I am presently writing from Hamburg, Germany where I’m spending my holidays discovering bands and venues and drinking a whole lotta beer. Right before leaving on a jet plane (more like 3 planes with a helluva long layover), I got the chance to catch one of my new favourite Montreal bands: Young Lungs. That night the St. Ambroise Center was host to four bands who delivered rockin’ tunes on a hot summer’s night: ELK, Kurvi Tasch, Young Lungs, and Year of Glad.
The St. Ambroise Center is a nice cozy venue where I’d seen songwriter circles and workshops in the past. Given the difference in decibel levels, I was worried that these bands might find their sound drowned out or distorted like crazy by the dimensions of the space. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Center was rad for bands with a complex sound and actually gave some songs an interesting texture. The delicious McAuslan brews were also a great part of the evening and I treated myself to a few. The lighting, which was great for concealing my awkward dance moves, was not great for photographs and so apologies for the lack of photos.
The first band to play was Elk, a four piece from Toronto and the Niagara Region. They are Michael Price (guitar, vox), Kyle Connolly (guitar vox), Benjamin Pokol (bass, vox), and Josh Korody (drums, vox). As they began to play, projections of random and out of context clips were projected behind the band (and on the drummer). These dudes delivered what can be described as a spin on a 60’s garage band. Their set was quite fun and had me up and dancing despite my exhaustion and emo predisposition: they got a smile on my face and a twist in my hips. It’s hard to find comparisons for their sound but I’d say a hodge-podge of The Kinks, The Who, and some new spin on the Mod sound.
Kurvi Tasch was up next and they are a three piece who refer to their music as ”rock pop post-apocalyptic sludge”. This totally fits with the bizarre video projections accompanying their tunes. These projections, which were trippy and great for creating a dystopian mood, were also kinda distracting from the music at times – especially when a naked woman shot fireworks out of her boobs.
Back to the band: From what I heard of their set, which was all of it, I got the impression they were going for some sort of retro vibe, not a very difficult observation but nonetheless. From their Facebook page, I’d refine that statement to ‘post-retro’. I’m not sure what post-retro is, but whatever it is it sounds good. Kudos. Their set wasn’t as conducive to dancing as Elk but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Their sound got tighter with each song and I’d definitely like to see where it goes in the next few years.
This was my second time hearing Young Lungs rock out and I was not disappointed in the least. Young Lungs were by far my favourite part of the night, making me wanna pick up my brand new electric guitar and jam till dawn. For a three piece, their sound is full and contagious. Gervais Robinson (drums, vox), Guillaume Carroll (bass, vox), and Justin Ross (guitar, vox) delivered a high energy, no-holds-barred set. Their three voices, performance style, and ‘power through’ percussions give them that sumthin’ sumthin’.
Watch for a video interview with these crazy dudes coming out in the next few days on FTB.
Full disclosure, I didn’t stay till the end of the show. I know, I know, very unprofessional. But I had some goodbyes to give to some loved ones and was all rocked out for the evening. Not a good enough excuse, I know. Year of Glad, I.O.U. You can check out their stuff at http://yearofglad.bandcamp.com/