Shuyler Jansen

Album Title: Hobotron
Release Date:
Genre: Folk
First off, best album title ever. Hobos are cool. Especially robotic hobos like a hobotron must be. The man who picked the title is one Shuyler Jansen, a member of beloved Alberta roots band Old Reliable. "Hobotron" is Jansen's solo debut, but he was hardly alone during the making of it. The credits list reads like a who's who of independent Western Canadian music: members of Saskatchewan's AA Soundsystem, Vancouver's Oh Susanna, and Alberta's Whitey Houston (among others). With all those Westerners, it's not too hard to guess the base sound of the album.

Jansen stays true to his roots while adding a few fancy studio effects and it sounds pretty darn good. There are two sort-of interludes ('Surgery (Incision 1)' and 'Surgery (Incision 2)') included on "Hobotron" where Jansen takes his knob twiddling to the extreme to a not so stellar effect, but the 43 second experimental track "Hobo Billy Mo" is interesting - it sounds as if The Mars Volta wandered by for a little look-see. Jansen basically did every studio trick he's ever wanted to do on "Hobotron", and the album takes the listener on quite a strange journeyÖnot unlike that of a hobo. A guitar toting robotic hobo. The title suddenly makes eerie sense now doesn't it?

Writer: Jaclyn Arndt

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