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Sleeves and Wigs

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Album Review

Produced by Caleb Stull of the Parlour Steps, and originally released with the title "Please Feel Free to Enter the Tipi," the Neins Circa's Sleeves and Wigs presents the most focused and satisfying release in the group's short history. Hailing from the small town of Lacombe, Alberta, singer/guitarist Cameron Dilworth likes to weave angular songs about real people and places, made fantastical by his unique vocal styling — at times reminiscent of Tom Verlaine, or Sparks' Russell Mael — and quirky arrangements featuring horn, piano, cello, and lap steel, atop traditional alt-rock instrumentation. Each song is a unique pastiche of styles, such as the twisted cabaret-pop of "Eddie the Eagle" ("He bought glass eyes on the web, his hobby went right to his head"), or "Percy Francis," adding soft strumming guitar and orchestral strings to a story of a boy stumbling upon the body of a suicide. Dilworth diverts occasionally from the anecdotal: — "Here Comes Vancouver" playfully addresses the "beard cladded" critics of Vancouver — "And we could try pleasing everyone, but we would never get it done before we die, And if you die, don't worry about your clothes, Cause everybody knows, what's best in life is free and your clothes look best on me"; and the earnest doo wop inflected "Goodbye You're Alone," a lovely rumination about death. The overall affect can be a bit bewildering, at first, but upon repeated listenings the CD presents itself as a small indie rock gem and Cameron Dilworth as a unique talent with perhaps his best work ahead of him. Recommended.


Formed: 2002 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Neins Circa originally formed as the Neins in 2002, and quickly became popular in the small clubs in and around Vancouver, Canada. The quirky six-piece band recorded its first EP, The Neins, in 2003, which quickly sold out, mainly at the group's high-energy live concerts. The band's constantly shuffling lineup had started to revolve around guitarist/singer Cameron Dilworth, and, catching the eye of New Pornographers frontman Carl Newman, the Neins were invited to support his 2004 solo North American...
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Sleeves and Wigs, The Neins Circa
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