Friday, June 19, 2009

Brought to you by the letter W:: Whale Tooth & Wax Mannequin

Whale Tooth - self/titled EP

Sometimes when the summer hits and the sun starts beating down on you, infectious boy/girl pop becomes as much of a necessity as patios and water. Thankfully, Toronto’s Whale Tooth is heading to Halifax to give us that refreshing chill.

Their self-titled EP is a nice slice of jazzy pop, built on the terrific vocals of Elise LeGrow. Her voice is powerful, but never overpowering and the chemistry she and Norm Maschke have jump starts the lighthearted riffs. From the opening moments of Hibernation Song until the end of Clever, the band does their best to take you away from the daily grind.

For a debut EP, the band shows a lot of potential but remembers to keep things moving. Instead of throwing together a collection of laboring tracks trying to show a multitude of styles that satisfies everyone, Whale Tooth uses succinct, punchy tracks that never break the four-minute mark. Sure, the effort is breezy but they do show some variation - like the Forest City Lovers inspired Sleepwalking or the more muscle-y Marlboro Beach Bonanza -but for the most part the band makes you want to dance around and smile.

Bottom line? I’m not sure how often this EP would get played or how much traction it would have in the dead of winter, but it's a great way to kick-off your summer. I remember saying the same things about Vancouver's Hey Ocean! last year (which would be a really good entry on their RIYL list), but how can you slight a band for making summery pop? Who wants to spend the summer sitting around being a sad sack? Not me and definitely not Whale Tooth.

Whale Tooth will be playing Gus’ Pub on July 7th and The Foggy Goggle on July 8th .

Wax Mannequin - Saxon (preview single)

Wax Mannequin is getting ready to release a new record – Saxon – and as a special treat the Hamilton native is giving away two free songs. The first time I heard Wax Mannequin was on the Ontario Mixtape, but last summer en route to Sappyfest, he bombarded Gus’ Pub with his bombastic, theatrical solo stylings.

The two songs are stellar. End of Me is a stripped down acoustic effort, rich in heartache and sadness. The cross country voyage takes you from Vancouver, to the Irving owned lands on New Brunswick, and if you don't get hit in the gut when you hear, "said you'd follow me to the end of the earth, but the end of me is bound to come first", you cynicism has finally won. Somethin’ to Hide is more in line with the stuff I’m used to, and the driving push of his double-tracked vocals mixes with the synths and the result is surprisingly infectious.

Head over to Zunior and grab both songs in one easy to download zip file.

MP3:: Whale Tooth - Hibernation Song

MP3:: Whale Tooth - Hibernation Song

Posted at 7:41 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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