The Maysides, an indie band from Hamilton in Canada is the trio of Matt Harris (Lead Vocals / Guitar), Kellen Bolger (Bass / Backing Vocals) and Michael Lamb (Drums / Backing Vocals).
With an easy hand on the tiller The Maysides provide music which has bite and poise. Somewhat derivative of West Coast USA indie-pop there is however more of a frisson of emotional context as a smattering of garage derived guitar scours away the burnish to great effect.
The percussion lays down precise and sharp solidity to the tracks, whilst vocal spins along the material with a softer lens. The Maysides provide a sound which manages to cleave a path between radio presentation and a harder hitting resonance delivering easily manageable slices of music that holds the audiences attention. The compositions are well written, enabling the songs to flow a natural stream, whilst never running like sterilised, anodised time-fillers.
A recent six track EP – Evicted – has been used by the band to showcase their diversity of out-put and is a good starting place to get to know The Maysides.
Evicted – EP – The Maysides is available on iTunes*.
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Broad And Narrow is a rock band from Cambridge in Canada comprising Nate Toews (Vocals / Guitar / Drums) and Brent Nowlan (Vocals / Guitar / Bass / Keys).
Broad And Narrow
Broad And Narrow are the third band reviewed today with a Cambridge connection – each Cambridge in a different country and each musical style completely different. The duo are experienced players who formed the band just over a year ago and have just released their debut LP We Saw This Coming.
Very much an in the middle of the road mellow, slightly melancholic rock band, the storytelling is well constructed with the feel of the music reflecting the tale unfolding, which gives the duo a relevance as they seek to compose songs that resonate of a moment rather than forcing two disparate ideas together. Between the two of them there are a multitude of instruments and effects that could be deployed, yet, they avoid over production keeping the material on an even kilter.
Whilst working well as a studio recording out-fit it will be interesting to see how, or if, Broad And Narrow transition to a live plugged-in band. Though not one to sit on my everyday playlist, that isn’t to say it shouldn’t be on yours as the duo deliver music of the highest quality, it just happens to be in a style that I don’t play everyday.
I wish the duo every success and look forward to finding out how the sounds and live performances develop over the coming months for Broad And Narrow.
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Van Funk a blues folk duo from Edmonton in Canada is Jordan Van Funk (Vocals / Guitar) and Jessica Fedorek (Vocals / Harmonica).
Van Funk: Artwork for 13
Despite it being just pre-dawn as I type, even though I don’t drink the stuff, I feel an urgent need for a whisky to match the mood on hitting play as the gravel rolls around the speakers prior to clipping across the room. Van Funk deliver their music with context, timing and atmosphere and the best bet for the audience is to soak up the sounds on offer.
Drifting instrumentation floats serenely, accompanied by voices laden with emotive context and the combination of the two brings the material to life, feeding into the soul of the listeners. Originally getting together in 2011 the duo have always been prolific songwriters and have managed to hone down a selection for their debut LP which comes out, appropriately, on the 13th December, with the name of 13 which is named after the number of songs on the LP, although ironically there is a fourteenth – but you will need to grab hold of the release when it comes out to find out about that one.
I have had the opportunity to listen to 13 and can say that if you have an interest in blues with a touch of folk, rock, funk and garage this is a fine addition to the collection. Whilst they have been working on the LP they have maintained a live presence and I feel Van Funk have a sound best shared with friends and strangers. If they get to play near you, I would think it likely to be an evening well spent.
Invasions a dream pop quintet from Toronto in Canada is Alex, Brian, Matt, Brian and Ara.
The mystique of Invasions emerges from the lo-fi connotations. Kick off your shoes and let the warming waves of the quintet wash over the body; Strip away the clothing and just revel in the warming jets of mist that flow around the room as the band mutates betwixt the instrumentation as an unstoppable stream of warming instrumentation disperses its scent, whilst the vocal slides though the instruments like a panther stalking prey.
Configured to entice the pleasure zones, Invasions portend of delights to come and the triumphalist bugle which intersperse many tracks sits as a valedictory triumphalism which suits the minds eye of the audience. Displaced sounds weft across the room, floating like ethereal spirits for the ears to hone towards yet fail to capture as the group meanders off the direction of travel.
Individual tracks are not overly long, yet the brain is convinced it has been on a lengthy stay as Invasions combine both simple constructs with variations on a theme providing sounds which capture the imagination. I just need another lay down to absorb the atmosphere.
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The Almighty Rhombus from Greater Sudbury in Canada is the alt-rock quintet of Mike Kenny (Guitar / lead Vocals), Clayton Drake (Keys), Neil Bednis (Bass), Carter Drake (Drums) and Cameron Drake (Guitar).
The Almighty Rhombus
An entertaining collection of sounds slide their way into the ears on hitting play as The Almighty Rhombus with hazed guitars and fleeting keys deliver their sounds which are predominately wrapped up inside three minutes. Intriguingly they also have at least one track that extends for over seven minutes.
I was transported on more than one occasion to the sunnier climes of the Los Angeles whilst listening, yet there is equally something quite urbane in the songs. You knew it wouldn’t be possible for me not to mention Euclidean geometry given the name The Almighty Rhombus. Somehow the fifth member gives the band an appropriate name for a four sided equilateral shape as the ‘Almighty’ suggest something more than your regular and in this they undoubtedly live up to expectations. I always enjoy bands who are able to express themselves succinctly, which I know sits as an intriguing juxtaposition to my own verbosity in reviews, but nonetheless I do and their short tracks contain everything that is needed to express the context.
Of additional pleasure is the way that the percussion and bass hustle along the music, whilst not taking over the pieces, but ever present and entertaining. These five players work well together delivering sounds which add value to the day and for that, I thank The Almighty Rhombus.
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