Elizabeth Powell and her band of wandering Canadian indie rockers return to the Rock Block tonight, opting this go-round for the cozy comforts of The End over the cavernous, cove-like qualities of Exit/In. See Land of Talk's Take Away Show version of "Quarry Hymns" from this year's Cloak & Cipher above — they also did "Black XS Live Sound" from 2008's Some Are Lakes — and see my Critic's Pick for the show below.
Since appearing at Exit/In last December, Quebec’s Land of Talk recorded and released August’s full-length Cloak and Cipher, which is more dynamically restrained than 2008’s Some Are Lakes, but also more melodically ambitious. Frontwoman and former punk Elizabeth Powell has moved even further from her riot grrrl roots with this one, trading urgent, riff-heavy, power-trio arrangements for lush strings, rich vocal harmonies and lengthy, mid-tempo pop numbers that just barely earn the “rock” half of the “indie rock” tag — though the ferocious guitar solo at the end of “Swift Coin” helps. Cloak and Cipher’s high points call to mind the more sullen moments in Broken Social Scene’s catalog — once upon a time, in fact, Powell contributed live vocals for BSS — and with C&C cameos from members of Arcade Fire, Stars, Besnard Lakes and more, it’s good to see that Powell & Co. are keeping the time-tested custom of Canadian collaboration alive. Fellow Canadians Suuns and local indie folkstress Tristen appear in support.
Admission is $10.