Posts Tagged ‘Coach & Horses’

Adam Craig

So every once in a while you hear something that has very little in terms of adequate comparisons. Or, on the other hand there’s a whole lot of points of comparison, but none really hit the proverbial nail on the head. So then in order to really describe what you’re hearing you end up grasping at straws. You want to point at bands that have tread similar paths or use certain conventional adjectives, but using bands would do no justice and the adjectives all sound tired and used up.

This is where I’m at with Ton.

It’s rock and roll. And I suppose that’s the most bare-bones, ‘easy-way-out’ description of what I’m hearing right now. I had two songs sent to my inbox by the band, and then checked out a third from their Myspace page and I’m still just at “Rock and Roll”. I could call it ‘alternative’, but that’s a fairly stupid and meaningless way to refer to something like this. So hold on and let’s try this instead:

From about 1992 to the early ‘00s there was a guy operating largely out of New York that went by the name of Wharton Tiers. Mr. Tiers developed a modest rep for having a sound; never as popular as the “Albini” sound, or the Rick Rubin sound, but distinctive nonetheless. Doing a lot of work for the East Coast-ish noise bands around that time, and having a particular way of doing that work meant the kind of consistency that could be described as ‘genre defining’.  The short list of great bands who benefited from Tiers’ less-than-gentle touch would include folks like Sonic Youth (before they got old and tired), Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop and Helmet.

Before I go any further, I should note that Ton doesn’t sound a whole lot like any of those bands. No overtly anyways. Granted, I never really took the time to ask who they listened to for inspiration, but that’s an ultimately meaningless question anyways when it comes to actually listening to something. That is to say,  for the purposes of pushing this band on you, who really cares what they listened to?

So why am I bringing up Wharton Tiers, Helmet and the early 90s New York noise scene? Because that’s all I’ve got. It’s all part of a no-bullshit approach to making and producing music. If you listen to Helmet’s early output, or Quicksand’s 1995 album “Manic Compression”, you get a good idea what I’m talking about. It’s not some ridiculously technical, prog wash-out, but it’s not AC/DC either. Little in the way of bells and whistles, but it will grab you and keep you. These guys clearly know their way around their instruments, but aren’t so arrogant as to push a bunch of wankery down our throats either.

I suppose I’ve inadvertently done exactly what I said I wasn’t going to do, which is compare Ton to other bands and use tired, rock-cliched adjectives. Whatever the case may be, I’ll leave you with this much: if you like loud rock and roll then you are going to want to GO to their shows and BUY their new disc, “Going Places”. Oddly enough, you can do both of these things on April 1st, when they release said new album at the Coach And Horses (156 Chatham St. West, basement level).

If you are of the sort that needs more pointless biographical information, black and white “rock shots” of the band in action, or have a masochistic desire to try to navigate the unholy mess that Myspace has become, you can find them online at www.myspace.com/windsorton or by searching for their page on the Facebook.

Enjoy. I did.

Ton (CD release) with special guests Voodoo Mafia, The Coach & Horses (156 Chatham St. West, basement level), 9pm, 19+

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Prepare for Helter Celtic this Friday at the legendary Coach & Horses (156 Chatham St. West, below Pogo’s). Hailing from the Celtic northlands of London and Goderich, Ontario, CDN Records recording artists Battlesoul bring their stylized “Celtic metal” back to the Coach’s dimly lit stage for what will surely be an aural and visual treat for all those in attendance.

As one of the few non-local acts to play last December’s FunnelFest music festival (due to a prior booking amalgamated with the festival), Battlesoul were perhaps one of the least recognizable names on the announced line-up. But by the end of the Festival, they were clearly one of the favourites. With the rapid fire precision of a Pict attack, to the brutal savagery of the Highlands themselves, Battlesoul’s musical mastery was omnipresent that night – as were their garb. Yes, they perform in full kilts and shirtless, long hair propelled around in vicious pinwheels by the the force of their own headbanging. As visually captivating as they were sonically impressive, Battlesoul hit the Coach in support of their latest record, Lay Down Thy Burden. Compared to such Scandinavian “Viking metal” bands like Tyr, Fintroll and Turisas, Battlesoul owes more to the lyrical mythology of Celtic folklore than their Scandinavian brethren, but the barbarism is still there. Just like all great metal should.

Direct support for this show comes from a couple of Windsor metal heavyweights. Veterans Betrayer return to the Coach with their classic 80’s sounding metal (meaning more akin to Megadeth and Iron Maiden than Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir) and, although they aren’t experienced nearly as frequently as some bands seem to, these guys are long standing members of Windsor’s metal royalty and some of the tightest and most proficient musicians in the scene. Another band to play last year’s FunnelFest, Hammerdown has been a force on Windsor’s metal scene for the past few years, with a ferocious guitar attack and thunderous drums akin to Black Label Society or local legends like fiftywatthead and Georgian Skull. These guys are intense and bring a heavy that relies on powerful groove rather than breakneck speed. True heavy.

Opening the show are a couple of newer acts. Perpetuate, a prog metal band that will inevitably draw comparisons to bands like Lacuna Coil or Nightwish, if not simply because of the vocal similarities by Perpetuate’s Kim McInnes. But don’t let the voice overshadow the guitar prowess of Jamie Hush. Musically, they’re closer in style to bands like Trivium or Dream Theater. As they continue to mature, look for them to become a force in the metal scene. Rounding out the bill is newcomers Awake To A Dream (whose track “The Importance of the Bass Guitar” is available for free on this month’s FREE Windsor Music Sampler), who have been jumping on a slew of shows recently to get their name and sound out there. These guys write more melodic based hard rock (perhaps influenced by vocalist/guitarist Chris Wilbur’s prior stint in One Man’s Opinion) but that’s not an knock – they just write well written heavy rock with a hook.

Battlesoul with special guests Betrayer, Hammerdown, Perpetuate and Awake To A Dream, The Coach & Horses (156 Chatham St. West, below Pogo’s), Friday February 4th, 10pm, 19+, $5 at the door ($4 advance via band members)