Review: Joseph Leroux Photos: Aaron Cunningham
Last weekend the crowded floor of Lucky Bar was treated to an early show by locals Sure, Jons and Freak Heat Waves.
Sure opened the night with their brand of power-pop inspired alt-rock, reminiscent of early Cloud Nothings. They performed with a cheery no-fucks-given attitude. Vocalist Kyle Hull joked with the sound tech while the band got their levels wrong; percussionist Jason Michaud swerved the band’s tempo in a way that made it no less fun to bash into strangers at the front of the room. You could see the members of Sure smiling as they nailed the guitar hook in Melancholy and the Infinite Party from their recent release Either Way. Hansmole wrote on some Vic City T-shirts and Sure sold them at cost as band tees. Is there anything Hansmole can’t make better?
Jons are Victoria classic. Their music has a sleepy looseness to it both live and recorded. After Sure’s set of high energy fun times, Jons sounded especially subdued and trancelike--but don’t let that dissuade you from catching Jons live. They’re a band that knows the value of considered musicianship and songwriting. Their brooding, psychedelic pop has an aura of surreality to it, and is always well-executed. They performed a cover of The Smiths’ This Night Has Opened My Eyes, and it suited them especially. As vocalist Patrick Rendell sang “and I’m not happy/and I’m not sad” you got the impression that in that moment it wasn’t quite true, that instead, the cover was a high point for both crowd and band.
It seems every time Freak Heat Waves plays a show their lineup is different. This one found the band onstage as a four-piece, angular and droning. It was a resurgence of the krautrock vibes that garnered them their initial following, a vibe from which they had intentionally wandered on last years release Bonnie’s State of Mind. Vocalist Steven Lind delivered philosophies of ironic fatalism in his characteristically dry and unaffected tone. Guitar melodies pinged off one another and the crowd got caught up in it. Freak Heat Waves begins a parade through western Canada and the most friendly of American states at the Biltmore in Vancouver on January 27th. They return for a homecoming show at Logan’s Pub March 31st.
- Joseph Leroux