NQ Arbuckle: No Hands Bicycle
NQ Arbuckle - No Hands Bicycle (Six Shooter Records): Earlier this week, Toronto roots-rockers NQ Arbuckle (a band led by singer/songwriter Neville Quinlan) announced that a new album, Love Songs For The Long Game, will be released on May 19. This scribe's first reaction to the news was 'it's about time!' You see, back in May 2020, I positively reviewed the album's title track, the group's first new music in six years, and expressed a hope for more music on the way.
Some three years later, here it is. The delay is perhaps not a total surprise, given that Quinlan has never followed music industry norms.
Is it worth the long wait? Hell yeah. Over sparse production, Quinlan lives up to his reputation as an ace bar-room balladeer, delivering typically evocative lines with his signature virile vocals. Check out these sample lyrics: "I think I'm going to stay here til the glasses are all broke, sing songs in Spanish and throw my money around, and drink with all the vampires and play the music way too loud."
A label press release describes the track as "a fitting reminder that it’s never too late to pick up where you left off. With a commitment to perseverance, No Hands Bicycle opts to keep on swimming against the tide. What other choice is there?"
The upcoming album (the group's fifth) happily reunites NQ Arbuckle with Luke Doucet (Whitehorse), producer of the band's debut album, Hanging The Battle-Scarred Pinata, way back in 2002. Love Songs For The Long Game was recorded at The Bathouse in Kingston, and mixed by Howie Beck, and features original members Peter Kesper and Mark Kesper, alongside keyboard ace Robbie Grunwald.
Over its unconventional career, NQ Arbuckle has earned two Juno Award nominations and serious respect from musical peers, while still flying largely under the radar. Quinlan is one of the very best singer/songwriters we have, and hopefully the new album will bring increased attention.
NQ Arbuckle opens shows for Whitehorse’s Ontario tour, running from May 18 to June 16. Tickets and show details are here.