Less Miserable Insufficient Funds LP

These four Canadians like playing with their genre and their tempo to keep from being easily described. This is like a new, long-awaited HAGFISH album in that way. With the upbeat, fast “let’s go, let’s go” opening, you’d be forgiven for assuming you’ve stepped into a pretty straightforward pop punk album, but as it proceeds, you really get to see how dexterous this band can be. The vocalist can expertly dive from monotone talk-singing (“Functional Embarrassment”) to country-style crooning (“Sleepwalker”) to that strained shout where you have to lean back two feet from the mic to not peak all the levels, seemingly without slowing down. The elevator music bridge on “The Last Lonely Boy” is unexpected but wonderfully refreshing. The triple vocals on “Soul In Progress,” especially the back-and-forth male/female interplay, are excellently balanced and gratifying. This band excels in the dark, sad lyrics set to super fun and happy sounding music realm. This is particularly apparent in the ska-laced “Almost Fun.” There is a lot of goodness going on here, and it seems like they’re just getting started. Also, they’re pretty funny.