Club Nites // Mint Records
There is this concept in popular psychology called the cocktail party effect; which is essentially the phenomenon of the brain’s ability to focus one’s auditory attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli. For example, a partygoer focusing on a single conversation in a noisy room. This effect is what allows most people to “tune into” a single voice and “tune out” all others. In a time of highly saturated post-punk resurgence, the band Dumb IS the cocktail party effect. They are instantly addictive and stick out amongst all the other noise; you can’t help but tune into what they are doing artistically and crave seeing them live. Their latest release with Mint Records is called Club Nites and it’s a cocktail blend of thrashy angular melodic pop beats. It’s an album for those who appreciate the likes of The Beets, Parquet Courts, and Pardoner.
These Vancouver ramshackle hooligans have a frenzied charm that promptly grasps your attention and sets them apart from other punk currently being made. They bring a freshness to the genre and emulate the cool-as-a-cucumber confidence we all aspire to have. Club Nites is thematically a tongue-in-cheek critique of the ills of modern club culture but doesn’t come across as preachy. If anything, the members of Dumb seem approachable and fun, like all they would ever ask of you is to bring good vibes to their high energy show, dance, and embrace the DIY ethic. With two incredible albums in just under two years, Dumb are zoned into their craft in a way that few bands ever can be.
- Nicola Gunter
Soon Not Often In It // Terrific Kids
Soon Not Often In It is a record jam packed with kaleidoscopic guitars, shifting time signatures, and subtle transformations that guide you through the chaotic world of Montreal based weirdo pop artists LAPS. Heather Ogilvie’s vocal performances anchor every song in reality. Exactly what the band is doing can be delightfully hard to keep track of, but Ogilvie brings enough empathy and pathos to each tune to make us feel real emotion amongst the chaos conjured up by guitarist Tate LeJeune, bassist Aidan O’Reilly, and drummer Scott Cuzner. While Ogilvie writes most of the tracks, the band members each contribute one interlude that helps to break up the track listing and showcase the musical personalities of each contributor (there are moments in each that are among the best parts of the album). “Cool Summer” and “ Lingua Franca” are standout tracks at opposite ends of what this record has to offer; “Cool Summer” never stops shifting from one mood to the next, with a manic energy that might take a couple listens to fully get a hold of, while “Lingua Franca” features a slow building intersection of guitar arpeggios weaved together with sampled cymbal hits and washes of noise. Soon Not Often In It is a collection of songs that revels in the act of falling apart, yet holds together effortlessly.
- Sean Newton