The debut album from Mounties reminds us a little of the campy side of 80s music, like Talking Heads, Madness, or early Police. The band is a trio consisting of Ryan Dahle, Steve Bays, and Hawksley Workman. The first was a member of Age of Electric who scored a Top 10 hit in 1997, “Remote Control”. The second was with 2-time JUNO nominee Hot Hot Heat. The third scored a Top 30 hit as a soloist back in 2003, “Anger As Beauty”. Apparently the three musicians met at the JUNOs and hit it off deciding to jam together. The result is Mounties and debut album Thrash Rock Legacy. The quirkiness generated by the assorted personalities may take a couple of spins to appreciate but once the vibe is properly interpreted very catchy tunes inevitably engage the listener. Creative and fun.
Percussion is Hawksley Workman’s first love and, lucky for us, he gets to sit behind the drum kit for his latest project, Mounties, an indie supergroup also starring Hot Hot Heat’s Steve Bays and Limblifter’s Ryan Dahle. From the first song of the trio’s synth-rock debut, you can tell Workman is having the time of his life — as he bashes out a ramshackle rhythm (Pretty Respectable), clangs on a cowbell (Headphones) or fires off a round of reverberating beats on (Made Up My Mind). He also contributes vocals — singing lead from time to time, or letting his pipes blend in with his fellow Mounties on Headphones, their sleeper hit of 2013. Bays whoops it up on Pretty Respectable and Late Nights, while Dahle adds his breezy pipes to Tokyo Summer, one of the most ‘80s-flavoured pop numbers on the album. Thrash Rock Legacy is a fun and adventurous debut — to the point where the guys didn’t know when to quit. At least four of the 14 songs are filler — including a twinkle-rock instrumental (Edible Cannibal) an almost-wordless synth-bash (Guaranteed Blonde Enough), and an oddly A-D-D-L-E-D tribute to Hall and Oates. Still, I can’t wait to hear what these Mounties come up with next.
-Sandra Sperounes, Edmonton Journal, Mar 27, 2014