Don Vail
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Don Vail

Hamilton, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2006

Hamilton, Canada
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Alternative Pop

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Don Vail is a Hamilton-Toronto collective crafted out of the embers of Chore, Treble Charger, the Priddle Concern and cartoon metalheads Sons Of Butcher. Now Chris Bell (bass), Bill Priddle (lead guitar), Mitch Bowden (vocals, guitar, keys) and David Dunham (drums) come together for their debut CD under the name Don Vail. Produced by Jordon Zadorozny, the 10-track album is a proggy pop on the surface, but has plenty for the serious indie rockster to sink his teeth into.

- Graham Rockingham


Don Vail are comprised of former members of Chore and Treble Charger, and are no strangers to the underground Canadian music scene. Their excellent self-titled debut makes full use of their wealth of talent and brings to mind the early '90s — a simpler, more straightforward time before nearly every band's sound was broken down into a dozen different "post" sub-genres. Yep, this is good, old-fashioned indie rock in all its magnificent glory. Guided By Voices-ish opener "Black Book Page" showcases the melodic, powerful rhythms that are the cornerstone for the disc. The group touches upon the proggy, angular soundscapes that dominated much of Chore's recorded output, but, as a whole, they stray from their past projects. Standout cuts include the wonderfully restrained "Tragedies" and the well-crafted, hand-clap and tambourine-accented "Brighter." Slow-building repetitive notes mesh wonderfully with guitarist Mitch Bowden's sublime vocals on the fantastic "Linda McCartney." We may be only a few weeks into 2009, but I'm confident the infectious track will still be sitting high on my top 10 list of singles come year-end.
- Shawn Despres


Discography

Self-titled LP (2009)

Photos

Bio

Don Vail's 2008 self-titled debut album is one of the uncelebrated Canadian greats of the late '00s. Either 10 years too late or five too soon, they earned a cult, "band's band"-type fandom in Southern Ontario and on the East Coast with their brainy pop, indebted to '90s alt and art bands like The Posies, Guided By Voices, and Shudder To Think, executed with the pro touch of indie rock lifers Mitch Bowden (part of the Broken Social Scene extended family), Dave Dunham (Not Of, DAVIDS), Chris Bell (Customaries), and Bill Priddle (Treble Charger). Then, quickly after, they disappeared completely.

Eight years on, the band has returned with new players and a new album. Dunham and Bowden are joined in the video for "Personal League," by Kori Pop and Cam Malcolm. Bob Wilcox, The Dirty Nil's Luke Bentham, Blinker the Star's Jordon Zadorozny and Priddle appear elsewhere on the album entitled Fades.