Bandolier beats set bar high

Their inaugural studio album — a new level of energy and the same rock sound — blares from the drums, guitar and vocals

CD released June 26

Their inaugural studio album — a new level of energy and the same rock sound — blares from the drums, guitar and vocals of Bandolier’s Negative Space.

The 11-track album was released June 26 and recorded earlier that month in a whirlwind three days.

The first day at Alchemy Studios in Calgary, frontman Mark Ferguson, Brett Halland on bass guitar and Ian Ferguson a.k.a. Johnny Handsome on drums, played the selected songs for eight hours straight. Day two was mainly over dubs and the final day was a gruelling 10 hours.

“After being there and doing that for three days you realize how unrealistic it is to make an album in three days,” said Mark Ferguson.

Despite the tight timeline there’s nothing cut or sloppy on the album.

For those who take the time to push past each song’s rollicking sounds of heavy drums and prominent guitar riffs, they’ll find a heartbreaker album full of pain, regret and guilt.

However, Bandolier has created no emotionally draining tearjerker. Instead they’ve produced a rock and roll rollercoaster ride. The lyrical lows are low but for balance the instrumental highs and soaring voice of Ferguson are just as high.

Negative Space opens with Burn Me Away. The firecracker song pushes the listener onto the album right away and surrounds them with the band’s raw sound and favoured heavy drum and guitar sounds.

Burn Me Away sets the re-occurring theme of the album: relationships and heartbreak — the other side of the same coin. But, like with the songs successors, listeners won’t be left saddened by the message thanks to a pumped up kick beat and Ferguson’s talented voice, which climbs higher to help lift each song.

The following song, What You Are, immediately lightens the album’s opening lyrical mood. The fast-paced love song lowers the drum’s bite and picks up the guitar riffs to give it more of a party rock vibe.

However, What You Are stays true to the band’s raw sound and provides a fresher outlook on the tired idea of a love song, mostly through its realistic message of looking past a person’s flaws and still loving them without the rose-coloured glasses.

The body of the album is made up of Bandolier’s trademark heavier rock songs and follows the previously set theme of tarnished and broken love, mixed with a little death, the rocky road to fame in a society bred with a short attention span and the oppression of civilization.

Despite their young age and overused lyrical subjects, Bandolier keeps its songs fresh and audience hooked with new and mature perspectives on once-tired ideas.

This Is Love is by far the album’s gentlest song, a straightforward soft rock ballad. Unlike many of the other tracks the lyrics take the front seat alone rather than riding with louder, harder instruments.

While the simplest sounding song Bandolier states it as one of the most vocally complex. Ferguson, however shows off the band’s tender side with ease.

Negative Space finishes with its most haunting track and a personal favorite.

The Dog’s Fighter tells the heroic tale of Sgt. Charles Waldern, a young Spitfire pilot who was born in Ponoka and died during the Second World War.

The song combines many different sounds, from a rock-twang and drum opening lamenting the sorrows of war to the harrowing candlelight vigil last cords of remembrance.

Ferguson and his bandmates knew they had only a short time to achieve perfection and the studio experience was different then they envisioned. “I think we were just expecting it would be a lot simpler,” said Ferguson.

“Once you get down that track and are consistently expanding on what you’ve done, you can go on forever,” he added.

Ferguson says each time the band played a song there always seemed to be something they could improve upon and just when they thought they’d achieved perfection they were told to play it again.

“It was all for the better, it just shows the better side of the song.”

Negative Space is available at the Ponoka Bookstore and online www.bandoliermusic.ca. The album will also soon be available on iTunes.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Rabbits saved from barn fire in Ponoka County

The Ponoka County East District Fire Department was called to a barn fire

Bashaw peewee club’s season comes to an abrupt end

Players decide not to go into playoffs without one of their teammates

Ponoka man attacked by dogs issues plea to town council

Troubles with bylaw and handling of court case prompts presentation to council

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Most Read