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Barenaked Ladies- Black Maria- Vaeda- Strange- Blanco Diablo- Jenn Cleary

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Barenaked Ladies - All New Revue: Live at the Glenn Gould Theatre

All New Revue is essentially just the Barenaked Ladies performing their new album Barenaked Ladies Are Me acoustically in a small theatre.

It has become a cliché to call this band increasingly mature. They mix heartfelt lyrics with a little whimsy for a pleasant listening experience. Performing acoustically suits them very well. This live record may be preferable to the studio album. The recording is crisp, clean and highlights each band members talents.

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The Black Maria - A Shared History of Tragedy

The Black Maria hails from Canada and have released their sophomore album. After several lineup changes the band pulled it together this year to record A Shared History of Tragedy.

The band falls in line with bands like My Chemical Romance, who add some mood and theatrics to the driving rock tempo. Chris Gray has one of the better voices of similar bands.

The songs are piano heavy until the big sing along chorus kicks in. Walk into any Hot Topic and you'll probably hear a track from this album.

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The Strange - The Strange

The Strange is the kind of moody, piano-driven band that could have a hit song if it was attached to a primetime network drama.

Brent McKay's vocals are striking and Nathan Murphy and Erik Nordin offer enough musical twists and turns to keep things interesting.

At just seven songs The Strange is a good little album that shows promise.

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Vaeda - State of Nature

Borrowing equally from the current emo-type rock bands, as well as what is probably the original emo band, The Deftones, Vaeda carve a metallic path through angsty lyrics. You can also hear elements of grunge and some moody, gothic undertones.

State of Nature is a decent enough conglomeration of the last 15 years of rock that continues to permeate every new band's sound. Obviously aimed at the mall punk kids, it should catch hold of a few pimply-faced girls.

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Blanco Diablo - Paper Poison Revolution

If this were 1987 Blanco Diablo probably would have a few minor hits and be regarded as a thinking man's hair metal band. That is actually not a bad thing as a few of the riffs on Paper Poison Revolution are memorable and the band has the loud, power trio thing going for them.

The songs get redundant after a few tracks but the bar band vibe should translate well on stage where the band can show off their obvious skills. 

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Jenn Cleary - Breakin' Loose

Jenn Cleary is a bluesy singer/songwriter type with a heavy dose of country twang. Her songs are quite good but her bland voice becomes tedious quickly into the 12 track album.

The production is glossy and flat, sometimes wandering into show tune territory. Roughen up the edges and she might be on to something.

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