The Spades - Burning On Fumes


The Spades debut album is titled Burning On Fumes. The cd contains 10 original tracks, it was recorded at the Bathouse in Bath Ontario, it was produced by The Tragically Hip’s Gord Sinclair and lead guitarist James McKenty.

With a powerhouse of a production team this cd offers excellent listening pleasure. James McKenty + The Spades bases itself from Peterbourgh Ontario, the band members are James McKenty on lead guitar, Winchester Street on drums and Chachi Robichaud on bass and mandolin; all three band members share vocals. Influences of the band compile mostly of Canadian artists; Neil Young, The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo also British rockers The Animals and The Yardbirds can be heard.

"I Like To Burn Things" hammers out a powerful energy filled rock n roll song. James McKenty proves his guitar skills by creating a catchy guitar riff at the start of the song. Being the shortest song on "Burning On Fumes" it starts the cd off the way any opening song should – makes the listener cry out for more. "Bring Down" is the second offering from the band. This is a great song that showcases the bands vocal capabilities. Using a softer and mellower voice helps get the songs point across to the listener.

"Apple Of My Eye" and "Mafia Sting" are my favourite songs on Burning On Fumes. "Mafia Sting" stands out to be the bands walk away hit. It can be distinguished from all of the other songs with McKenty’s accomplished guitar skills. With Winchester Street speed on the drums, he hammers the cymbals exactly the way the song intended them to be played. "Apple Of My Eye" has played its way on to my daily mp3 song list. This song has more of a rock and blues feel to it. Having catching myself nodding my head away to the many of times the lyrics are simple and easy to remember which makes it a perfect song to get caught singing away to in your car. "Apple Of My Eye" and "Mafia Sting" both have notable guitar riffs to kickoff the songs with.

The folk influenced songs on the album are "Regrets" and "You Are Fuel". These songs sound to me that they could have been songs that were left off James McKenty’s solo cd Restless Soul. Now I don’t listen to folk music everyday but I do like listening to impressive acoustic guitar playing; James makes sure that I am not disappointed with his daunting guitar picking talent.

"Regrets" starts off with a acoustic guitar and then the tempo of the song slowly begins to pick up when Chachi Robichaud steps in with his bass. The influence of Neil Young and Tom Paxton and other great folk artists have somewhat helped shape "You Are Fuel". If you have not given James McKenty's "Restless Soul", the title track of his solo album, a listen yet this is a great song that outlines what a restless soul is all about.

This is a excellent cd to start James McKenty + The Spades career. Although the cd doesn’t even come close to watching the band perform live it is definately worth a listen.