May 9 2014 – Another busy night for the T-Mak World crew as we saw eight bands at three venues.
Halifax’s Bloody Diamonds is a 2 piece combo of Jake Seaward on guitar and bass drum and Sara Elizabeth on vocals and guitar. They play heavy bluesy riffs backing Elizabeth’s goth, sexy, sultry and seductive vocals. It’s a great sound but would have liked to see a little more variety in the music.
Mia Dyson is a roots blues guitarist who hails from Australia and has shared the stage with the likes of Eric Clapton and Stevie Nicks. Her set was enjoyed by the appreciative audience at Rivoli. The sound was not what we had hoped for as definitely more roots than blues. T-Mak World would have loved to see her get on some major ass kicking guitar blues as there were signs of a talent totally capable. That would have been a nice fit to go along with the American influenced roots sound of the set.
An indie pop-rock band from PEI showed there is a more coming out of east coast than what emanates from Halifax. Kyle Drake’s vocals and the great guitars riffs were very pleasing to the ears and should be on anyone’s playlist who like the grooves of Canadian rock such as The Trews, Our Lady Peace and other similar bands. With the right seasoning they could becoming the best thing to come out of PEI since the potato and may become the Keane of Canadian modern pop-rock.
Alt folk rock isn’t our genre of music but Toronto is filled with fans of that style. We caught some of Red Orkestra’s set prior to The Electric Revival and their country flavoured songs were catchy.
THE ELECTRIC REVIVAL
Many will say that one of the requirements for rock and roll is long hair, then The Electric Revival a trio from score an A+. Their sound is uber-heavy modern blues inspired rock that is best described as Zep meets Motorhead. Bass player Dan Towes absolutely gets the Award for best head banging at CMW2014 and led one of our editors to remark that “I got a headache just watching him”. If you love heavy sounds, you will love their live show. We cannot wait to see this Calgary based band come back to this area again.
Bella Clava held their Medicine For Melancholy CD release party the previous Friday at the Horseshoe and the show was largely the same expect for the last song which was Food For Cannibals. We agree with Tyrone Buccione of @TimeGiant who tweeted “Really really really really really sick set from @BellaClavaBand at @bovinesexclub for @CMW_Week!”
One of our recommendations for CWM14 and a favourite of T-Mak World, The Standstills did not disappoint with a stellar set at Bovine. Jonny and Renee pound out the beats and riffs and have a unique style whether playing original material or the odd cover, done total in the “Standstill-ian” way. A can’t miss anytime they are playing.
A PRIMITIVE EVOLUTION
Just as you thought it was safe to come out of the swamp, A Primitive Evolution (A.P.E.) changes that notion. At T-Mak World we absolutely love bands that turn it up and try to set a new bar for “heavy decibels”. A.P.E. set a new bar for loudness with Brett Carruthers and Stephany Seki battling for loudness supremacy before, during and after every song. A.P.E.’s total package of sound and visual is jaw dropping amazing and well beyond any band you will see at CMW which is not surprising based on drummer Stu Dead’s pedigree. The chemistry of A.P.E is almost certainly out of the primordial ooze we all evolved from. A.P.E. is another of T-Mak World’s recommended list for 2014. No cheese here just total hard core balls-to-the-walls horror inspired alternative rock. It will be interesting to see how this band continues to evolve (pun intended)!
John Dash’s Gig of the Night. My pick of the night was The Standstills. I loved the total package and the heavy beats from this dynamic duo were just what I was demanding from day 2 at CMW and very reminiscent of a grunge version of The Black Keys.
Michael Litt’s Gig of the night. A tough choice between the Electric Revival and A Primitive Evolution both playing kick ass sets but I give the edge to A Primitive Evolution as the total package is hard to beat. Any band that made me want to go home and watch Martyrs definitely deserves my gig of the night.
Steve Mallinson’s Gig of the Night: This was a no doubter, Bella Clava.
Additional photos here.
Review by Michael Litt and Steve Mallinson. Photos by Steve Mallinson and Michael Litt