Saturday, 19 September 2015

Local Sounds: Volume 2.0

Here's the second volume of this series with five projects from the great city of Montréal. They're all widely different and that's a living proof of the quality of our music scene. I will not waste any time by talking about the weather or whatever, let's start with the first band!

Eliza - A Quit Smoking Soundtrack (2014)
This young Montreal band call their music « prog de casquette » or “hat prog” and while this is a weird description, it's oddly fitting. Their blend of super atmospheric and sad alternative rock certainly has progressive rock influences but the more ethereal ones. I was reminded of the Norwegian band Gaspacho a little since they both play this sort of adventurous but still accessible rock with superb, soaring clean vocals. It's romantic and the guitars are able to create these original yet familar melodies effortlessly. These Quebecois are one of the most promising bands in Montreal and hopefully their debut full length will live up to my expectations and by singing in English, Eliza can open the doors of interntational recognition a bit more easily, they're certainly quite talented and they deserve more admiration. I've missed one of their recent gigs with She Serpent (featured on Volume 1.0) and I feel bad about it.

Free download on Bandcamp

Carnior – Post-Sauce (2014)
Carnior are about to release their third extended play (and final one since they're breaking up) but this is one of their albums released last year. The instrumental quartet is quite interesting, they play an intriguing mix of neo progressive (think of The Flower Kings' love for Yes and Peter Gabriel era Genesis) with some post rock, some electro, some psychedelic, some experimental noise and a love of jazz technics. The bass is thick and heavy in the mix and the keyboard and pianos are really cool and in your face. The guitars are obviously influenced by Steve Hackett (one of the most underrated guitarists of his time) and are particularly juicy, check out the soloing midway through Dark foncé (sul' sofa)”, it's super good. They'll play their last gig next week (September 23rd) and I'll try to attend!

Free download of Post-Sauce on Bandcamp

Basil Oussaint – Agile (2015)
This dude really managed to get me out of my comfort zone (outside of showcasing the best local music, this is certainly one of the purposes of this series) with this album. Agile, his sixth release overall, is a joyful and eccletic blend of pop, world music, electronic, house and synthpop and it's extraordinarly catchy. It's super sexy, the beats are awesome and his vocals and lyrics (all in French) are super attractive and corny in the best way possible. Basil has basically no internet presence outside of this Bandcamp page but fans of the great Philippe Katerine's most out there material will dig this record. Bonus point for having a cat on the cover art!

Free download on Bandcamp
Golden Python – Matt Damon vs. The World (2014)
Since I saw Team America in the theaters (damn, this was more than 10 years ago), the
“MATT DAMON” joke has always been one of my favorite running gags so the title of this album by Golden Python got my attention. Their first EP is a fantastic experimental indie rock record with some math rock and screamo influences with fucked up lyrics. I was reminded of Modest Mouse a little mostly because of their unorthodox musicality and weird poetry. There's almost a video game music influence here but it's all played with the traditional rock instruments, the guitars are really playing these complex and strange melodies (check out “Flat Tree / Fat Tone”). Highly recommended for those who think indie rock is boring, this is far from being mundane.

Buy the EP on their Bandcamp

Growing Pains – Mood (2015)
Released back in June, this EP is simply a stunning piece of grungy power pop/punk/alternative rock and I can't get enough of it. It's very 90s and has the same mournful but uplifiting feel early Weezer had. It's all about being concise and punchy unlike some of the more intellectual and atmospheric picks of this Volume. I really like the four short pieces on “Mood”, especially the softer one “Paradox”. I want more of this! It's sweet nostalgic music, it's accesible, melodic but has enough power in the riffs to not be a sacharrine affair devoid of intellectual integrity like most of the mainstream pop punk projects.

Live with Pluum (featured on Volume 1.0), Golden Python and 2 other bands soon @Turbo Haus

Free download on Bandcamp

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