The return of LIMBLIFTER

Posted: April 8, 2015 by Soda in Canada, Limblifter

It’s been 11 years since the last record by Canadian cult faves Limblifter, and almost 20 years since the bands eponymous debut which solidified chief singer/songwriter Ryan Dahle as a true leader in that Alt Rock scene of the nineties also being co-leader of Canadian darlings The Age Of Electric who garnered gold record status with their second full length record Make A Pest A Pet from 1996.

Brand new record “Pacific Milk” was just released yesterday on indie label We Are Busy Bodies who also reissued the bands debut on vinyl about 3 years ago when Ryan and Limblifter decided to come out of hiding for NXNE (North By Northeast) in which they played a few choice dates in their native Canada. At that point I traveled north to catch the Toronto date.

Soda & Ryan @ NXNE Toronto 2012

Ryan & Soda @ NXNE Toronto 2012

The band completely delivered, playing favorites from the first record all the way up to Ryan’s solo record, Irrational Anthems from 2009. Around that time a new Limblifter record was being teased to have been in the works and they had even been performing a new song entitled “Hotel Knife” which helped further the rumor of a possible new record…

Limblifter Pacific Milk album cover

Limblifter Pacific Milk album cover

Which brings us to Pacific Milk almost 3 years later and well worth the wait. Ryan’s involvement in successful super group Mounties (Including Hawksley Workman and Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat) I imagine held up the process of this record also, which was fine, as the Mounties album Thrash Rock Legacy was a phenomenal exercise in sound and superb songwriting. “Milk” clocks in at just over 35 minutes long and is predecessor to 2004’s crystal clean and meticulously written and produced I/O. Pacific Milk stands on it’s own as every LL record has since day one. Each being different from the next but having that Limblifter stamp on it, or rather that Ryan Dahle signature sound. Ryan is one of the few artists today who have that special power to pen something and have the listener know he was involved in some fashion, a true pioneer. Whether production, guitar riff or elaborate lyric you just know when he’s behind it.

The album starts with that signature Dahle sound as mentioned above right out of the gate in “Cast A Net” and introduces us to the use of different sounding keyboards which run rampant throughout the course of this record. Up next is lead single “Dopamine” which is probably the closest we get to classic sounding Limblifter on this album. Ian Somers (original bassist and Brundlefly brain child) even makes an appearance on “Key Of Karavana” on guitar, which was a pleasant surprise. Megan Bradfield also remains a staple in the Limblifter camp (some 12 years now) lending her knack and penchant for all things with strings.

Limblifter 2015

Limblifter 2015

Pacific Milk is a true expression in Indie/Alt experimentation, combining fresh sounds with a wicked mix of vintage instrumentation, which Dahle frequently boasts his fondness of. Stand out tracks include first single “Dopamine”, “Hotel Knife” (which has appeared as a staple in the live show for a few years now), “Suspended” and “Position Open”.

At first, this may seem like a bit of an extension to Dahle’s solo record with similar production and songwriting. As that may be the case, present here is the more full band vibe, which overshadows it being just a glorified solo record. As a brilliant musician/producer Ryan is not the type to just put the Limblifter trademark on just anything as a crutch because of the fame associated with a name. We can only hope there won’t be another 11 years before another stunning offering from this outfit.


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