The opening track, “Big Skies,” features the dreamy vocals of lead singer Will Whitwham, heavy on the reverb. The song’s only real flaw is that it lasts about two minutes longer than it should and features two expressive guitar solos. The real hit of the album is the second track titled “Leave Someone,” which captures the whimsy of indie-pop music through harmonies and cymbal-heavy drumming. It would definitely be a top candidate for a breakup mix-tape.
Unfortunately for listeners who had their engines revved from “Leave Someone,” the following eight tracks are best described as “adequate.” “Fade From My Light” features the talents of supporting vocalist Amanda Balsys, whose soft voice is overpowered by the intense drums. The album catches back up with the fast-paced “Shift,” although the dull vocals and repetitive backing track make the four minutes last longer than desired. The final four tracks are riddled with Guitar Hero-quality solos and closes with “The Movement of Stars,” which features Balsys repetitively vocalizing before a drum solo brings the album to its natural conclusion.
Between Colours is enjoyable, though not earth shattering, and its only inherent weakness is the lack of a thread between the actual songs, in terms of sound, at least. This is a record showing a band trying on different coats to see what fits, and though there are a number of really great fits, this is the sound of a group still unsure of what direction they ultimately want to pursue. Still, when you bring in a hired gun as big as Alex Lifeson, you have to be doing something right, and the Wilderness of Manitoba is busy clearing its own portage trail through the bush country, even if it does zig-zag a bit. The greatest asset of a record such as Between Colours is that it is a telling reminder that Canadian rock has always been strong, and it just goes to show that, had this come out 30 years ago on Duke Street Records, we might be talking about the Wilderness of Manitoba in the same hushed tones as Canadian artists that paved the way for Canadians to sing about Canada for Canadians, if not to the rest of the world.