The Smalls My Dear Little Angle

While their legal battles with Cargo left it a long time between albums, the wait is finally over for Alberta’s Smalls. My Dear Little Angle is well worth the over four-year wait. Simplifying the attack a little bit more than on 1995’s Waste and Tragedy, …Angle builds songs around the band’s strongest features (the guitar playing of Dug Bevans and Mike Caldwell’s vocals), which are well written and immaculately performed. That is not to say there is no variance on the album. In fact, the opposite is true, as the record sees the band mixing the influences of country, jazz and rock into their metallic tinged creations. With songs such as the black metal influenced “My Saddlehorse Has Died” (symphonic keyboard textures à la Emperor abound), and the straight ahead cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” (the real showcase for Caldwell’s vocal range on the album), the band stretches the possibilities of what can be conceived of and pulled off properly with flying colours. This, and the spot on production by Glen Robinson makes …Angle a real winner. Colour me converted. (Smallsong)