Over 40 years after the Beatles grabbed North America's musical consciousness by the lapels and gave it a friendly shake, their brand of guitar-based pop is still influencing bands here, there, and everywhere, and the third album from Winnipeg's the Telepathic Butterflies, Breakfast in Suburbia, shows that plenty of good things can still be built from the Fab Four's model. The Telepathic Butterflies aren't devoted to the Beatles at the exclusion of all else — "Telescope" shows flashes of both the Hollies and the Kinks, and "If It's All Too Much" suggests someone in this band listened to a lot of Who records. But the clean melodic lines and energetic guitar figures of the Beatles circa 1963-1965 clearly loom large in the Telepathic Butterflies' pantheon of influences, and they certainly do right by their role models. Réjean Ricard's guitar work is sharp and engaging, and he's a first-class songwriter to boot, sounding equally clever as a lyricist and tunesmith, and Jacques Dubois and Eric Van Buren are an excellent rhythm section, giving the songs plenty of snap and crackle while pushing the tunes forward with just the right degree of force. Though it isn't difficult to suss out this group's influences, the Telepathic Butterflies aren't overwhelmed by them, or living in a bygone era; these are simply bandmembers who understand the virtues of a smart, well-crafted pop tune played with fire and skill, and they have the talent to apply those lessons to their own work. Breakfast in Suburbia is superb pop/rock in the classic style that anyone who still believes in the curative power of the electric guitar will want to hear. -AMG
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