Pardon My Eyes But I Can’t See

As we write this news item, Shaun Verreault of Wide Mouth Mason is on a train making its way throughout a number of US states to raise awareness and donations to local food banks in the area as part of the 2008 Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train!

Recent post on the official Wide Mouth Mason website.

Welcome to Part II of my review/running diary of Wide Mouth Mason by, appropriately, Wide Mouth Mason. Part I was yesterday’s entry. If you haven’t picked up this album in the last 11 years since it was released, get out there and buy it! I’m sure you can get it at The Beat Goes On, and I see it’s on iTunes. I added the link above because I think it’s a great cause. If you go to the site you can get more info and hopefully help out. (What? I have an agenda? Never!)

The next song on this musical journey is The Game. I love the fullness of the Wide Mouth Mason sound.  If you want to just rock to loud guitars this disc is for you. I see the face of a man in a jailyard looking at me as I drive by can’t escape me, I’m tied up just as tightly but I sing in my chains. This song has the best solo on the album. I love how they pan it back and forth from right to left, making full use of stereo!

All It Amounts To. If you’ll excuse the pun, all this album amounts to is a classic of Canadian rock. I think Wide Mouth Mason is often dismissed as a flash in the pan from the late 90’s, but I think their musical accomlishments (even just on this one album) are bigger than that. I want to be, yea, and I want to see, yea yea.

I should point out that I have not heard the band’s fifth album. I drifted away from them after Rained Out Parade (I think I’ve only listened to it twice).  Apparently Shaun Verrault and Earl Pereira have both done other projects, and the band is currently working on new material. After relistening to this album I’d like to check out their 2005 output.

I’ve reached a song with a very prairie title, Corn Rows, which has a little more mellow feel, but is still filled with nice riffs and more falsetto singing.  It’s a good sign that there are just three tracks left and I’m still swaying along. But you sleep at nighttime and I can’t understand how you ever did. I also remember every word to every song after probably 5 years. That’s one mark of a great album.

Two things I just found out that I didn’t know: 1) the dobro we heard on The Preacherman’s Song was Colin James (of Corner Gas fame, just kidding, though he was on an episode as himself) 2) there is a woman credited with back up vocals, but I can’t tell when it’s her and when it’s Shaun.

Sister Sally takes the train down the east side. This song is a real blues tune, with heavy chords, little riffs, and a soulful melody.  These guys could’ve made a living as a blues trio in another life.

Listening to the album you must ask yourself, with the various guitar layers on the record how could they possibly recreate this album on stage? Well they can’t exactly, but they certainly can make you forget all about the album.  Not that they were perfect. In fact I went to one gig where Shaun was using a sampler to play a song, I can’t recall which (maybe Why off of Stew) but his sampler didn’t have the right rhythm and the song sounded horrid. But one mistake is hardly a terrible thing, this is coming from someone who always forgets the lyrics to Beatles songs on stage. Beatles songs! Baby Baby what have you done? That’s part of the chorus to Tell Me. I got a little too into that rant and now the song is basically over.

I have reached the final song, Mary Mary. I used to like a girl named Mary many years ago, and this song always made me think of her. That and Radiohead’s Lucky because that song was playing one night when she turned me down. No worries though because Wide Mouth Mason has never turned me down.

Well it’s been a lot of fun for me listening to this album again and writing down my thoughts, stream of consciousness style. I hope it’s been great for you!

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