With all the hubbub regarding illegal immigration from Mexico and its alleged toll on the U.S.'s general well-being, the threat from the Great White North has received precious little notice. Canadian musicians have been snatching listeners' hearts, wallets, and iPod space from their Yank counterparts for years. From Neil Young to Rush to the Arcade Fire — when will it stop? Jason Darr, the latest artist to trek southward, goes by the stage name Neurosonic.
His 2005 opus, Drama Queen (a hit in Canada), was recently released in the U.S. It's a fitting showcase for multi-instrumentalist Darr, who weaves assorted, seemingly disparate strands of pop rock spanning the early '70s to the present day. "Crazy Sheila" rides a Slade-style stomp, while the anthemic "Boneheads" merges hip-hop and industrial-dance noise. Orchestral ballads mix and match with thundering wall-of-hair-metal guitars. Plus, there are tons of chewy hooks. Darr expands Neurosonic to a full band on the road, where it's teaming up with fellow Canucks Evans Blue, whose brooding brand of alt-rock falls on the more generic side of things.