With the digital release of Chris Staig’s Y2K debut “Deeper We’ll Dream”, Urban Myth is delighted to reintroduce a timeless rock classic to a new generation of streaming fans.
If one were to look up “Criminally Underlooked” in the Encyclopedia of Rock, they might see a picture of Toronto’s Chris Staig. Lifetime member of beloved local rhythm-and-bagpipes band Taxi Chain, on his first solo outing Staig artfully blends classic pop melodicism and a novelist’s storytelling craft with four-piece bar band crunch. Staig paints vivid portraits of desperate lovers, estranged couples, outsiders longing to be in, and insiders with dark secrets.
Staig is backed up by a road-tested, powerhouse band comprised of second guitarist Ayron Mortley (Wild Strawberries, the Mahones) bassist Dennis Mohammed (Jesse Cook, the Canadian Idol house band) and drummer Josh Hicks (Cash Brothers, Feist). This is a “bar band” with the intuition and skill of Crazy Horse or the Hawks.
Juno Award-winning Producer Joe Dunphy (Barenaked Ladies, By Divine Right, Royal Wood) captured the band with a crisp, vivid punch but clearly isn’t afraid to go fuzzy on the edges when necessary.
Emphasis cut “The Cheerleader” is a three-minute pop gem with heaps of kiss-off attitude and twin-guitar crunch to match. Other standout tracks include the wry ’n’ rowdy opener “Have It All”; the tunefully cracked relationship dystopia “Frankie and Rita”; the intimate, earnest ballad “Honest Love”; and “By Friday,” as great a song about drinking for the weekend one might ever hear in the era of direct deposit.
RIYL: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, John Lennon/POB, The Tragically Hip, Matthew Sweet at his crunchiest.
“Former guitarist with Toronto bar-room eccentrics Taxi-Chain, Chris Staig is a power-house in a lean package. Like some songwriting Charles Atlas, he pits muscle-against-muscle for greater strength – though in this case its achy love songs offset with jaunty melodies. But by interrupting the album’s crackling flow with an unabashedly sincere – and timeless – ballad such as Honest Love, he only adds to the depth of his work. (Four Stars)” -Kieran Grant, The Toronto Sun