When a group describes themselves as a “drinkin’ band with a little rock ‘n roll problem”, chances are you’re going to be in for a rocking good time. And so it is with Streets of Hastings, three proud Canucks, Phil Alexander, Jason “Trucker” Bedard, & Larry “Peyts” Peyton, who specialise in “a combination of rock and Celtic punk, with some solid alt and indie influences”. Their debut album, Three Streets To The Wind, released 17 March, is a rambunctious blend of all this and more.
Recorded in just seven days, Three Streets… is designed to feel like a live performance, a little rough around the edges and full of energy. It’s a dynamic collection, 12 songs that clatter along, rollercoaster like through styles and sounds. From the Celtic charms of “Kelly Anne” to the full on attitude fuelled, grinding punk sounds of “Faceless”, via the garage rock of “Rupture” and the White Stripes inspired “Comfort No More”.
It’s not all rawkus, sweaty energy though; there is the odd moment of comparative bluesy, relaxation included as well. “Don’t Go Away” offers momentary early respite from the vigour of the music before giving way to the tubthumping, military rhythms of “1812 (Proud Canadians)”
With such disparate styles, it would be easy for the album to feel disjointed and bitty and at times it does feel a little like a compilation. But the band has obviously considered this when structuring their song selection and the album flows well enough, it just lacks a little cohesion in places that would make it feel entirely like a single body of work.
Despite this, there is more than enough for listeners to enjoy and want to come back to, including a pretty faithful cover of “House of the Rising Sun”, a track that never disappoints. The standout though is leadoff single, “Sea Bag (La, La, La)”, which is probably the track with the greatest pop influence yet still captures the rough energy of a live rock band. In fact, this perfectly encapsulates what Three Streets… is all about, a band that clearly loves to play, translating the get up and go of their live sound to record. It’s a solid debut and one that not only entertains as a record, but also serves notice of their capabilities as a live act.