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Roger Roger Roger Roger
Album: Fairweather
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 9
Website: http://www.rogerrogermusic.com

Let's be fair, Roger Roger's actually not such a naff name as it might seem - it's an accurate label for sibling twins Lucas and Madeleine Roger performing together as a duo. They're the children of producer/engineer/musician Lloyd Peterson, and they turn out to have a real gift for songwriting as well as singing. So accomplished and together is this, their debut album as a duo, that it comes as a shock to learn that they've come to that point from quite different musical/activity backgrounds (after growing up in a recording studio, of course!).

Lucas fronted Winnipeg rock'n'roll outfit Modern Man, while Madeleine mostly involved herself in the theatre; they sung together a little, purely informally, until one night Lucas heard Madeleine outing her own songs and proposed they collaborate. The album Fairweather promises such, with an equitable alternation of lead vocals - Madeleine's thoughtful folksiness and Lucas's forthright alt-country-style lyricality - as well as compositional credits, on an unquestionably mature set of songs clothed occasionally with compelling vocal harmonies.

Opener 13 Crows (one of Madeleine's most memorable) and Lucas's title track are especially attractive examples of the Roger Roger craft, and the small-acoustic-electric-band settings (masterminded by the twins' producer father) are both highly capable and strongly characterised (in the main, guitars, bass, drums and organ, with Julian Bradford's cello a vital addition on Fairweather itself).

Mad Trapper and You Came Around are catchy full-band rockout numbers with great hooks, while in contrast the band members draw back just twice. O Rainy Day employs soft atmospherics for its misty paintbrush evocation, while the closing song, the tenderly devotional, if bittersweet relationship tale Scott Free, is backed just by Madeleine on piano. Fairweather promises such, and all is calm in a most positive way with Lucas and Madeleine's very together music. A honest and genuine debut that augurs well - and the artwork (by Madeleine herself) is nice too.

David Kidman