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The Bidiniband’s “Land is Wild” features writer and former Rheostatic Dave Bidini, which is a good thing considering his name is part of the band’s. It’s the debut solo release from the author, playwright, film-maker-- but in this case, rhythm guitarist--possessing more songs about dead hockey players, cannibalism and lesbian school teachers. Besides its avowed leader, the Bidiniband features former ‘Stat Don Kerr, who produced and mixed the ‘mutha, on drums and tenor guitar; guitarist Paul Linklater of Justice, Manitoba, with whom Bidini penpalled when Link was but a prairie teen; and Doug Friesen, also of Manitoba, on bass. The record was originally conceived in three parts, with initial recording done at Chris Stringer’s studio in Toronto, subequent colour-splashing courtesy of Ottawa’s Dave Merritt (Golden Seals), and finally, sessions at Don’s Rooster Studios in Toronto, where the group was joined by Ford Pier on keyboards. All told, it was a yearlong process that yielded the very sparkling disc that you now hold in your hopeful and forgiving hands.

“The Land is Wild” follows the tradition of records like “Ogden Nut’s Gone Flake” by The Small Faces and “Wheatfield Soul” by The Guess Who: broad, dynamic rock and roll formed over a bedrock of acoustic guitar set to epic tales of adventure and the tapestry of political (“Terrorize Me Now” and “Pornography”) and emotional (“Land is Wild” and “Memorial Day”) life, not forgetting the odd song about smoking (“Last Good Cigarette”) and music itself (“Song Ain’t Any Good”). The track “Take a Wild Ride” is from a teenage animation series currently in development and written by Bidini, while “Why Zeke Roberts Died” evolved from the guitarist’s experience at the Buduburam refugee camp in Accra, Ghana, which comprises the last third of the author’s most recent book, “Around the World in 57.5 Gigs.” “The Land is Wild” also forwards the Rheos’ legendary artistic tradition of songs about Canada and its people, another tile in Bidini’s efforts of articulating life in the place he knows best.