NXNE may already have come and gone as of today, but I’m sure like me your body isn’t willing to let you forget the weekend just yet. I mentioned it before, but Dan and Terri knew what they were doing when they made my sched as usual. I didn’t see a single band during NXNE that I really hated. Usually I have to write at least one scathing review a festival. On that note, here’s what I saw on Saturday:
Wendy Leung @ Rancho Relaxo
Wendy Leung– of EX~PO– has been toiling away at chemical sound recording brand new material that leans more towards dance-pop indie-rock than the can-rock sound of her former band. Dean Marino (also of EX~PO) does lend his excellent guitar work to keep it from going completely soft. Wendy is also backed by the talented boys of B’MO Crazy. Sound eclectic? It was, the songs are sounding great as well, but one thing I will say is that it didn’t feel like the coming out party for the songs that I was expecting. Energy was a little muted (maybe a result of drummer Kayle having an injured leg, or the fact that everyone seemed to be at Y&D). I look forward to seeing the material live more though because from the sounds of it, they’ll get crowds moving.
Cotton Mouth @ Rancho Relaxo
Cotton Mouth have members of Parlovr, a band I like quite a bit and have been gaining a lot of speed. Much like Parlovr, Cotton Mouth will have some trouble escaping comparisons to Wolf Parade (it’s mostly the vocals). They played a great batch of art-rock/indie, and anyone who likes that kind of angular pop songwriting should be checking them out. I was impressed.
Savoir Adore @ Sneaky Dee’s
Another pleasant surprise this year came from Brooklyn’s Savoir Adore. They’re boy/girl indie-pop, yet another genre that is easy to muck up. Thankfully they didn’t, and their strong melodies melded well with the two singers voices, and the rhythm section played super tight. Check out their MySpace and listen to “Early Bird” and tell me that chorus melody isn’t going to be in your head all day. Just do it. Wishing I bought their t-shirt now.
Asteroid #4 @ Rancho Relaxo
My friend Bruce made a good point the other day when he noted that there was an abundance of garage-rock and heavier bands this year at NXNE. Asteroid #4 joined the majority when they played their set of psychadelic wall-of-sound that also conjured up memories of the 90’s. I can’t say that they re-invented the wheel when it comes to psych-pop– but they were on point for the whole show and I had a good time watching them.
Teenanger @ The Silver Dollar
See what I mean? Teenanger are one of– if not the best– garage-punk bands going right now in Toronto. Actually scratch that, one of the best right now in general. Their high energy beer-soaked show at the Dollar was fantastic, I’ve seen Teenanger before and I love them every time. Their singer is practically a member of the crowd, since he spends so much time singing and spitting beer from it. Just. Plain. Awesome.
Comanechi @ The Silver Dollar
Yes, I saw them twice. This time with: a bigger crowd and better sound. Goddamn, that was a rock show!
I will take this opportunity to say DAMMMMN RANCHO WAS HOT! Apologies to whoever played this slot because it was far too hot to do anything other than complain about how effing hot it was in there. Sheesh!
Krupke @ Rancho Relaxo
Unfortunately Krupke’s set started off with a disaster, Mike’s keyboard stopped working and it took a while for a replacement to arrive. They went on very late and a chunk of the crowd had taken off by that point. Still, there was a fair amount of people up front and I still thought they put on a enjoyable show regardless of the mishap. Their quirky juxtaposed-pop was in top form, and everyone was digging it except one really drunk guy who took to boo-ing at the end of the set. But that guy seemed to be a douchebag.