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Citywide Vacuum

Citywide Vacuum - Pact

Eleven37 - 2007

Michael Panontin
Citywide Vacuum had toiled about the Windsor (Ontario) scene since the mid-nineties, originally as a two-piece, hocking their glitsched-out and trippy electronica to anybody who would listen. Sporting suitably matching coveralls and backed by vintage 1960s educational films, their dual-synth noodlings pushed the geekometer up into the elevens. The pair - local DJ Pat Petro along with the hugely talented and equally flippant Trevor Malcolm, whose resume includes a brief mid-eighties stint with the Butthole Surfers as well as compositions performed by the Windsor Symphony Orchestra - patiently slogged on for the better part of a decade, eventually swelling to a four-piece with drums and vocals.

Their reluctance to use computers (with Malcolm only recently getting his first e-mail account) gives their mostly analogue debut Pact a live, organic feel. Says Petro, "We don't want to be some band with laptops on stage doing their taxes. We want to be fun. Point and click is not fun." The bulk of Pact treads a familiar path of eighties synth pop - glistening synthesizers sally along, buoyed by Nancy Drew's fetching vocals. But it is really not until the final pair of tracks that the thrills start up, especially the brooding 'Blind Insight', where the dusky synths mesh nicely with Liam O'Donnell's nimble drumsticks. A near segue into 'Carbon Valence' closes things on a more cinematic note, with Malcolm's supple trumpet solo scoring the would-be rolling credits of an imaginary soundtrack.


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