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Hibakusha – Hibakusha

Y’all know by now that I’m a fan of Paul MacLeod’s, as indicated in a couple of recent reviews I posted in these very pages. And I’ve told you about how I was way out of the loop because I didn’t even know he was in a band called Hibakusha and that they had a CD out! Well, I sure remedied that in a hurry and the snail mail brought me the disc this week. Hooray!

Better yet, it totally kicks ass. OK, so you knew I was gonna say that. Fine. But man, truer words could not have been spoken in this case.

So, knowing what we know already of the man’s music, imagine my blissful surprise when right from the opening notes this record proves through and through that it is a rock (make that rawk) endeavour. And how sweet it is! The bottom-end battery is heavy, loud and right on, which bolsters the guitars and vocals perfectly. Listening to this, I could tell nothing was left to chance with the sound, and they nailed it completely. Well done.

The songs themselves are like a tour of rock history, with visits to grunge and slower, lovely ballads and 70’s fuzz-rock and even some weirdo-effect vocals too. There’s a ton of greatness in the lyrics, and the instrumentation is a lot of complicated stop/starts and switches, like the very best of Rush, Tool or Soundgarden. Yummy!

Whoa, now! Wait a minute, you say. Is this the same Paul MacLeod we’re talking about here, the one who recorded all those beautiful, comparatively lighter songs? The guy from the Skydiggers? You betcha, and it’s so great.

It totally pleased me to hear this side of a talented musician’s collaboration with another group of other equally excellent players. But perhaps the best part of the whole thing was something that I couldn’t have imagined in my most out-there moments of music imaginings: When he lets his inimitable voice wail in this kind of rock setting, it turns out that, while still sounding like himself, MacLeod sounds a lot like Geddy Lee. At least, I think he does. Cool!

Yeah, this CD will do you all kinds of good plugged into your car stereo and cranked until the vehicle’s frame starts to vibrate. Trust me on this one.

Stop dithering and go order it already! w3 dot hibakusha dot ca.

Worth it? Oh, hell yes!

PS  And hey, if you’re really curious, zip on over to Wikipedia and have a look at what Hibakusha really means:

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