Not every heavy as fuck musician has their alternative outlet. Not everybody can be Corey Taylor juggling both every plebe’s base definition of metal in Slipknot and get his radio rocks off in Stone Sour. Not everybody can be Chino Moreno with his eighty-seven fucking projects on top of the mighty Deftones. When a group of musicians find a way to come together to break free of the rage they’re perpetually attempting to bleed in lieu of some other emotions, it can truly be a moving experience. Thus was the case this past September 7th on a rainy night at Bar Le Ritz as hardcore gone soothing post-punk/almost fucking jazz supergroup Trade Wind came floating through Montreal. There was a little bit of crying.
Leading the ambient charge was local post-punk/shoegaze act The City Gates. Sporting the kind of slightly upbeat melancholic ambiance from the days a la Joy Division and The Cure with a very familiar vibe that screams stereotypical Montreal alternative. Though the band is by all technical standards “tight,” a certain sense of stiffness couldn’t be escaped on top of a very few abrasive technical issues. Moving past that, where the craft attempted was done relatively well, I couldn’t find myself in a place where this act did anything for me, though I can without a doubt see a crowd where they would excel.
Following this was a hilarious change of sad boi pace with local angst core act Watch for Wolves. WFW sling a sound that can only be described as an early 2000’s Cafe L’inco (a venue that was once considered a shitty rite of passage in our tiny city for all you newcomers) band all grown up, still proudly displaying the energy to match the emotion while actually playing songs that have evolved in groove, tone and digestibility. This kind of post-hardcore late-stage screamo vibe isn’t for everybody, but for this selfish pundit, its everything I could have asked for on a night like this. Couple that with what is easily one of my top five favourite sounding rooms, and you’ve got a certifiable banger of a performance worth taking the time to seek out with the whispers of a new album in the works.
Trade Wind comes from a variety of places and experiences in life (most notably members of famed hardcore sweethearts Stick To Your Guns and Stray from the Path) thus it’s easy to say the sound of what was to come can be described as eclectic but ultimately soothing. The duality of being able to see these musicians in both lights was absolutely rapturous from the first note of their set, to the emotional whiplash of “No King But Me” and even the damn near Jazz aura of “I Can’t Believe You’re Gone.” Even the banter from renowned hardcore’s beloved frontman Jesse Barnett showed less of his typically preachy (albeit trademark and adored) speech work and more that of relatability and nostalgia that one couldn’t help but feel a personal touch from.
Gorgeous tunes, equally beautiful room sound, and a hilarious number of musical chairs between instruments found the hour passing too quickly, leaving me questioning the absence of art in my life and in need of a drink and maybe a tissue or twelve. Supergroups like this don’t come around often and it is of the utmost paramount importance that you the consumer take every opportunity to absorb these experiences while they last, like a fleeting firefly in the night destined to eaten by some other nasty ass creature or death by pesticides.
Written by Jason Greenberg with love and sadness
Photography by Marc-Antoine Morin
*edited by Mike Milito