It’s Thursday and you know what that means: time for a thorough ass kicking. The goal this evening is to complete a quick and intense Brick run set to the “Rolling Hill” setting on the treadmill, given there is a total lack of anything resembling “incline” around this entire area outside. Furthermore, I found something of particular interest to listen to that I had all but forgotten about, the original ‘Tin Type‘ EP by Elliott BROOD.
This cute little 6-song mini-disc is what began my whole interest and love affair with the band. It was originally recorded over two days in Mark Sasso’s living room which thy referred to as the “The Orange Room”. The EP was released on the independent music label Weewerk in 2004. Making it extra special is that it came packaged in a small brown paper bag (which I still keep it in), and instead of liner notes contained a handmade photo-book, done in a style reminiscent of the American Old West. The music was pressed on a non standard 80-mm disc, which the band jokes is known for ruining car stereos. Fortunately I had no such car to ruin at the time.
I loved the sound instantly. Their dark, gritty folk music was built around whiskey-drenched vocals and lyrics that evoke images of love, loss and murder. In their soul-thumping bluegrass (or “Death Country” if you prefer) songs, banjo keeps time to a strange and chunky angular stomp, with vicious Kentucky-hardcore acoustic guitar and somber, achingly confessional vocal harmonies. It was unlike anything I heard in Canadian music before and I’ve been a fan ever since.
The songs are amazing and – as it turns out – provide a nice ebb and flow for a decent Hills workout on the treadmill for exactly 17 minutes and 30 seconds, or the exact duration of the EP. ‘Bowling Green‘ starts things out rather modestly as my legs are warming up off-the-bike, and ‘Oh, Alberta‘ (the obvious hit which remains an ever popular song in their live performances to date) sets up the perfect increase in pace to get up that first incline of the workout. ‘Edge of Town‘, a pretty acoustic ditty helps the recovery between intervals, while ‘Only at Home‘, another awesome and lively hillbilly stomp song, takes you up and over the next hill. ‘Cadillac Dust‘ with it’s active thunder storm in the background evens things out at a steady tempo pace to finish off at a decent pace and ‘Riding in Time‘ is a sweet end to a sweet run. Time to pack it in for a meatball sub and some Shark Tank before bedtime.