This past Thursday, November 13th, I checked out a show at Piranha Bar, put together by Vendetta Management and Entertainment. There were four bands on the bill previously unknown to me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and that’s what I love about checking out new stuff.
Opening the show was a relatively new, Montreal-based band, Attics & Alleys, formed in late 2012. This four-piece rock band is very reminiscent of the late 1990s/early 2000s grunge rock scene. It felt like they were having a bit of rocky start, but within a couple of tracks they found their footing and played some really good original tracks. The third song, “Naked on the Floor”, is when they really started to come together and things just got more solid from there. I really enjoyed the tracks “Hybrid” and “Hey” for the great guitar and drum playing, and for how hard they were. Lead singer Alexander’s voice also stood out and suits this style of music very well. “Walker” was my favorite song by them. It had a rockin’ pace from all the members which I think illustrates the potential that this young group has. They are only going to get better and better. You can catch their next show on November 22nd at CroBar.
Up next on the bill was the five-piece band from Montreal, Run, Snowball, Run. With three guitars, a bass and drums, these guys belted out some pretty good alternative rock tunes. They had a strong stage presence and didn’t hold back. “Color of the City” was a great track that showed off the band’s talent, especially that of the lead guitarists. I unfortunately didn’t catch the name of it, but the last track they played was my favorite from their set. They’ve released their debut EP Lobo earlier this year, and it is available through their website. You can also catch them at one of their next gigs, November 19th and 29th in Valleyfield, or on December 18th when they return to Piranha Bar.
Third on the bill was Jessie Brown & The Black Divine, all the way from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Montreal was the first stop on their tour. They opened strong with their track “Deep Down Below”. Jessie immediately stands out with her keyboard playing and powerful vocals. One of my first thoughts was, “this person is a true vocalist.” The second track, “Spite”, took off musically with Adrian Dunn on guitar, Jason Vautour on bass and Thomas Spence on drums, all performing excellently. This band works really well together and it shows with an exciting stage presence and the way they communicate with each other. This group does not stagnate on any one sound. Instead, they have quite a range – soft rock, hard rock, blues, and grunge. They even crossed the metal threshold during their performance of “Run Along”. The guitar power riffs were awesome on this track. Going even further beyond the conventional genre designations, some of their tracks could be called ‘doom soul’. This term is new to me, but it makes a hell of a lot of sense when you hear the track “10 Paces”. This piece could accompany a scene from a film noir. It has a great build up that delivers with epic instrumentals and vocals. They performed one cover, “Good Times Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin, and they absolutely did it justice. To finish off their set, they played “Wolf”, which is from their self-titled EP from 2012. It was a great track with which to end their set; it ends abruptly and I, for one, was left wanting more. Following their set I bought a vinyl copy of their new album, Act II: Decisions. I’ve got it playing now as I write this review. I encourage you to give them a listen on their Bandcamp page and support them if you can. Check out their website for upcoming tour dates.
Last but not least was Montreal’s own Dullboy. They’re a pop rock group with a lot of talent. This band, relatively new to the scene, is the result of years of effort by frontman Ben Cardilli. Along with Chris See Hoye on guitar, Kevin Brunelle on bass, and Pascal Beauregard on drums, this group puts out clean, calm and cool licks. Their tracks are also sharp and polished. It’s easy listening and I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up hearing them on the radio in the near future. They have a self-titled full length album available now. You can find it at Archambault in downtown Montreal, or you can purchase a digital copy from their Bandcamp page.
Written by Joey Beaudin