Album of the Week: Hi-Ranger

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      Tire Town

      How resolutely old-school is Hi-Ranger? Well, the band mailed us its four-song Tire Town EP on CD. For those born after the turn of the millennium, that stands for “compact disc”, and it’s a physical medium for music distribution that not even major labels send us anymore. (As for what it means to mail something to someone…ask your parents.)

      The trio of Christopher Bon (bass), Jeff Bustard (drums), and Jesse Cullen (vocals, guitar) describes its output as “Psych-pop songs of self-conscious absurdity, science-fiction arrogance, crushing futility, and melodies remembered from dreams the night before.”

      Here’s guessing that those are the sort of dreams you have after you fall asleep with a Teenage Fanclub LP on the turntable. Which is to say that Hi-Ranger’s vision of psychedelia is heavily filtered through the lens of transatlantic ’90s alt-rock and dream pop. And that is pretty fan-fucking-tastic for those of us who think Vancouver doesn’t have enough bands that would sound good on a mix tape with Chapterhouse, the Telescopes, and Ride.

      This EP’s closing cut, “Out of Dreams”, is a perfect encapsulation of Hi-Ranger’s style—it begins with a simple guitar jangle and builds into a colossal wave of noise and melody so fully enveloping that you might just be convinced it’s the best shoegaze track this city has ever produced.

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