Kirby Sideroad, Marke Andrews, The Vancouver Sun, February 24, 2005.

   

Former Vancouver guitarist Ken Aldcroft moved to Toronto four years ago, but he still shows the West Coast experimental spirit on his new double disc, Kirby Sideroad.

Only a few tracks - the acoustic, funk-beat From a Pause, the melodious Not Far from Home - have conventional moments. Many tracks are like the opening title song, filled with tempo and direction changes and free-playing sections. This happens on Things to Come where Aldcroft acts more as a sound explorer than a fretboard wizard; he's more interested in creating new sounds and effects than knocking you out with technical proficiency.

On et cetera, Wes Neal's upright bass sounds like a buzzing insect, Aldcroft's guitar a bubbling brook. A Strained Hello begins with a conventional walking bass, then breaks off into variances by the musicians, including an impressionistic section. The quartet is rounded out by saxophonist Evan Shaw and drummer Joe Sorbara. Three stars.

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