Attack in Black appears to have ceased to be a going concern, at least for now, but that’s certainly not due to a lack of productivity on the part of its scattered membership. Daniel Romano has pumped out two solo albums and a fine little folk record with Daniel, Fred and Julie, Spencer Burton just got Grey Kingdom up and running and now bassist Ian Kehoe – newly decamped from his hometown of Welland to Sackville – has stepped to the fore with a smashing slab of bright, brainy guitar-pop under the moniker Marine Dreams.
It’s nothing flashy, just 10 concise, crisply tuneful jams that go exactly where they should in subtly ingenious ways, shot through with a keen sense of wit and an audible appreciation for classic songcraft. Some pretty hot guitar playing, too, although it’s not all up-in-your-face about it. You’ll think fondly of Big Star, Guided by Voices, the Buzzcocks, the Who and Tom Petty hangin’ with Jeff Lynne while it’s playing and feel very good indeed about hitting “repeat” when the half-hour is up. Personally, I can’t get enough of “New Decade,” which manages to do something new (again) with the chord progression from “Sweet Jane.” Oh, and the stellar cast of supporting players includes ex-Constantine Steve Lambke, Shotgun Jimmie and all of Kehoe’s old mates from Attack in Black.