Borrow from tomorrow and get a weird advance on a ‘perfect day’. Legendary Canadian indie prog-rock-pop band from those heady days of the 80s, MuchMusic, have been on a roll with their latest single, and it’s as sonically exciting as it is a tip of the hat to the pop influence of yesteryear.
While the band was originally formed in the late 70s by Drew Arnott, Darryl Kromm and Paul Iverson, the lineup would rock into its current existence with Arnott joined by Ian Cameron, Ross Friesen, Rob Bailey, Sean Dillon and Alexander ( A- train) Boynton. Together, the culmination of individual talents, mingled with their similar influences in pop and progressive rock, Strange Advance have continued and maintained their unique eclecticism of sound and song.
Nominated for a JUNO Award in 1983 as Most Promising Group of the Year and again in 1985 as Group of the Year, their first two albums, Worlds Away in 1982 and 2WO in 1985, were discs of Canadian gold.
And the songs. Oh, the songs… “She Controls Me”, “Kiss in the Dark”, “Love Games”, “Worlds Away”, We Run” and “The Second That I Saw You” still sound like the greedy brand of dance music as you remember. Their precise, precise work shows that the band were masters at unleashing wave after wave of melodies with songs of bittersweet love luck.
“This time, Strange Advance has the best player mix ever,” promises Arnott. “Each one of them is versatile and, more importantly, super friendly. It makes such a difference when it comes to dealing with rehearsals, recording sessions and of course life on the road. These guys are there because they love the music and I think it shows in our performances.
“Perfect Day” is the perfect fusion of career musicians creating an instant classic, using their perfected recipe for songwriting.
“Normally I don’t write songs ‘about’ anything in particular, but ‘Perfect Day’ was different,” Arnott reveals. “It’s based on the death scene of Edgar G. Robinson’s character in the movie Soylent Green. At the time of his death, the earth had been ravaged by humanity and in exchange for volunteering for an “early death”, the powers that be would allow the volunteer to step out in style. A good last meal watching images of the earth at its peak, listening to the music of your choice. In his case Beethoven. This was Edgar’s last film. He died two weeks after filming his death scene. Powerful stuff.
“Perfect Day” is the radical juxtaposition between accepting the finality of death, set to a groove that allows the listener to find the good in the mood. Detailed lyrics that both metaphorically and categorically encapsulate the concession of inevitability, “Perfect Day” features licks, synths and ’80s electronic rock that sends the message home on a journey of hooks and wonderful melodies. It is normal to allow the cessation of existence. Just do it in style.
“My favorite thing in the world is writing songs,” says Arnott. “It’s always an adventure. I collected so many songs that stood the test of time and I was afraid no one would ever hear them. So, Strange Advance 4. And play live”.
Strange Advance gives you the power chords to dance to the difficulty on a cut that makes the sadness much more manageable.
In short: they offered you a “perfect day”.