It was a night for metal on Wednesday May 1st, as three bands prepared to bring hell right into Turbo Haüs. Montreal was once again plagued by freezing winds and nonstop rain, yet that didn’t stop fans of Dead Quiet, headlining the show, from leaving the warmth of their homes to fill their bellies with beer and their heads with ear-shattering music.
Montreal is no stranger to doom, with many such bands popping up all over the local scene. It was no surprise to see people show up on a rainy Wednesday night to support our friends from Vancouver, the great Dead Quiet.
First on stage was Ian Blurton’s Future Now coming in from Toronto to show us how they rock. More of a straight forward rock and metal sound, the four-piece had riffs for the whole family. With minimal effects to their instruments, their sound was reminiscent of earlier hard rock bands from the late 70s. Ian Blurton played the guitar and sang, laying down some layered guitar with his fellow six-stringer Aaron Goldstein. Harmonies were supplied by the rhythm section, which added extra power to the vocals, making the band feel larger.
“Upon Yesterday,” my favourite track from their show, had some of that twin guitar action I mentioned earlier, as well as some very uplifting melodies. A few bluesy breakdowns added to the mix and Ian Blurton’s Future Now had a full set, with songs to please the entire crowd. And while I’m at it, shout out to drummer Glenn Milchem for those killer triplets; those always put a smile on my face.
On stage next was Montreal’s very own Mountain Dust who still brought it home although they played a very short set. At this point, I feel like I might be repeating myself, but Mountain Dust is a golden treasure of Montreal’s local music scene. Their blend of doom, psychedelic rock, and soulful blues makes for an amazing experience. Brendan Mainville has a voice that will shake the foundations of your soul, and guitar skills that go wonderfully with Patrick Bennett’s Korg and lap steel combo. Hal Jaques and Blair Youngblut on that rhythm work kept the music tight and coordinated, which helped the audience navigate through their electric sound.
Mountain Dust played their classic “Evil Deeds,” which is very hard not to headbang to. The moody keyboard playing adds a certain tension to their songs, which makes their breakdowns all the more satisfying. These lads were at ease on stage, having played Turbo Haus so many times before, I might even start calling them “Mountain Dust from Turbo Haus.” That’s not a bad thing, mind you, as it made them all the more comfortable being themselves on stage. They also played “Dead Queen,” a nine-minute epic that travels many different spectrums of musical genres. It was a short and sweet set, giving the audience a taste of what they could do. They left the stage with the crowd applauding, now ready for the final act.
I didn’t know much about Dead Quiet before the show, and I was pleasantly surprised by how easily they adapted to the audience and crowd. I feel like they also played a fairly short set, but that might just be because I was enjoying myself too much. It is such a pleasure to see musicians having fun on stage. Kevin Keegan is a very active guitarist and singer, hardly ever staying in place for even one riff. His smiles, expressiveness, and chemistry with fellow guitarist Brock MacInnes made everyone laugh.
It was an intimate show, with members of Dead Quiet making fun and laughing with the audience and the other band members. It was a great contrast to their deafening music, which switched from slothful psychedelic tracks to lightning fast metal. One such song was “Moon Curser,” a track which blew me away with its intense intro and fantastic keyboard parts and pipe-organ sounds.
Dead Quiet had the fullest sound of the night. Not to take away anything from the other acts, but there was something about the energy they brought on stage that made everything go to eleven. They finished their show with “Old Hopeless,” which had some very nice harmonies and a very clean guitar part. Dead Quiet is the sort of band that may come off as a generic doom act, but after attending a show or listening to an album, you see that they craft some amazing songs and put a lot of emotion into their work. In the end, they become something very unique and completely different.
Written by Johnathan Robinson
Photography by Jean David Lafontant
*edited by Kate Erickson