Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Age of Electric, Limblifter and the New Pornographers’ “My Right vs. Yours”

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: .

I can’t help but wonder about the different ways people love The New Pornographers. Sure, the band is brilliant and with its forthcoming album Challengers it will probably claim the airwaves (including but not exclusive to all college radio stations across America). But do I love the band for its musical merit alone? I think not. Rather, when first introduced to the Canadiana supergroup I started picking apart its pieces only to find that I this was far from a new group to me. Long before I had ever heard 2000′s Mass Romantic (which I’m listening to as I write this – and it’s still a fantastic with its matured power pop allure) I knew a band called Age of Electric and I knew another called Limblifter. Going out on a limb, but I’m fairly sure that MTV wasn’t too liberal in its motions concerning the inclusion of post-grunge bands from Saskatchewan in the early 1990′s, but I could be wrong. For those who don’t know, if in fact I am correct, The New Pornographers drummer Kurt Dahle began there, and despite his relative obscurity in the United States he was for years an integral piece of one of Canada’s most popular rock bands of the ’90s – Age of Electric.

Kurt was in Age of Electric with his brother Ryan Dahle, as well as another set of brothers Todd and John Kerns. The group struck gold with its single “Ugly” which was initially released on the band’s 1993 independently released EP of the same name. Later releasing a full blown debut in 1995, the group plateaued in 1996 with its album Make a Pest a Pet.

While Age of Electric was still together Kurt and Ryan chose to take some time with their side project, releasing an album under the name of Limblifter. Also included in band’s original lineup was Todd Fancey, now The New Pornographer’s guitarist. Limblifter reached a moderate level of popularity with the release and once Age of Electric had officially broken up the brothers Dahle began using the band as their chief musical vehicle. Following the band’s initial 1996 self titled release Limblifter would go on to put out two more albums, 2000′s Bellaclava and 2004′s I/O. That being said, after Bellaclava‘s release Kurt decided that it would be best to invest more of his time in his blossoming new band, The New Pornographers.

But what is one to think of the first track from Challengers, “My Right vs. Yours”? It’s almost confrontational in that it refuses to follow some of the upbeatedness of tracks such as 2000′s “The Slow Descent into Alcoholism” but it’s progressively driven and is a winding beauty all the same. I think I’m going to have to stop enjoying the band because of its timeline and rather for that musical merit I spoke about earlier – Challengers should be killer.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]