On the opening track of his most recent album, Living Daylight, Michael Rault begins with one of his best lines: "I'm so damned tired I don't want to go out/ I don't want to stay here all alone." The lack of a "but" between the two seemingly contradictory thoughts somehow drives home the ambivalence even more. It's a partier problem—there are worse things in the world than wondering what to do for the night—but when Rault adds, "I'm so tired of bein' all alone, on my own," it all starts feeling a bit more existential. Fortunately, as if to make sure it doesn't feel heavy, the Toronto singer and his garage rock band wrap the angsty lyrics in guitar fuzz, twist-and-strut dance rhythms and sassy punctuations of "ow!" and "woo-hoo!"
Living Daylight is a fun album, though it's a mixed bag. Rault's lyrics get pretty silly in songs like "Sucksess." (Clever title, though.) Instrumentally, "To All My Friends" and a few other tracks drown in Beatles-esque psychedelia, while his carnival-style rendition of "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" is far more stirring than the Old 97's' attempt. Rault's got an ear for party music, but he's at his best when he throws in more lyrical tension.
Michael Rault plays Stage 112 Sun., Oct. 25. Doors at 9 PM, show at 10. $5. 18-plus.