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Alt Rock





Oh Geronimo @ The Rivoli

The well dressed, lovable scruffians from south-western Ontario are back en-force. With a new double a-side single, singular story arc music videos to match, Oh Geronimo are bringing their unique branch of electric-folk to music fans and high-fantasy fans alike. The new 7”, The Flood/Waves (TheFlood-Pt2) is crisp, clean, heartfelt, heartbreaking, and just plain good. The Flood retells the story of the band’s cliche, poorly maintained college rental house, the walls leaking and drenching their home and belongings in a seemingly unstoppable layer of misery. Allegory to the difficult, transitory period of time that comes with growing up, The Flood maintains a beautiful, determined outlook at a bleak, seemingly unsurmountable problem. The swirling, swelling music that accompanies is amazing in it’s layers, both rootsy and rocking, electric and eclectic, banjos and crashing drums painting a dreary, energetic picture behind dreamily harmonized vocals. Waves, part 2, is equally as moving, with the music growing and pulsating bigger and louder than it’s counterpart, but the lyrical content taking a crushing dark look at the truth; sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. Love and life have ups and downs, it’s typical but unavoidable. More unfortunately, not every story ends on a high note. Waves is seemingly short, with a terribly abrupt ending, as if we all drowned with the band, swallowed by the sorrow that can engulf us from time to time. The one upside is this; the music that emerged from the darkness is gratifyingly intelligent, nuanced and energizing, and altogether reassuring, as the darkest of nights usually end with the brightest of lights. The videos to go along with the new 7” are a tribute to high-fantasy, borrowing from the likes of Tolkien and George RR Martin. The costumes all seemingly genuine (I hope it’s not real fur for the leg braces, folks!) and the acting and effects on par, it’s a joking-but-not-really-joking take on fantasy realms from the Lord of The Rings and A Song Of Ice And Fire novels. The camerawork and editing capturing the dim and bleak feeling from the songs, as well as matching the aesthetic from the film/television adaptations of the novels, are wonderfully shot. The dedication to character and scene makes you wonder if all involved enjoyed themselves, with their shredded clothing and ever-present drowning (both in theme, and literally). Focusing on a band of travellers, ambushed in the first video, and confronted by an evil sorcerer in the second, our heros are left with an equally unsure ending from the singles themselves. We don’t find a conclusion, we just see the leader of the band, in both senses, up to his neck in rushing water with no help in sight. Find them playing 08/20 @ The Rivoli - Cody Wright

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Boat Culture @ The Smiling Buddah

When a band classifies their sound as “Pussy Rock”, one can only assume they’re merely taking the piss out of themselves. But there really is something empathetic about Boat Culture’s sound. That’s not to say the tracks on their EP Half Old lack a backbone. Boat Culture have patented a style of punchy power-pop occasionally tinged with swirling reverb. All this is successfully expressed without an ounce of jangle. So many bands feel the need to get all jangly with their sound when exploring this territory. Not Boat Culture! Each song on the EP holds it’s own so well, it’s hard to pick a standout track. So we’ll let you decide which one is best. With that said, it would be wise to catch them at The Smiling Buddah on August 20. Don’t miss out! -Chris PJ D

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No King for Countrymen @ The Cavern

These days, it’s common to find fans of indie rock with a nostalgic appreciation for early 2000s mainstream pop punk. While some dismiss it as a sound of yesteryear, others, like Hamilton’s No King For Countrymen instead choose to embrace the sound while incorporating it in their own style. The content on their recent EP A Year In Recovery channels this influence with modern indie rock production, resulting in five powerful tracks full of charging rock tempos and retrospective lyrics. “Alright You Win” a tour de force of heavy guitars, pulsing basslines and the signature passive-aggressiveness found in pop punk lyrics. No King For Countrymen have made a science out of blending introspective content with bursts of indie rock energy, all neatly packaged together with clean production. The Countrymen will be bringing their signature sound to The Cavern in Toronto on August 20. -Chris PJ D

 

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Connecticut singer/songwriter Jesse Terry celebrates EP release at Rockwood on August 18th

As he shows on the airy Americana track “Let The Blue Skies Go To Your Head” (streaming below) from his sophomore release ‘Empty Seat On A Plane,’ New York/Connecticut singer/songwriter Jesse Terry understands the pure comfort that music could provide. Reassuring a worried lover that “The engine’s warm, he’s waiting for you” with his sweet voice and gentle strums, the Berklee College of Music-trained musician assuages doubts but never disingenuously; his vivid lyrics (including “carnival rides” and “halogen lights”) and surprising instrumentation (a drum-clasped interlude towards the end) make sure the song is movingly true. Jesse Terry will celebrate the release of his latest EP (apparently titled ‘The Calm and the Storm’) at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 on Tuesday August 18th. – Zach Weg





The Sun Lions Have Just the Thing to Calm "Whatever's on Your Mind"

I could write a few sentences comparing The Sun Lions' latest work to Dinosaur Jr., or some other mostly-well-known 90s "indie rock" band, but that'd be too easy. Whatever's On Your Mind does scream 90s "indie rock", but there's way more to it than just that. This record has lo-fi grit with hi-fi choruses--an impressive combo of hard-hitting rock n' roll and pop sensibilities. These tracks are jammed with intricate guitar solos and super-tight band chemistry; the stops and starts these guys are capabale of executing are some real high-caliber stuff. My favorite track is "Sammy", with its slow, drunkenly-plodding guitars that take off into a punk-rockin', arm-flailin' riot. The song seems to end just as it began--powerfully trudging to the finish line, but with the addition of a gang-vocal chorus. Sammy's definitely "got a-hold on me" with this one. 

If listening to Whatever's On Your Mind has you looking for more tunes from The Sun Lions, head over to Zuzu in Cambridge, MA tonight and catch their live set. More info about the show can be found here.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn) 
Photo credit: Jess Hodge


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