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The Novaks

Things Fall Apart (Sonic)

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The sophomore album by Newfoundland's Novaks, three years in the making, was recorded at Halifax's Sonic Temple. There's a whiff of Toronto fussiness, wherein guitars can lose their quirks and get treated like another drum kit. Nevertheless, this ranks, along with the band's debut, among great Atlantic Canadian rock records. "Destroyer," an engrossing live opener for two years, shows up on disc only slightly defanged. When ex-Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan sits in on "Under Those Wheels," a kinship radiates with 1971 bellbottom swagger. By the end, hooks flow so forcefully that any quibble over missing quaver floats away.

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