Chemical City Secret Brain/Universal Canada Music •••• Sound ••••
The cover art recalls prime Styx, but this neopsychedelic wonder could've come out in 1967 from the likes of the Pretty Things. Chemical City takes a pulse-quickening look at an ailing, alien world. You might even call it a concept album, but the individual songs are so viscerally pleasing, you don't have to immerse yourself in the big picture. Sam Roberts is an uncannily bright tunesmith, writing sugar cubes like "Bridge to Nowhere" and "The Resistance." There is also, of course, a lengthier song with tempo changes and frantic lead guitar. Its title? "Mind Flood." 'Nuff said.