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Arkells bring ornate power-pop south of the border

Arkells bring ornate power-pop south of the border Canadian indie-rock outfit Arkells plays the Town Ballroom at 8 p.m. Saturday.


Arkells have been living a charmed life in their native Canada for the past few years, winning a “Best New Group” Juno in 2010 and following it up with a flat-out best group, period, Juno in 2012.

The band – an arresting indie-rock/alt-pop blend is its stock in trade – fostered its songwriting acumen across the expanse of two platters released since its 2008 formation, the first of which, “Jackson Square,” revealed abundant charms that were polished to a fine gloss on the follow-up, “Michigan Left.” But it is the third album, the still-newborn “High Noon,” that truly signals Arkells’ arrival as a force to be reckoned with.

“High Noon” is stunning for many reasons, but principal among them is the fact that the five-piece, Max Kerman-fronted outfit has taken indie-rock and injected it with the sort of anthemic, slightly drunken power-pop sensibilities displayed by a band like the Hold Steady, or even early Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

Oh, and then there’s the impossible to deny influence of prime period – and by prime period, I mean the late ’70s, of course – Electric Light Orchestra. Make of that what you will, but for my money, this influence is an awesome thing to behold, as it suggests a full embracing of the power of the well-turned and honestly come by chorus hook. Look no further than the uber-catchy “Leather Jacket” for a hint of what I’m hearing.

Complete domination of the United States would seem to be an inevitability, if talent and taste have anything to do with such an outcome. For now, though, Arkells remain a regional concern. Happily, we are within that region. Arkells return to the city they fell in love with while opening for the Tragically Hip at Canalside three summers back at 8 p.m. Saturday, when they’ll take the stage of the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.).

Remaining tickets are $18 advance, $22 day of show, and can be found at the Town Ballroom box office or through

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