The Georgia Straight - - Music - By


There’s some­thing to be said for not giv­ing a fuck. Fur­nace Main­te­nance clearly has no par­tic­u­lar ca­reerist am­bi­tions when it comes to mu­sic. The band has been around in some form or an­other since form­ing in Cal­gary in 1989, and the cur­rent lineup al­legedly in­cludes zero orig­i­nal mem­bers, if the Fur­nace Main­te­nance bio on Face­book is to be­lieved.

It does in­clude singer-gui­tarist Chris Bur­nette, who also hap­pens to be in the Bur­nettes. If that doesn’t mean any­thing to you, no mat­ter. Fur­nace Main­te­nance’s pri­mary ob­jec­tive seems to be to have fun while crank­ing out punk­ish rock that fits loosely into the vein of the Nils and Young Fresh Fel­lows and maybe the Re­place­ments. (It’s a safe bet that all of the above have places of hon­our in the record col­lec­tions of Bur­nette and com­pany.) Not tak­ing things too se­ri­ously doesn’t mean mak­ing lack­lus­tre mu­sic, mind you. It just means that the songs on Cru­cial as Usual sound like they were banged out in a room where all the mu­si­cians were ac­tu­ally play­ing to­gether at the same time. This is rawk mu­sic with­out the rough edges sanded down.

This makes for some pretty cool mo­ments, like the way the gui­tars of Bur­nette—cred­ited here as “Chee­cho”—and Ja­son Keller weave to­gether and har­mo­nize on “Hot Ap­ple Stars”. Fur­nace Main­te­nance isn’t out to rev­o­lu­tion­ize rock ’n’ roll, and that’s okay. “The Cra­niac” and “Muf­fler” would sound great sand­wiched be­tween vin­tage tunes by the Dough­boys and Hüsker Dü on a Cal­gary-to-ed­mon­ton driv­ing playlist. And some­times that’s ex­actly what you’re look­ing for. John Lucas

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