If there were a word to describe Automat6n, it would be “luxuriant”.

If you have a taste for simple production, this may not be the CD for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy being slathered in audio butter and look forward to sound weeping from every frequency your speakers can produce, you may want to cinch your seatbelt and get ready for a ride.

Primarily a studio band, Arkana has a sound that is a complicated mix of styles. The album may have at first an unfamiliar tone, but with subsequent listening, you will recognize familiar elements.

Recorded and mastered in Ottawa and Vancouver, this album comes to the Yukon via newly transplanted Yukoner, Kevin Maves.

Maves, the primary singer songwriter of the band and his partner Jeremy Dahl, primary instrumentalist, make up the power duo that is Arkana.

The album is awash in an unapologetic glister of sonic bombasm. The sound is a driving jangling drive of guitar and bass in the best progressive rock tradition.

While the similarity with progressive rock should be noted, I would suggest this for the complexity of the sound mix and lyrical content … not for any long-winded organ solos.

I believe the music listener of today has a sophisticated ear and I think these songs would have a comfortable home on radio given a fair listen by a thinking man’s program director.

Unfortunately, radio time today is taken up with the banal natter of radio personalities and insipid music play lists generated by computer, playing selections that are held over from some presumed golden adolescence.

With all these barriers to good taste, music such as this will fall through their cracks. The public needs to be exposed to a larger pantheon of music. And so say all of me.

Radio listeners deserve a treat now and then and Arkana’s Automat6n is just the tonic for these anaemic times.

Maves takes on all the big stuff here. His writing is sophisticated without pretence and his voice soars above the atmosphere of the music binding it together.

Songs of struggle and toil, the spade and feather, seeking guidance from a higher power, reaching for blinding truth and the ever-popular theme of love are all represented here, glowing through a glass, darkly.

The album evokes a heritage of memories from the 1980s to today. Arkana touches on the New Romantics movement without the frilly shirts and annoying synth drums and bass.

At home here are the sounds of the Middle East fused with British pop. I would point you to the band, The Tea Party, if I were to suggest a similarly unique sound.

What Maves and Dahl have created has dug into the DNA of another time, clipped off the weakness, added elements of their own and created a stronger and more vigorous animal.

Arkana’s album, Automat6n, is available at a most reasonable price at CD Plus and Triple Js Music in the local music section. They have a website under construction at arkana.ca where you can listen to selections from the album.

Note to editor:

Yes, the album title is “Automat6n” with a six in the name.

Yes, I used the word “glister”.

From Websters 1828 Dictionary Glister GLIS’TER, v.i. [See Glisten.] To shine; to be bright; to sparkle; to be brilliant. All that glistens is not gold. GLISTER. [See Clyster.]

It’s kinda archaic, I know.

Bill:

I’m cool with “glister”. It was “bombasm” that had me wondering. And I noticed in your first draft you spelled it with an “i”. If you are going to make up words, at least spell them right.