Medicine Hat Media

The Fast Romantics Album Review

The Fast Romantics are an alternative (indie) rock band from Calgary and are most recently playing gigs to promote their self-titled debut album. Their sound kind of reminds me of a mix between Arcade Fire (to reference a popular band) and something kind of like piano-pop with some jazzy bits – with maybe a little mix of  The New Pornographers, Hot Hot Heat, and The Strokes (in some of the synthesized stuff – more notably at the end “Stop Me”). Obviously with all of my references, they are a little hard to categorize, which is nice, because even though the genre isn’t my favourite, their music kept my quite satiated with an interest for they were throwing out on their first release.

The Fast Romantics CD Cover Design

The Fast Romantics CD Cover Design

It was all quite varied too, there’s a lot of different sounds going on throughout the album – but not exactly all over the place, it all worked together nicely. Very up-beat, very danceable (like lots of brit-pop and indie-rock) and overall a nice mix. I wasn’t shooting my mouth off about the “jazzy” bits either, “Mr. Magoo” features a trumpet, a clarinet, a trombone and a baritone sax (and a bass/guitar/piano/drums if those count too). If you want to get technical, several tracks also feature a viola, violin and cello as well. Keep in mind though, all of the external instruments are being played by external participants, or “special guests” which I list at the bottom of the post.

The album artwork is very nice with masterful and playful illustrations by Dave Barnes and design by Matthew Angus (the vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist of the band). The illustrations take place throughout the cover, the inside flap, the CD, under the CD and even on the back – it’s all great, beautiful, and typeset mostly in Trajan Pro (to ensure the EPICNESS).

So why am I featuring and reviewing a Calgary band when I have tons of local bands to write about? Mostly because one of the representatives from the band asked us to do a write-up and they also sent over a free copy of their album (thanks to Matthew Kliewer, by the way). Also, the main reason: they will be also stopping to play in Medicine Hat soon enough – details to be posted.

The Fast Romantics - Group Shot

The Fast Romantics - Group Shot

The Fast Romantics are:
Matthew Angus: Vocals, Keyboards & Guitar
Matthew Kliewer: Lead Guitar
Jeffrey Lewis: Bass Guitar
Alan Reain: Drums

“Special Guests”:

Meghan Engel: Viola, Violin, Cello
Jhonny Summers: Trumpet
Gerry Hebert: Clarinet
Dave Reid: Trombone
Shane Statz: Baritone Sax

My favourite track: “How Do You?”

Funnily enough, that track is oddly familiar to me, the intro sounds quite similar to a Mt. Royal song called “UNTITLED SONG” which we posted at the bottom of our “Featured Band” post about them, here. I think it’s just the clapping and ensemble at the beginning.

The Fast Romantics @ MySpace
The Fast Romantic’s Tour Blog
33 Things You Should Know About The Fast Romantics

User Comments

One Response to “The Fast Romantics Album Review”

  1. July 4th, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    Ashley says:

    Awesome album by an awesome band

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