On the strength of their last album Sunday Movies, The Town Heroes won 5 Music Nova Scotia Awards (including Group Recording of the Year and Rock Recording of the Year) and 5 East Coast Music awards, (including Group Recording of the Year and Rising Star Recording of the Year). That highly acclaimed album gained The Town Heroes some much deserved exposure, both in Nova Scotia and elsewhere.
As good as Sunday Movies was, Please, Everyone is even better.
The Town Heroes are Mike Ryan and Bruce Gillis, a duo from Cape Breton. The band is a “duo” only in number of members (like The White Stripes). Their sound is the sound of a full rock band. Listening to them live or recorded, it is hard to believe that two people produce such a full sound.
Aside from their great music, what makes The Town Heroes special is that they are “the everyman” – ordinary individuals, with whom the audience is easily able to identify. They are best friends from small towns who happen to be in a band together. They are having fun (just watch one of their many Facebook videos) and they connect with their audience. The fans love of The Town Heroes is most recently evidenced by their 2015 East Coast Music Award for “Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year”.
So what makes Please, Everyone great? To start, Please, Everyone has everything that fans love about The Town Heroes….and more. There is still the rock sound with solid guitar riffs and exceptional drumming (for example, “Baton Rouge”, “Family”, “Guts For Days”). The songwriting on Please, Everyone reveals a contemplative look at life, family, friends and the world (including “Outer Space”, “Please Everyone”, “Soldiers”). In addition, a few of the songs on Please, Everyone allow Mike Ryan to showcase a vocal range unseen on earlier albums (for example, “Heat”, “Tonight”, “If You Wanna”). This new (mature?) sound is a perfect complement to the band’s established sound.
Please, Everyone, the band’s third album, was produced by Jon Landry (The Stanfields). It features an amazing duet with Halifax musician Arsoniste (“If You Wanna”). There are backing vocals by the Joyful Sounds Youth Choir (“Outer Space” “Hope”) and Quinpool Mass Chorale (“Hope” “Baton Rouge”). And for vinyl lovers, the vinyl version of the album features a previously unreleased track (“Hercules”) and four bonus tracks from Sunday Movies.
I’ve been listening to Please, Everyone daily for about two-months now. Every listen reveals something different. The depth of this album is never-ending. Please, Everyone is easily one of my favourite albums of the year.
Favourite Songs: Heat; Baton Rouge; Tonight; Outer Space
1. Please, Everyone
3. Outer Space
5. Baton Rouge
7. Guts For Days
8. Model Being
10. If You Wanna (featuring Arsoniste)
11. Thought Police
Vinyl Bonus Tracks
1. Berlin Wall
2. Laser Eyes
3. Holdin’ Up Grants