Tallest to Shortest – Self-titled EP

8/10

Got my coffee, croissants, and some fresh tunes from Edmonton’s Tallest to Shortest, a band that defines itself as “Indie Genre-Surf” – let’s do this. Comprised of Sean Brewer on guitar and vocals, Mark Feduk on bass and vocals, and Corey Motz on drums, this Canadian power trio has released an EP that is sure to please fans of The Black Keys and Downtown Brown.

Beginning with “Rich People Don’t Smoke,” the production quality of this EP is immediately apparent as the band launches into the first song, starting with a catchy guitar riff that leads to a fist pumping verse that reminds me of Black Label Society with humourously candid vocals. The whole band sounds great; the playing is tight, the tones are crisp, and the mixing job brings the listener right into the action, as if you’re in the room they’re playing. The vocals are sung from the gut, combining humor and an outlook on social issues in the age of information. This power trio covers much sonic ground, filling up the sound with varied arrangements that create unpredictability in the music, keeping things fresh. The rhythm guitar takes the lead on a guitar solo halfway through the song, staying true to their power-trio format. It gives a lot of space to the three instruments, beefing up the last verse when those single notes went back to the chunky power chords that drive the song.

Next up is “Potato – Tomato,” a tune that truly showcases the humor in this band. The lyrics and the way they’re sung tells me these guys are having a blast and don’t always take things too seriously. It’s basically party music that I would love to see live, and join in the chorus, “No we don’t see eye to eye, no we don’t see eye to eye,” singing with fury, referring to the choice of ingredients for… a salad? This lighthearted silliness is refreshing and funny. Their third track on this EP, “Shakin’ in my boots,” is the music you want to hear while riding your large motorcycle down a deserted highway, while memories of heartbreak fade in the distance as our sun kisses the horizon. Also, drum solo alert! Corey Motz’ got the chops. This song also showcases many glorious guitar solos, some of which are harmonized and reminded me of Thin Lizzy jamming with The Eagles. Bring forth the funk! Do you like to dance? Do you like when your body moves to the rhythm of sounds synchronized to a tempo that makes you want to jump? On “Revenge Lay,” Tallest to Shortest fuse funk, rock, and rap as frontman Sean Brewer lays down tightly-packed lyrics atop groovy beats that are sure to get people moving wherever it’s played. A couple verses down, they venture into jam-band territory as they explore a psychedelic bridge, reminding me of Steve Miller’s most “out-there” work. These guys are fun.

Ending this great EP is a live take of “Drive by the Couch Dump,” which demonstrates the raw talent of this Edmonton power trio. It’s worth noting that the bass lines in this EP are always super tight and musical. I judge a band by it’s live performances, and with this track Tallest to Shortest have converted me into a fan. The playing is as solid as their studio recordings, the vocals sound great and the energy is definitely here. And was that “Oh, Canada”? Cheers guys, and all the best.

Written by Dave Tone

About Dave Tone 53 Articles
Lucky enough to be born into a musical family, Dave took piano lessons until he turned eleven and picked up a guitar. Having played in a bunch of musical projects in and around Gatineau, he moved to Montreal to pursue a life in music. He enjoys busking in the Montreal subway, singing songs by Sam Roberts, QotSA, Beck, Mutemath, Kasabian, Big Sugar and les Colocs, among others. His band, Diamond Tree, has released an EP, and plays in and around Montreal. Dave has traveled to British Columbia, France, the United States, Cuba, Kenya, Mozambique, and South Africa. His favorite sport is Air Hockey and yes, he'll have another beer, thank you.

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