Four guys from Toronto call themselves Professor, a spacey alternative band that runs deep with early ’90s flavour that soaks each masterfully played arrangement. Their first EP, the independently released Season One, is a four-song debut of a band that can hit hard while still gleaming with the softer side of rock.
Solos soar just two minutes into the record on the track ‘Double Hour’, buried under echoing Bono-esque howls from vocalist and guitarist Graeme Miller; the track closes with a solo even bigger and louder than the first. While being this hard hitting, the softer moments of their debut stand out, swaying with emotionally delivered vocals, heady guitar work by Craig Flaman, and the tight rhythm section of drummer Robbie Haring and bassist Jeff Howell leading the soft charge.
The tightness of their unit is on display on Season One, garnering them the distinctive sound of a full band in complete harmony with one another. ‘Fifties’ has its namesake’s vibe running throughout, but set to a deeper tone than the jangly fifties would suggest – the band’s own take on history colouring their perspectives.
Professor aims to teach listeners something about the genuine nature of their music, culminating in the final lesson of their punchy first single, ‘Wide Awake’. Carried by a Raine Maida-esque chorus of dynamic highs and lows, expansive bass lines and drum beats, and peppered with added harmonies throughout, the down tempo solo section leads to a silent breakdown of those echoed vocals that Miller executes so well, paired with spacey, shimmering guitar work; Together, these blissful aspects of Professor’s music sound as if they were made for each other, the effortless, atmospheric tones closing out an expertly constructed record with the grace of a band well beyond their years. Professor has emerged sounding tighter and more seasoned than most debuts, exquisitely picking out their mastered aspects and blowing them out to perfection.
You can next catch Professor at the Cameron House in Toronto, on August 3. And be sure to download the Season One EP for free at the band’s website.