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article imageCMF 2010 Live Roundup

By Lenny Stoute     Mar 15, 2010 in Entertainment
CMF 2010 was noted for its foul weather, consequent thinned-out crowds, the return of big, bad heavy metal and trios, trios everywhere.
Every metal gig sampled was a shoulder-to-shoulder affair and usually stacked with fans that knew the shit. Nest obvious omen; resurgent metal labels Roadrunner and Metal Blade both mounted well-received showcases.
Best of the breed that we witnessed was London, ON’s Baptized In Blood, a death metal throwback with the look and the hooks to hold your attention. With a nod to Danzig here and a nod to Metallica there, there’s no denying the act’s solid grounding in the classics but the kids have their own nu-metal style riding on top and front man Johl Fendley references as much punk ethos as he does metal in his act. Solid tunes and just the right amount of guitar extravaganza from Nick Bertelsen and Josh Torrance make for impressive heavy melodic grooves.
That was Thursday at The Hideout, a venue that’s giving the Bovine Sex Club a run for its money as THE area hard rock venue. Case in point, Saturday when The Hideout hosted Papier Tigre, a French art rock/prog metal trio with a global following. These amis came to rock out and they wasted no time setting a torrid pace. Few of their songs bother with intros and dual guitarists Eric Pasquereau and Arthur de la Grandiere are canny enough to anchor their swift time changing and odd arrangements to a syncopated back beat and propulsive drumming of Pierre Antoine Parois The result was prog rock that had the dance floor shakin’ even as Pasquereau shouted his Apocalyptic lyrics from The Beginning And End Of Now album with an urgency just this side of rage.
It wouldn’t be CMF without a look at what’s new in Toronto’s ongoing affair with post-punk and the dizzies on the sidewalk assured me I was doing the right thing by dropping in on Soft Copy at The Garrison Friday night. Yep, had yer Sonic Youth and yer Jay Mascis touchstones to the fore but the passion is there, the arrangements can’t be taken for granted and while it might have been a tad staid for us, they have their following.
Still talking genres, the buzzed up girlrock band of the Fest was Vivian Girls The Brooklyn baddie babes looked properly blousy and bed-ridden with attitude aplenty as they thrashed through a loosey goosey but smile inducing set of garage rawk drawing largely from the Everything Goes Wrong album. The VG’s are great at rapporting with an audience and the Wednesday crowd at The Wrongbar was up for the rabble rousing whiskey swigging antics of the lively trio Arguably the best frat-girl set of the festival and before you knew it they were done and gone.
Saturday dropped in to the Horseshoe to get out of the drench and check out West end faves The Beauties. Left still not getting it. Sure they’re fine players and know how to work a room, but tbey have this thing about being a mullet of a band Y’ know, blue rock in the front and a country shuffle in the back. When darned near every tune has this structure and it’s that same old galloping country rhythm at the end, they begin to blend together and initial freshness fades. That tends to suck the momentum out of a set.
Most intimate venue visited was the postage stamp inside the Global Village Backpackers but South African folkist Rambling Bones made the soggy trip worthwhile. He sang cleverly played and worded songs about grey men in grey suits, his needy sausage dog, loving and losing and the girl he never left behind. The tunes are sauced with elements of his African background but never goes all world beaty about it. His easygoing charm and self-deprecating humor was a nice breakout from the electricfied bombast elsewhere.
Seemed like everywhere you looked this year there were trios of all kinds. Waterloo electro pop unit Kidstreet are one such except this s a trio of siblings, two bros and sis Edna. In the last year they’ve gone from drone rock to upbeat dance pop and their gig at Sneaky Dee’s Thursday showed few signs of their drone past. The current sounds brings more organic elements to the mix, as the trio incorporate live guitars, drums and vocals and it’s to be said the new sound seems a better fit for their personalities.
Brian Borcherdt’s Fields of Fur strike a balance between his solo work’s quiet reflections and Holy Fuck’s brashness. The end result is a loose progressive garage rock full of rumbling bombastic drums and effective use of reverb and feedback. Thursday night an almost full Garrison was way supportive of a gig that came across as fragile and not all that defined beforehand. Some tunes didn’t end so much as sort of wander off and Borcherdt, pro that he is, remarked on the act’s work in progress status, this being only their third gig.
And so back down to Bovine for the CMW’s best series of after-parties.
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