Maybe you just have to be Canadian to be this nuts. Gordon B. Isnor, not exactly the most catchy name in the business (although, I would have put a big ol’ ixnay on the name Englebert Humperdinck, so what do I know?), packaged his CD as if he were either Devendra Banhart or Will Oldham. His music is electro-pop through and through, so is he the keyboard funk version of these folk beardsters? The short answer is no, but he’s pretty good regardless. The long answer involves particle physics, the elasticity of an underwear waistband, one stick of chewing gum, and a live duck.
If I were forced to try and describe Isnor’s signature sound, it would be Canadian blue collar dance rock. What you get essentially is what would happen if E went to DeGrassi Junior High. “Always Come Back” has cheesy (read: a step below Information Society) keyboards that mimic that big C.S.I. hit du jour, “Baba O’Riley” and classic rock songs from Bob Seger at the same time. Although I try to shy away from the term, Isnor’s voice is stereotypically `indie.’ I use the term here to convey that his voice is not necessarily accomplished, but it is certainly endearing.
Isnor follows in the `guy with a keyboard’ vein of the Eels, Grandaddy and the Rentals. Creatures All Night, cryptic title and all, is cheese-pop all the way, but will get your butt wiggling no matter where you may be. Comparisons to Bowie, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello and Syd Barrett can only help him, but may confuse most others. With a name like Gordon B. Isnor, you’re going to need all the buzz you can get, and his music is good enough to tip the scales.
Eels- Beautiful Freak
Grandaddy- The Sophtware Slump
Postal Service- Give Up