Bucky Harris has been rocking their way into the heart of the Montreal punk scene since 2011. As a result, they are easily one of the bands I am most excited to see perform at this year’s Pouzza Fest. In 2012 the band released a full-length album that, with the inevitable passing of time, has been demoted to nothing more than a demo of songs they don’t play anymore. 2014 saw the launch of what the band considers their first proper release, the Seateeth EP. Its six songs maintained their rugged punk rock roots while expanding on a folky side that their older songs only hinted at.
Like most modern folk-punk, it’s easy to compare Bucky Harris to bands like Against Me! (whose songs they often cover in their live shows), or the more pop-styled Gaslight Anthem. Their rough and sometimes rapid-fire vocals also welcome a comparison to fellow Canadian punks, The Flatliners. What separates Bucky Harris from their peers however, is the vast musical history encompassed in their delightfully traditional and familiar sound.
Songs like “The Ocean” expertly mimic the maritime rhythms of old folk songs. The vague and poetic lyrics not only achieve an artistic depth that is often lacking in punk rock, but create a literary atmosphere that feels historical and lofty. Lead singer Mike Wynands has a swagger and vocal style that reminds me of a young Elvis Presley. There is also something about the simplicity of the band’s songwriting that reminds me of 70s folk-inspired arena rock like the legendary Bruce Springsteen, although I’m not familiar enough with his catalogue to be able to put my finger on exactly why that is.
This is the band’s second year performing at Montreal’s annual Pouzza Fest punk festival, which takes place at various venues across the city. This year’s festival will play out over three days, May 15th, 16th and 17th. Bucky Harris will be playing an early set from 6:00-6:30pm at Bar L’Exit (2031 St.Denis). Rather than relying on mere words to convince you that their set is one you don’t want to miss, I’ll leave you with this video of the band performing two songs at last year’s Pouzzafest: the aggressive and chant-inducing “Abel,” and “These Walls” with its upbeat and catchy pop-punk flair:
Written by Brian Charles Clarke
Header photo by Savannah Sher