By Devine Right

By Devine Right formed in Toronto in the early nineties. The band was originally conceptualized by singer/songwriter Jose Miguel Contreras and drummer Mark Goldstein. After several line-up changes the band has remained intact for their last two album releases. The band includes: Colleen Hixenbaugh (vocals, guitars), Jose Miguel Contreras (vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion, cello), Brian Borcherdt (vocals, guitars, keyboards, synchronizer) and John Hall (drums, percussion). By Devine Right credit their success in North America for opening several concerts for The Tragically Hip.

Contreras is responsible for creating the band's diverse retro sound. Writing songs that emanate the raw sounds personified by several of the best guitar bands, including: the Velvet Underground, the Pixies, the Replacements and New York City Dolls. The band's onstage presence does not convey the same sense of "cool" as does their music; but who cares this is a CD review.

On "Sweet Confusion" Contreras has loosened up a bit, permmiting the rest of the band to contribute songs, sing lead vocals and the album sounds great yet inconsistent. There are sparkles of garage grunge and blues all muttered into one; but I enjoyed this disc yet I also can't wait till the next one. The band's harmonic tunes are as beautiful as ever, such as Colleen Hixenbaugh's "Pearl;" I would love to hear a lot more from her. "Floating Away," will also remind you of the band's lighter side. However, the band shifts into overdrive on their second tune "Devil Chaser" and continue with their rock/pop blues idiom until the album winds into their catchiest tune "Soft Machine; the rest of the CD is pure bliss.

I love the band's ability to float into wistful psychedelic segments; I'd like to hear them explore that sensibility a lot more. After all is said and done, this CD is a keeper and most of you will embrace several sensational selections on this disc despite the band's musical perplexity…

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