The Sadies | Colder Streams | (Yep Roc)
4 out of 5 stars
Since guitarist, singer/songwriter, and co-founder of The Sadies—Dallas Good—passed in February 2022, his final studio appearance is tainted with a melancholy hue.
You have to love the guy. He pens this album’s promotional material stating, “Colder Streams is, by far, the best record that has ever been made by anyone. Ever.” While that statement is knowingly and hilariously a wild exaggeration, the 11th release from the Toronto-based, foursome certainly contains some of The Sadies’ finest work.
Colder Streams is one of the group’s most diverse sets, even for a quartet that prides itself on its eclectic and nearly indescribable combination of rock, surf, pop, country, twang, and psychedelic music. From the opening swirling “Stop and Start,” which sounds like a lost early Quicksilver Messenger Service or Spirit gem, to the closing instrumental “End Credits,” which could be used while the titular writing rolls after a Quentin Tarantino noir flick, The Sadies cover lots of ground in 11 tracks that barely breaks a half hour.
In between, there is sweet, honeysuckle country picking (“All the Good”), thudding folk/rock with reverbed guitar (“More Alone”), desperate garage rawk (“Ginger Moon”), and a Kinks-styled rave-up that switches to an acid freak out ready for the next Nuggets compilation (“Better Yet”). And how about that banjo inserted into the backwoods punk reggae with apocalyptic lyrics (Wait ‘til the worlds caught fire, then try to pretend/All our sins are forgiven in the end) of “Cut Up High and Dry,” or guest Jon Spencer’s fuzz solo in “No One’s Listening”? It all crackles like this is their first album, not one released nearly 25 years after it.
The Sadies’ fire burns with plenty of retro twists. Producer and longtime fan Richard Reed Perry (from Arcade Fire) keeps the approach tight (nothing over four minutes) and unvarnished with extraneous frills.
Hopefully, Good’s death doesn’t mean the end for this renowned outfit. His last stand reaffirms everything he built with The Sadies and confirms their status as one of Canada’s preeminent groups.
Photo Credit: Rick White