Fri. Feb. 18: Invasions brings garage swagger to Phog

Posted: February 17, 2011 by Windsor Zene in Live Performances, Previews
Tags: , , ,

Friday’s show at Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West) could potentially one of the sleeper hits of the year. Not that it’s the best line-up of music that Phog will ever put on in 2011, but in that it’ll probably be grossly under-attended yet everyone who was there will have been blown away and will rave endlessly to everyone who wasn’t there how dumb they were for missing it (although I’m hoping I’m proven wrong and it’s packed).

The show is highlighted (but not encompassed) by headliner Invasions, from Toronto. These guys have a great sound, taking parts from various overused genres (psychedelic, garage rock and 70’s punk) and merging them into a great nostalgic vibe that feels like someone else but is comfortable enough to not having you care. At times they sound like a fuzzier Television, or a more melodic version of The Horrors, or even an edgier Young Rival. Or if Windsor’s Years of Ernest were more 70’s New York City CBGBs in delivery. They’re currently touring to support their new 7″ EP, Covered in Jewels, and we’re one of the first stops on the tour.

They’re bringing along with them a fellow Toronto band, Give Us The Daggers, Invasion’s label mates on White Girl Records. These guys have a slightly more indie pop feel to them, perhaps more akin to a more streetwise Amos The Transparent or what Broken Social Scene may sound like if late 70’s Iggy Pop sang for them. These guys were the Exclaim! Magazine Critic’s pick at Candian Music Week in 2009, and have had similar impressive showcases at NXNE and Pop Montreal.

The local opener on this bill couldn’t have matched more perfect than Olympia. Although a relatively new band on the scene, it’s comprised of some veterans, as their members have played in such local juggernauts as The Dead’s Elite and Who Shot JR? But the sounds they were known for are barely audible in this formation – the thrash metal and aggression have been replaced by a structured mastery of great rock and roll riffs and angst ridden melody. And they pull it off fantastically. It’s got a lot of guttural grunge overtones in it, sounding like lost recordings from TAD or some other unknown Seattle band from 1989 (they must be keenly aware of this as well, as they even have a song called “Sub Pop Wiki”), with a hint of that local dirty blues metal sound that bands like Explode When They Bloom and Death or Comber have pulled from. It’s a maturation process that have seen bands like The Reason or Orphan Choir seam from a seemingly hardcore place and mellow out without losing any of their credibility. They’ve just taken the lessons learned in past projects and emoted it differently with the same success.

This is going to be a night of a lot of energy and emotionally charged post-modern rock that is going to surprise a lot of people. I hope this show gets the attention it deserves because if it’s not packed this time around, I would suspect that in six months time, this same bill will be lined up out the door.

Invasions with special guests Give Us The Daggers and Olympia, Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West), Friday February 18, 9pm, 19+

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