"No Alternative"

by Jim Di Gioia

August 8, 2016

Kestrels, Halifax NS

Is a history lesson in order? Am I acting like a dowdy old professor, wearing chalk dusty robes, branding a ruler in my hand, standing in front of a class of whippersnappers and lecturing on the origins of Kestrels “No Alternative”?

“You young people of the new millennium! Listen to me! I have wisdom and knowledge from before the dawn of Google!”

I know, I know. No one is listening. The kids, they’re listening to Chad Peck’s barely there, velvety vocals and fuzzed-up guitar work, cascading like waterfalls over his brother Devin Peck’s pummeling bass while it sparrs with drummer Paul Brown’s dynamic one-two rhythmic punch. The kids don’t give a shit about the title’s pedigree, or how it perfectly dovetails into the swirling guitar whirlpool Kestrels have been stirring up in the studio.

Rock is full of instances where history repeats itself, and while “No Alternative” has me coming back to yesteryear, the song finds the Halifax based trio on a frenzied trajectory forward, with no time for lazing about. Lesson learned: whether it’s 1996 or 2016, there’s no alternative to a perfectly crafted hook filtered through a battalion of guitar pedals.

Class dismissed.

Jim Di Gioia

Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.
Jim Di Gioia

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