Miracle Fortress (Graham Van Pelt)

Miracle Fortress, We're Marching On @ The Boat

The good weather brings along great music which you can bathe in. You can bathe in the sun, the rain, or even the rare sun-shower! I think the lot of us are looking forward to that big change from wintery times and snow in our eyes. Tonight, that weather change begins with Montreal side-project gone AMAZING, Miracle Fortress, local psych-powers of epic proportions, We're Marching On, and Thornhill fusion rockers, Atlas Eyes.

On a special note, tonight is Miracle Fortress' CD release party for their debut record, Five Roses. The show is at The Boat and the damage is $7 at the door.

While We're Marching On are a parade on their own, Miracle Fortress are definitely creating a ruckus with ease. However, that didn't mean the debut record was created with the same kind of ease.

Five Roses

Van Pelt's musical ingenuity has kept him inside the recording studio, working arduously to complete a record which I had only heard he was working on a few months ago. Having a lovely brunch with him and friends during an October in Montreal, I would sit there and praise Think About Life (other current band project) constantly disregarding his solo project which, I had to find about shortly thereafter, was going to be something to pay attention to. Being a lost duck in Montreal, I had missed Miracle Fortress' Pop Montreal set (reviewed by Chromewaves.net). However, I had a 2nd chance to see him in Toronto at the Whippersnapper Gallery (review) and was liking what I was hearing, but was a bit lost from what I had seen at first. Letting the music and loops seep in after a short-short while, I had purchased his debut EP entitled 'Watery Grave' and mellowed out to that. While the EP only has 5 tracks on it, it is outstanding.

Five Roses is a superior blend of beach-rock, spacey electro harmonies and soothing melodies: all of this created by Graham Van Pelt (note: born in Stratford, Ontario - woo!). While everyone has compared Miracle Fortress to the same bands, I might as well do the same because there's not much else you can say. The sounds of My Bloody Valentie echo through out the record, and the vocal styling and song-writing of Brian Wilson are clearly evident. Five Roses is a dedication to a loved one, a love letter if you will, and is well-done through out. While songs like 'Next Train' and 'Little Trees' play as if your heart is beating out of your chest, tunes such as 'Blasphemy', especially performed live, illustrate Van Pelt's ascension (climax of the record) to a point where you've been waiting for this moment for the past 30-odd minutes. This is, in fact, a great moment on the record. Miracle Fortress shares his elation with you. It's easy to describe points of this record as euphoric, similar to the power and stride that is easily taken from Think About Life.

Overall, Five Roses is definitely a "summer record", as NOW Magazine had put it. As previously mentioned, with great weather comes great music. Don't let this one pass you by.

Miracle Fortress started off as a solo project. Now, Van Pelt has recruited the assistance of Jessie Stein (S.S. Cardiacs/The Luyas), Adam Waito (Telefauna) & Jordan Robson Cramer (Sunset Rubdown/Magic Weapon). Five Roses is available for pre-order through Secret City Records. You may also stream the entire record off of Myspace.

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