Fatigue Kills (High School Champion)

Josh Coffman

My high school English teacher once told me that the term "Canadian Writer" is an oxymoron. When you think of Bryan Adams or Nickelback, you may conclude that "Canadian Rock `n Roll" is an oxymoron as well. This statement definitely holds true for Christina.

Fatigue Kills is an album full of retro-'80s s rock but is laced with enough '90s edge to not make it seem backdated. The only problem is a lack of musicianship. Every song on the album starts out with the same 16th note strumming, chun-chun cha chun-chun, chun-chun cha chun-chun, only in different chords for different tracks. In between is a bunch of static-filled white noise and distortion.

The album is tolerable - stretching the word in every sense - if you're able to look past the limited craftsmanship. Its mesh of subtle Brit-punk-pop and neo-Cali acid rock goes down smooth, leaving no bitter after-taste. Songs often rely heavily on well-oiled drum work in bridges and transitions that are often as fast as a meth-head's heart rate.

Songs like "League of Nations" and "Magpie Eye" keep the album from being a total failure. But if the record store's asking 10 bucks for this album, you should probably try talking them down to five.

A brief taste of the album will make you think you're listening to a Sonic Youth audition tape - recorded when they were in eighth grade. Apparently the band was so short on new ideas they had to borrow from thirty-year-old songs. Track 13, a song not listed in the liner notes, has a guitar riff buried in the middle of it that sounds quite similar to the Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash." Nice try guys. Maybe it works in Canada, but we've heard this stuff before.