POP madness | CROSSS + Smokes + Walrus

by • September 19, 2015 • Montreal Festivals, MusicComments (0)193

Friday night at POP Montreal had me regretting Thursday’s tequila and Saturday has come in a haze of vague shame, physical depletion, and the feeling that, although I went to five venues in one night, I still probably missed something good. POP Montreal gives one a desire to send out robot replicas of yourself, that you may witness it all, be everywhere at once. I long for omnipotence.

The next best thing, however, was getting to see Walrus, Smokes and Crosss jam hard at Chez Boris. Preceding the show was their own recurring happening, Chez Boris After Dark, a new event that features organic meals made from scratch (so far the place has seen sushi, tacos, thalis and a participation in Burger Week) as well as film screenings (last night’s was local Co-op documentary Food for Change). Think Dinner and a Movie, with style.

If you are feeling an acute desperation to get involved in the real jive of Montreal, the art, music, events and food, no palette is complete without hitting up Chez Boris. That, my friend, is an irrefutable fact.

Until last night, I hadn’t yet had the privilege to witness Walrus; they left me totally surprised, invigorated by their groovy sound, hard hitting percussion and general style. Passing through town on a Canadian tour, the Halifax-based band had the place packed tight with thrashing bodies, upbeat melodies that crashed down into heavy jams like the waves of their coastal origins. They’re off to Ontario for Snoozefest, and I’m keeping my ears open for these guys, in the hopes that I get to hear them again soon.

And Smokes killed it, as usual. The tone of the vocals always pleases me, in that it sounds like Nick Maas is singing through an echoing tin can strung from his bedroom to yours. That they have Patrick Cruvellier ripping back on some serious violin just adds an element of beautiful, swirling motion to songs that are already rocking and rolling through the ether in your brain.

It’s always a pleasure to hear bands that are wholly original and putting forth something new, a sound that belongs to them.

As for Crosss, forget about it. They’re just great. This Toronto-based band of madmen (and woman, one Scarlett Rose) brings you along in what sounds like a black lace parade of smashing sound, this gothic orgiastic celebration of song. If you still haven’t listened, they just released their 2nd album, Lo, and seem to live nowhere but a tour van, so tune in. (And it never hurts that their drummer is fucking sexy.)

Honourable mentions must go out to Motherhood and Bantam Wing, who also played, and played well, but my memory has been altered by Pabst Blue Ribbon and I can only write about so much…My apologies.

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