At the Velvet Underground was King and Queen, who had just formed at the end of 2013. The name of the band is generic and their music, at times, can fall into generic rock-n-roll; however, it would be a disservice to the young five-piece band from Vaughan, Ont., to count generic as a fault. Their sound is gigantic and with an unusual three guitarists – Dylan Barros, who also the vocalist, along with Anthony Carbonara and Nick Scalione – their music is riff-heavy and pure electric. They are certainly a can’t-miss band to watch live and being brand-spanking-new, their sound will certainly evolve the more seasoned they become as a unit. David Drosi and Anthony D’Addona round out King and Queen on bass and drums, respectively.
Also at the Velvet Underground was Glass Ampp, a blues rock band from Maple, Ont. They take the classic rock sound and spin it into their own, giving audiences a raw, soulful, bluesy performance fuelled by some nasty and absolutely orgasmic solos by guitarist Giulanca. Their debut EP, Half Empty was released in January 2013 and had quite the crew behind it, including producer Matthew Von Wagner who has worked with such bands as The Dunes and USS. Glass Ampp are currently organizing a North American tour with acclaimed musical entrepreneur Farley Flex. Expect to see a lot more of this band over the next few years.
Chasing Jane, a four-piece band who define one of a kind, rounded out my night at the Velvet Underground. Their music, mixing hip-hop with blues and funk, is somewhat reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine, but more bluesy than metal and with that same driving, cool, rhythmic funk led by Ryan on vocals. The beginnings of Chasing Jane started with vocalist Ryan winning a freestyle battle championship at Carleton University; the singer, no doubt, has some unreal flow and he effortlessly brings that on stage. There were a couple of songs that strayed too much away from the funk and sounded almost pop-ish and, though it was nice to see some diversity in their sound, it did drag out their set a bit. However, songs with their signature sound was nothing short of memorable. Chasing Jane’s debut EP, Nice to See Ya, will be released later this year!
At the Bovine Sex Club was the Booze Bombs, who came to Toronto for Canadian Music Week all the way from South Germany. Being together for more than ten years, the rockabilly band’s sound is both seasoned and very authentic. Annie on vocals sings with such effortless passion and she is a power house on the music. Not to mention, the singer is also fan-friendly, trying to encourage people at the Bovine, many of whom were surprisingly very shy and stood at the back of the venue, to come up and shake their booties. Frank on upright bass was absolutely rocking it on stage, sometimes picking up his instrument, almost as big as him, to play it like a guitar. Lucky Steve on guitar gave some awesome solos and Rockin’ Bende helped keep their set driving forward.
Stellar Lane brought ’90s grunge and alt-rock to the Bovine, visiting Toronto from Tel Aviv, Israel. The band’s performance showed just how far reaching the music of such bands as Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Nirvana was back in the day. Stellar Lane features a duo on vocals, the Fogelzang brothers, who have awesome chemistry leading a set that was just absolutely rocking.
Click here to see a photo gallery from the show!