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The Sadies

Internal Sounds – 2013 (Yep Roc)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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The Sadies have always been a reliable outfit when it comes to releasing new records, one of several Canadian bands - Blue Rodeo, the Skydiggers and the Tragically Hip among them - that have found a special kinship with classic Americana. Yet, if their star hasn't risen as high as it ought to, it may be caused in part by the fact that they're frequently loaned their talents to others, mostly playing back-up band for Neko Case, John Doe, Andre Williams and Mekons front man Jon Langford. Nevertheless, it's their own efforts that deserve notice, and with "Internal Sounds," it's clearly evident why.

Despite their penchant for collaboration, the new album finds the Toronto-based band mining their own resources, elevating co-founder Dallas Good to the producer's chair and putting full faith in their own country rock regimen. They can be a rowdy and even raucous bunch - as evidenced in songs such as The First 5 Minutes, The Very Beginning and Another Tomorrow Again - but they also can take a more tempered view, as reflected in the lonely sunset ramble of So Much Blood and the fiddle-fueled enthusiasm of Another Yesterday Again. Mostly, The Sadies go about their business with an earnest, heads-down efficiency, a sound that shows both resilience and resolve. Consequently, the only real surprise comes in the form of the final track, We Are Circling, which features surprise guest and old school folkie Buffy Sainte-Marie over-dubbing chirpy vocals above a dreary drone.

It's long past time The Sadies got their due. A scrappy little outfit that makes its music as basic as meat and potatoes accompanied by a brew, they've done due diligence as far as their no-frills country rock template is concerned. Never mind the flash and frenzy; The Sadies affirm the fact that consistency is cool.