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The Confusionaires – “From the Headache to the Heartache” LP

Set to a swaggering beat that could make listeners of all ages want to kick aside their chairs and take to the dancefloor, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy “Sour Mash,” a deep cut from The Confusionaires’ From the Headache to the Heartache, as much as I did the album’s lead single and music video “I Got a Heart.” Though “I Got a Heart” is the self-aware piece that tells us everything we need to know about this band’s identity and then some, tracks like “Sour Mash,” “Side Dish,” the softer “Romantic Mystery” and anxiously groove-powered “Crazy is Just What I Do” are definitely must-listen as well, and from my perspective, this makes From the Headache to the Heartache one of the few top-to-bottom classics of its peer group out this fall. 

“Sometimes I’m Bad,” the final song in the tracklist, might be the most discordant in terms of its instrumental construction, but if you’re looking for outright war between the players in The Confusionaires for the spotlight, look no further than the lush “Look at Me Now,” one of my favorite songs on the record.

Though it might not have the textural presence of the yearning “One Less Cowboy Out on the Range,” “Look at Me Now” presents us with just as much emotionality, if not a bit more, just when we feel as though this band is exclusively concerned with lightning speed. 

Whether we’re zeroing-in on the jitteriness of “Blue Enough for Two,” confident crush of “I Ain’t Goin’ Home With You” or the simplicity of the video for “I Got a Heart,” there isn’t much of a case to be made against naming The Confusionaires one of the more focused groups coming out of the Canadian underground this fall. It’s true that “Many Miles to Go” and “I Like Cars!” won’t change the world for rock n’ roll with their formulaic beats and the bright harmonies that adorn them, but I don’t think that was their creators’ intention at all. This is an LP celebrating the thrill of the blaring amplifier more than the intricacy of its emissions, and for some of us that spells out a seriously good time just when we needed one the most. 

Mindy McCall

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