites is likely to remain a “nonprofit” project. But if the band’s history has taught us anything, it’s that this won’t stop it from returning soon with a new release from yet another lineup.