Gambling with God, the second full-length from much hyped Toronto trio Magneta Lane is a near-flawless piece of indie rock. Lexi Valentine’s near-perfect voice and straightforward guitar style both have enough beauty and attitude to carry gentle ballads and full rock-outs. French’s bass lines are deep, tight and consistent, gluing the songs together. Nadia King’s phenomenal beat-keeping is dynamic and interesting. The band has a great sense of song structure and the lyrics are thoughtful. The track list is diverse and well-ordered. Most of all, these ladies manage to create a huge sound with just three people.
However, there is still something missing. Gambling with God is good, but why isn’t it great? It is not particularly mind-blowing, but it is enjoyable to listen to. It isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it is well done. Perhaps there is something lost in the mix; it is almost too clean and perfect. It could use more grit—more life. It sounds as though something is held back. It has all the ingredients to hit but fails to connect. In the end, it is a good album that will probably sound great live.