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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review: The Roundabouts - ...Nothing To See But The Sun

The Roundabouts - …Nothing To See But The Sun
2008, The Roundabouts

Toronto alt-rock duo The Roundabouts have a bit of a musical pedigree. Adriana Sgro (vox/keys) and Mike Steiner (guitars) were co-founders of Waiting For Lucy, who released the moderately successful Pictura on EMI Records. After the breakup of Waiting For Lucy, Sgro and Steiner continued to play and write together, and before long had enough material to think about recording again. Taking their name from a song on Pictura (a Roundabout is more commonly known in the US as a traffic circle), Sgro and Steiner were ready to go. The end result is …Nothing To See But The Sun, a wonderfully broad rock record with strong pop sensibility, great hooks, and the arching vocals of Adriana Sgro. It’s a treat!

Nothing To See But The Sun opens with the wonderfully poppy That’s No Lie; sounding like something The Cranberries might have written. Adriana Sgro is a much more laid back vocalist than Dolores O’Riordan and has a much more pleasant sound. Say I continues with a strongly pop oriented sound with a little more of a rock background. Every Now And Then is a gorgeous love song that has real commercial potential. Waiting In The Wings highlights another comparison often made about The Roundabouts. It has a No Doubt feel to it. While The Roundabouts do manage to sound both like Cranberries and No Doubt at times, the reminiscence is passing. The listener ultimately realizes that The Roundabouts are their own creation, borrowing from the pop lexicon of sounds as all bands do, but interpreting sounds into their own original brand.

Be sure to check out the repressed energy of My State Of Mind’s opening bars before it breaks out into pure neurotic epiphanies of sound. Also be sure to check out Perfect, my personal favorite track here. The Roundabouts extend their rock edge forward on Perfect in a blow off the roof performance that could make significant impact on radio if released as a single. Other notable tracks are Be Brave (She’s Not Here), The Game and the acoustic take on Every Now And Then.

Toronto has always been a seething cauldron for all that’s wonderful and all that’s awful about Rock and Roll. The Roundabouts come in on the upside with Nothing To See But The Sun. Outstanding writing and performance from Adriana Sgro and Mike Steiner, plus strong support from Dale Harrison (The Headstones) and Stan Miczek (Kim Mitchell, Sass Jordan, Honeymoon Suite) make for an outstanding debut for The Roundabouts.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Roundabouts at, where you can purchase a copy of …Nothing To See But The Sun.

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