I might have been a few days late to this year’s Indie Week, but no one told the bands lining the stage at the Bovine Sex Club that.
The acts – The Bleeding Lights, Grown Up Avenger Stuff, The Reed Effect and The Fandemics – brought their best to the Queen West venue.
The Bleeding Lights kicked off the night. They sound like a good ol’ fashioned rock band, complete with a penetrating bass, deep electric guitars and deadly crashing drums. The vocalist has a fairly unique tone – Christian Bale as Batman, meets Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis – and while it should be passé by now, it works amazingly well with the band.
They ended their fun set with ‘Just War’, a strong marching anthem – and that was a great move to leave the growing crowd excited.
Speaking of fun, next up was Grown Up Avenger Stuff, and if the glowing glass sign wasn’t enough to convince you that this group means business, I don’t know what would. The bassist, drummer and guitarist are each shrouded in a veil of hair – you can hardly see their faces – but their mastery of their instruments is more than enough to keep the audience engaged.
The vocals, meanwhile, go from girly to riot grrl in two seconds flat, and it’s amazing. It’s like Janis Joplin left that folksy stuff behind and started headbanging. But she’s not the only one enjoying herself on stage. The entire band is amped to the highest degree plus three.
The crowd, though, was obviously there for The Reed Effect, which took the stage next. The band’s down-n-dirty rock-n-roll made great use of perfectly placed pauses to really rile up their fans. They toss in metal tendencies, and aren’t afraid to pull from garagey or low-fi influences, almost without even noticing.
The Reed Effect sounds like a jam band that went legit – some songs are really great while others are a bit status quo, but they get you tapping your toes anyhow.
Last up was The Fandemics, which really turned it up to 11. The vocals and individual instruments are virtually indiscernible, but the aesthetic works well with post-punk vibe.
But, Indie Week is – as many don’t know – a competition, and someone has to win. The well-deserved winners were Grown Up Avenger Stuff, who went on to play the Bovine on Saturday night.