This post is a little late coming, but better late than never! Almost a month ago I had a great weekend of music in Toronto catching Yuck’s show at the Horseshoe on Sunday evening, and tUnE-yArDs the night after at Lee’s Palace. tUnE-yArDs (who’s name is a real pain to type…) were fantastic, Yuck on the other hand left me a little dissapointed. They also had some of the worst stage banter I have ever seen, they managed to get Toronto confused with Montreal, then in an attempt to recover they managed to offend every French Canadian in the audience, and just generally make the crowd collectively cringe everytime that little gap between songs arrived.
The saving grace of that show for me though was the openers, Toronto three-piece Rival Boys. I always love it when I discover a new band I like as an opener, and this was one of those situations. I went back a week later to see their own show at the Supermarket in Kensington Markets and this time remembered to bring my recording equipment so I could get the following videos (watch them in HD):
Rival Boys at times reminded me of some of my favourite Australian bands, in the slower violin based songs it brought to mind the briefly lived Sydney four-piece Charge Group. In the more rocking songs I was left thinking of The Jezabels. Their opening song Movement (also the tracks on their recently released record Mutual Feelings of Love) does a pretty good job of summing them up what you’re in for. It starts with a thumping four four bass drum and palm muted guitar and soft sung sorrowful lyrics which build into the explosion of growling vocals and guitar.
Their upbeat instrumentation manages to keep you tapping your feet even though the melancholy subject matter. But it’s not all driving indie rock. In their slowly moments, such as their album closer Dream of Stones, the bother-siter harmonies and delicate guitar and violin is just as effective as their faster numbers. For a three piece they do pretty good job of filling out their sound, but I would love to see them recuit a fouth member from somewhere so they could have bass and violin in every song. Overall Rival Boys are a young band worth keeping an eye on.
On a side note — Supermarket has some crazy trolley decoration, such as this, which I took as a shout out for a friends blog Trolley Kingdom.