Their dynamic self-titled debut from late 2013 is a dramatic expression of he-she blues-wild and razor-edged alt-rock excitement. Think sweet-and-sour Metric-meets-Tom Waits, though I’m never quite sure which of singers Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay is the sweet and which is the other. They both have star power, and the Toronto quintet’s inventive videos advertise a striking live presentation. No flavour of the month here – sky’s the limit.Ok, sure it's a Canadian newspaper talking about a Canadian band, so of course it's a puff piece. You know you are just a tad backwoods when you are always supportive of local talent. But it's not bad, really. A thousand times more listenable (and watchable) than, say, Nicki Minaj. Mind you, I don't think I would describe a repeated eighth-note bass line as "razor-edged alt-rock excitement". It reminds me of someone, though I can't think who at the moment. But really, no trace of Tom Waits here, sorry. The next clip is by Steph Cameron. Here is what they say:
Here comes a B.C.-based songstress, finger picker and free spirit. From her debut album , Cameron has been likened to Dylan and Mitchell, but if I was in the comparison business – and I suppose I am – I’d see her as a young and bluesy Maria Muldaur. There’s a breezy longing to her fluid, folky material, and even if her characters are rumblin’ and tumblin’, one can hear the swagger as a front. Then again, when a suicide ballad has a line like “Give me a kiss and a good shotgun shell,” anything is possible. Johnny Cash smiles in hell.Well, ok, but when I see the phrase "B.C.-based songstress" it makes me think of the satirical Sarah Binks, Sweet Songstress of Saskatchewan. A few too many resonances with Bob Dylan's "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" while not matching the quality. She's certainly cute enough and I'll bet she lives on Saltspring Island. Next up is Legato Vipers with "Gangly Dancer" and frankly, this one makes me long for Nicki Minaj:
I doubt these Ontario surf-rock boogie-meisters would know a surfboard from an ironing board. Hell, they probably wouldn’t even know an ironing board. Which means wrinkles, which is what Legato Vipers brings to the classic art of bad-ass beach music and careening psychedelic twang. Their initial album glistens with stylish staccato and switchblade attitude – a soundtrack to a Tarantino lucid dream. Surf is so up.Here's a hint, if you see the phrase "Ontario surf-rock boogie-meisters" just run! There is no surf in Ontario, just hoar-frost. Plus, instrumentals went out with the Ventures:
Regarding the video, if you are going to shake your ass, I think you have to at least do it better than Nicki Minaj. Now here is some razor-edged, alt-rock, songstress, surf-rock music that works:
At this point, I was starting to lose my will to live, so I didn't risk listening to the rest of the clips. There may be some great new bands in Canada (in fact, I'm sure there are), but the know-nothings in Toronto writing for the Globe and Mail probably don't have a clue who they are. Let's refresh the palate with some Bob Dylan, shall we?