Battle Of The Bands - Band Profiles Pt. 2

With a decidedly digital sound and the speed of a sci-fi car chase comes Left Side Neighbour, whose lineup consist of drummer Guy Juevich and "Everything Else" player Lucas Fowles.  The sound is aggressive, menacing, clean and dirty all at the same time and at time wouldn't be out of place in a CSI evidence testing montage (in a good way!).

Prolifically putting out promo EPs and material since 2007, the band is looking to expand their attack, taking it to air and sea to Deutschland in the next year or two.  Their vibe and sound would not be at all out of place there, where arguably, many of their influences have nurtured their inspiration.  Goth, Industrial, IDM, Aggrotech, whatever you want to call it, this is the kind of dance music that pale kids wearing all black and (in a lot of cases) latex are dancing to with their heads down in existential glee.  They are working on an as-yet-untitled new album which they look to release in 2010-2011 which promises to *ahem* "fucking DESTROY YOU".

With such a simple two person set up, it is certain that this makes their live show open to many possibilities.  Many of the songs they have released are epic length and feel more like dark, moody homages to characters you've never seen, nor would you want to meet.  With laptops and keyboards aplenty and vocal tracks that have been peppered with modulation and filters aplenty, their appearance at the CJLO Battle of the Bands promises to be decidedly combative.

Screaming everything is an art form, and Hey Predator! does it up in nerdcore glory with a jarring mixture of tight offbeat drums, contrary clean guitars, crisp bass filling out a sound the six-member band (Avrum, Luke, Taylor, Tristan, Vincent and Zakir).  I'd call them a sextet, but nerds and sex don't mix -- just refer to your 80s movies.

The level of energy put out by Hey Predator! could power a scientific calculator for a month.  The spare guitars are always on point, exactly where they should be, puncturing holes into the top of the band's well-rounded sound.  The bass and drums sound like a pair of twin brothers fighting each other on a collapsing bridge: falling and smashing into things, all the while in sync.  The vocals are not singing as much as it is a trade off of staccato muttering, high-pitched yelling and then full on screaming as the song dictates.  The words contained in the vocals are full of unblinking contempt, machines gone awry, ugly personal issues, and a society barely holding together a sense of order.

It all works for a compelling performance, where the audience is equally pulled in and pushed back.  There is a lot of love going into the playing and that is what connects with the audience.  They make an art out of dropping science and will most certainly leave puddles of sweat on the stage during the CJLO Battle of the Bands.
Utilizing a repertoire of pretty harmonies, acoustic instruments and percussion Mirrors are a relatively new band who started as a duo of Benjamin Evans and Michael Cota in September of 2009.  They started in a Loyola campus residence and quickly started writing songs together about what it was like to be new in Montreal, and reflecting (pun alert!) upon where they had come from.

Looking ahead to the future is a big part of the optimism that rings through for this act, which quickly attracted Emma Williams, John Andrews and Mariah Andrews to the mix.  The group's sound thrives on the community aspect of folk in a new age, ever smiling at each other in the face of new challenges, including the making of their debut album Right Now For Now, which is in the works…umm…now.

In spite of limitations of space, time and gear (recording together using not much more than a computer mic) the warm and inviting vibes of acoustic guitars, glockenspiel, accordion, strings and choir show us that life is better when you share music with others.  Hinting at love of the Arts & Crafts back catalogue, Arcade Fire and perhaps even a good measure of the local Bishop & Crescent Street folk scene, this band will likely make you forget that the CJLO Battle of the Bands is a battle for a short while.  Perhaps that will be enough for them to be reflected upon (oh jeez) as the standouts of this contest.  Either way, they have a bright future ahead of them.


It would seem that the band's name is part of their overall message.  The music is their Triggered Response to the world at large.  The four piece rock duo is ultra-conscious of the ills of this world and aim to use their rock to try and make the world a better place.  A lofty goal, yes, but admirable all the same.

Their sound is straight ahead rock and roll, deriving influences from the last three decades of big Marshall-stacked bombast from the likes of Metallica, Guns 'N Roses, Rage Against the Machine, Pantera et al.  Their lyrics, speak of war, oil addiction, the environment, economic oppression and civil unrest; it's An Inconvenient Truth turned up to 11.

Vocalist/Rhythm Guitarist Kayla St. Cartier belts it out with high sweeping sustained notes, sprinkled with spoken diatribes yelled and whispered into the mic with just enough venom to stun you.  Over the throng of power chords, guitarist DL Friedman can shred like his guitar heroes (I'll guess Dimebag Darrell, Kirk Hammett, Tom Morello to name a few).  Bassist Alan Pick is trained in Jazz & Blues, and brings a playful and almost Flea-like walk to the motion.  Drummer Patrick N. Perrin fills exactly what is needed for each track, be it straight up 4/4, marching snare or killer fills.
This is a professional and driven band with a good sense of studio production and a long list of venues played in this city, including Club Soda, Le National, and festivals like Emergenza.  They will be a formidable and game opponent to all that take them on in the Battle of the Bands.