Full-length debut from Montreal's 28-year-old rock purist

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Sam Roberts – We Were Born In A Flame

A massive hit in his native Canada, Sam Roberts and band?all Jesus beards and scuffed denim?are steeped in every conceivable rock vernacular. With The Dears’ George Donoso on drums, there’s a strong Anglophilia to much of this record that recalls Ride, The Kinks and, on “The Canadian Dream”, a scrubbed-up Beta Band. Classic power-pop and straight-ahead rock get an airing, too?admirable, perhaps, but too ambitious. When they succeed, though, like on the caffeinated garage-stonk of “On The Run” and “Dead End”, they do so with panache.

ROB HUGHES