Partner - In Search Of Lost Time (Cover Artwork)


In Search Of Lost Time (2017)

You've Changed Records

There is a certain archetypal band found in almost every music scene, especially those focused around a college or high school: the beloved good times band. Its members are friends with everyone in the scene and their shows are well attended. They write funny songs, often laden with inside jokes and references to shared events or experiences. They smoke a little weed and maybe they’ve written a song or two about it, though they aren’t necessarily a stoner band. They don’t take themselves overly seriously. Also, usually at least one member of the band can play the absolute shit out of their instrument.

Windsor, ON’s Partner might have been that band for their scene, and they can totally be that band for everyone. The duo released their debut album, In Search Of Lost Time, last year on You’ve Changed Records and rightly found themselves on a number of Bands to Watch and End of Year lists. In a moment of ‘90s alt-rock throwback bands, Partner have staked a claim to a spot in the alt-rock revival pantheon. The songs are big, full of hooks, and have all the production touches that make you say ‘Man, this would have destroyed the radio in 1998.’ The album even has 7 little interstitial skits throughout to really give it that ‘mid-90s’ feel.

The songs on In Search Of Lost Time are anthemic, tight, and catchy as hell. From the opener

‘Everybody Knows,’ a tale of being debilitatingly stoned in public, to ‘Sex Object’ a shoegaze-y, cautionary tale about the dangers of snooping in your roommate’s things. ISOLT is rife with toe-tapping choruses, memorable riffs, and ‘90s inflected rock that will bring to mind bands ranging from Presidents of the USA, Veruca Salt, and that dog. Other stand-out tracks are the summer driving soundtrack anthem ‘Comfort Zone’, ironically about the joys of staying inside, and ‘Daytime TV’, a fast-patter paean to Judge Judy and her ilk that will remind listeners of non-Stacy’s Mom Fountains of Wayne. Each song on the album comes with its own arena-ready guitar solo from lead guitarist Josèe Caron showing up reliably after the second chorus. The big highlight of the album, though, is ‘Play the Field’, which reminds me of another queer-identified Canadian duo. I can offer no greater compliment to a song than to say that ‘Play the Field’ sounds like it somehow escaped the recording sessions for Tegan and Sara’s 2013 turn to pop Heartthrob. Deft production choices adding synths and flawless harmonies take the guitar rock of the rest of ISOLT and dress it up for pop radio.

For all the excellent songs it contains, ISOLT is still clearly a debut record. The quality of the songs peters out a bit as the track numbers move into double digits and the songs, while consistently enjoyable, feel like they are part of the process of finding their sound. It’s an exciting debut though, full of songs that could become instant classics given time.