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Psych

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Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances @ the Horseshoe

Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances come from a dirty garage somewhere in Toronto. They play beautifully dirty garage rock. They're most recent single "Open" could have been invented anywhere in the 50s, 60s or 70s. Lucky for us it's brand new and that means there could be even more psychedelic pop rock still to come from these guys. The reverby guitars blend so well with the lazy vocals. It makes for a great track to zone out to on a hot day. Faiyaz and The Wasted Chances play The Horseshoe Tavern on Wednesday May 20. Don't waste your chance to see them!-Kris"Big City"Gies

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DOOMSQUAD-"Pageantry Suite”

Electronic rhythm, electric guitars, eclectic groove. Altogether lightning and extremely striking. Doomsquad brings together digital ambience, with velvet-smooth melodies and a serious funk. Three siblings and a metric ton of musical talent. Their new EP ”Pageantry Suite” contains some tunes that are good for getting around, getting down, or just kicking back and learning all the layers and nuances that are hidden within. Two Way Mirror is reminiscent of the B52’s over a crispy-cool baseline and light drone-pop percussion. The half shout lead made vocals relay a sincere sense of urgency and frustration, and the new-wave vogue in the female leads serve as a perfect counterweight. Apocalypso recalls Talking Heads, with a wave of ambience sitting behind a perfectly subdued minimalist rhythm. The accenting, effect-laden guitar lines recall both disco and a relaxing island calypso, like a dream sequence during the rapture. Ice Storm opens with a sustaining organ and tribal-sounding drums, to the tempo of a slow trudge through a frozen tundra. The tension builds with each element added, bringing dissonance and space, drops it off at the midway point, and does it all over again in a completely different tone for an extended cataclysmic groove that seems to carry on forever, and you’ll enjoy every savoury bit. Though there is so much going on throughout the record, it never feels dense or forced, and every swell, chord and synth feels essential, organs keeping a body alive.-Cody Wright

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The Sulks @ the Handlebar

If Kyuss listened to The Ventures instead of Black Sabbath, you’d get The Sulks. Bringing a pulsing pounding beat to ethereal howling and gypsy jazz licks, their song “Sulker” certainly sounds like one. Beefy rock with some intelligent melodic restraint. So far, the only look we have taken into their haunting future is represented by two live bootleg tracks; the aforementioned Sulking, and a Dick Dale-ian surf-punk romp called “Cabin Fever”. The slippery guitar lines, supported by a supremely slamming rhythm section paints a picture, and a slightly frightening one at that. These fine folks certainly have a flair for what they do, and we love their beautifully bizarre style. Check them out Saturday, May 16th, at Handlebar.-Cody Wright

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Michael Rault @ Silver Dollar

Shake, Rattle and Roll with Michael Rault. He is a talented, multi-instrumentalist that gives his listeners an era-blending modern take on familiar sounds from the 50’s , 60’s and 70’s. A recent Toronto transplant from his native Edmonton, Michael Rault puts his creative perspective into perspective with his latest album release “Living Daylight”. There is nothing fuzzy about his sound, he commits to claim it! A pioneer of dynamic rock n’ roll, transforming rhythms and beats with an undeniable brilliant pop vocal and heart piercing guitar riffs, every track is is a hit! So put your dancin’ shoes on, “Living Daylight” has us moving from top to bottom. The opening track ‘All Alone (On My Own)’ is captivating, shaking you up with tambourines, clapping hands and familiar charming vocal harmonies. ‘Real Love (Yeah)’ coats you with heavy guitars that peak and valley to talkative keys that beat to the oohs of “real love”. ‘Too All My Friends’ takes it down a notch with vocals that sway to romantic keys and easy-acid guitars. Michael Rault is currently on tour, see him Saturday May 23 @ the Silver Dollar before he jumps the border showcasing his sounds in the USA.

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Wishyunu Single Release: A Sampler of Psych

Walking in to Mississippi Studios last Sunday, it felt like the three band pairing of Cambrian Explosion, Jackson Boone and Wishyunu would be a strange one. Based on their recordings, it appeared that there was very little to tie all the music together aside from the fact that each band identified with psych music in some way. What seemed to be an evening of mismatched artists turned out to be an ideal sampler of all the variations that psych-rock can take. 

Cambrian Explosion played first, their set a dark dreamscape. Members of Cambrian Explosion appeared introspective on stage, incredibly invested in the music, which didn’t leave the audience with much to look at. However, the intricacy and unpredictability of the music gave the audience plenty to focus on: songs exploding surprisingly into sound, heavy distortion, and instruments blended so expertly it was difficult to decipher who was playing which part.  

Playing second was Jackson Boone whose take on psych is both dreamy and jazzy. Their set seemed like a fitting middle-ground between the dark vibes of Cambrian Explosion and the more pop-centric focus of Wishyunu. Jackson Boone’s specialty seems to be creating psych-pop lullabies that develop quietly into full psych-rock cacophony. “Open” was decidedly the most experimental song they played, straying away from the easy rhythms and soft melodies comprising most of their set. The crowd was receptive and seemed more willing to nod their heads along as the night progressed.

Wishyunu’s set started with some technical difficulty, probably in part because the duo is so busy on stage, with Bei Yan filling the role of guitarist, synth-player, and vocalist. As Yan sorted out her issues on stage, dropping in an out of sound, drummer Tony Bertaccini remained solid on the drums, helping the audience stay engaged as they waited. Wishyunu’s songs are progressive, layering beat on top of beat and then dreamily disintegrating melodies into new ones, catchy hooks giving way to unexpected drum fills. The energy of their set was frenetic, unlike Cambrian Explosion or Jackson Boone, their music made your blood move faster, catapulting you forward with them as they played.

Their new single “Photoplay” is a dark electro-pop song that seemed to show a new direction for the band, less ambient than their older songs and more driven. The other song off of their 7-inch, “Summer Suit” was ethereal and focused, especially compared to the older songs they played surrounding their new releases, again proving that Wishyunu has started refining their vision and sound. You can catch them next in Portland on June 21st at the Holocene. 

-Sarah Eaton

Photos by Lena Knofler

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