Album review: The Tragically Hip, Day for Night (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 29, 1994

Having gotten kinda used to the Hip starting off its CDs with hard-rocking tunes like “Blow at High Dough” and “Little Bones”, I was somewhat taken aback by Day for Night’s sombre leadoff track, “Grace, Too”. I was happy to hear that the pride of Kingston, Ontario, was back to its ass-kickin’ tricks with the next tune, though, the freewheeling “Daredevil”.

Gord Downie and the gang move me the most when they’re locked into an unstoppable boogie groove.

People with similar inclinations will be happy to know that Day for Night includes its fair share of Hip rave-ups. Guitarists Bobby Baker and Paul Langlois go nuts on “Fire in the Hole”, the raunchiest tune the band has ever recorded. And “Nautical Disaster”, which evolved out of onstage jams on the middle section of “New Orleans Is Sinking”, is as vigorous and compelling as anything Neil Young and Crazy Horse have come up with in their gritty forays.

Day for Night does not offer the same boogie-bent consistency of 1989’s riff-heavy tour de force, Up to Here, but Hip fans who appreciate the band at a more relaxed pace can unwind with the swaying “Titanic Terrarium” and the delicate acoustic trip of “Scared”.

There are always glorious rockers like “An Inch an Hour” and “Impossibilium” around to wake them up again.

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