I got to Piranha Bar right on time for the eight o’clock start of the night (presented by Ragnarock Events) to learn the gig would only start around nine o’clock – a friendly reminder my dislike of being tardy can be perhaps be overlooked at future punk shows.
Things got started finally around the 9:30 mark. Whilst bumming around I noticed a young crowd, and kinda felt like the old lady in the room. (Exception being parents of some band members there to show their support; I love seeing that!) Another observation: I’m guessing it’s new, but the bar now has tanks with live piranhas under the downstairs bar! Pretty far out; I gotta come here more often.
So it began with the lineup getting mixed up, but that’s punk eh? First up was Montréal’s VennacavA, young-looking guys (which explained the young crowd, I reckon.) The first track “Falling Into Your Own Demise” was a frenzied start, and I had a hard time hearing vocalist/guitarist’s Justin Fluet-Singh’s voice clearly through the distortion, but it was quickly rectified. After a quick break for a duct tape rug malfunction, on they went to play tracks including “Misery,” “Give A Lot,” and “The Peter Song” (which is about a friend named Peter, and not a nick name for some male anatomy, as the singer kindly corrected my assumption hehe!) Overall these guys were tight, and what struck me most was how they infused elements of metal into the punk via blast beats and gorgeous yells courtesy drummer/vocalist Paul Rieber. I’m curious to see how these cats evolve with time! Short, but really sweet set.
Next up was Cuntagious MTL – that won a place in my heart, given my favorite cuss word is featured in the band name. Straight up, no-bullshit punk infused with awesome guitar solos, it was hard to not get wrapped up in their energy! The opening track “Post Traumatic Sex Disorder” made me laugh – I know a thing or two about PTSD and appreciated the morbid humor in it. Next was “Fuck My Dick Chop It Off” which was about the male ego; I loved it. The standout track for me was “Vlad,” with a funky bass start via TwoForty Toby Ratts. It made me think that this song would suit a Rob Zombie flick…the crowd seemed to agree, as I had to navigate the thrashing whilst shooting. The set wrapped up with their old guitarist jumping onstage and doing some guest vocals (I believe he is known as “Grokes”), and in his frenzy he knocked down a mic stand, but kindly apologized afterwards. Punks are sweeties, and I’d be a cunt if I said this wasn’t a fun act to watch!
Gracing us next was Fate Hope Glory, and once vocalist Andréanne Barabé started singing, I realized (in fairness) that I had to put my baby-voice bias aside. As they played, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t generic…that kind of pop-punk that would suit a Simple Plan bill. The gal had some good wails however, and they played tight while jumping around onstage. Perhaps they should have gone on first, because compared to the opening acts, this was toned down in comparison. The last track they played was titled “Strike,” and sadly this band was my strike of the event. Not that they were bad, it just seemed a bit out of place for this event.
Hammering the stage next was The Nailheads, providing a shit-ton of energy as we neared the midnight mark. It’s a pity the crowd dwindled at this point, because they missed out. The band addressed this to a degree; the drummer (known as Lucky) brought up a point about how younger bands seem to leave right after their sets, whereas older acts hang out as long as they can out of respect. The crowd concurred with applause. (No disrespect here though, just candor.) From the opening track “Guinea Pig” to the end track “Victim,” bassist Ritchy Nails and guitarist Raffy Mars had great chemistry and a hell of a watch. I really dug Ritchy’s raspy vocal stylings: hot! (Note: I have a serious voice fetish thing, hehe) They nailed my eardrums good, no doubt!
Closing the eve and hailing from Joliette was Last Call, fitting name for the final act – sadly I couldn’t stay until the end, but catching opening tracks like “Dead Cutie” and “Sandman”, I wanted more, hostie! Off the bat I loved the horror look: made me wonder if they’re in cahoots with the L’Hotel 54 crew, hmm… With a subdued stage presence, demonic chantress Trashy Puppet joined the stage after a few tracks, adding operatic vocals to the dirty rockabilly punk stylings. That settled it – they just gained another fan. Check ‘em out if you dig horror n’ punk, I’m glad I did.
Written and Photographed by Angie Radczenko