Kestrels @ Gus' Pub

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Review by Dan Nightingale


The Vagrant Hearts played a very straight sort of rock music with drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, a singer, and all the usual chords and notes. The band gave an energetic performance without being over the top. For a first show they were tight and the songs sounded full and pretty polished. As is typical for Gus' shows, the keys were lost in the mix most of the time, but crunchy bass and crashy drums kept the sound thick. The bass was a little busier than the rest of the band, but the down to earth drums stayed tight and you could have danced to it, if the crowd at Gus' were so inclined. Though singer Adam claimed to be sick, the vocals sounded good. Keyboardist Britney took over vocals for a second song, and the piano led track showcased nice male/female vocal harmonies, though they technically probably couldn't be called that. They played a quick and tight set that wasn't too long - there's nothing worse than a 45+ minute opener on a Wednesday show!

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From Montreal, The City Streets seem to ride the line of central Canadian rock, from the very vaguest tinges of alt-country, to the slightly jagged rhythms and suspenseful chords of math rock. 
With strong dynamics and catchy, solid drumming, it was hard to classify these guys except as 'enjoyable' and 'let's hope they come back to Halifax.' It's funny, sometimes it's easier to write about shitty bands than enjoyable ones. These guys were great and had a fresh original sound - lots of slow quiet grooves mixed with great heart filled delivery of lyrics. The closing song was almost Mogwai esq, so these guys clearly have a diverse range of influences, which almost always seems to equate to being an enjoyable band, in my opinion. Look for their record online or in person, or Download it from their website
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Plenty has been said on here about Halifax/Truro/Maritime greats Kestrels - with thick yet spacey guitar, solid bass, and 90s inspired songwriting, this show didn't disappoint. Keeping things fresh however was new drummer Paul Brown (also of the Vagrant Hearts), replacing long time drummer Adam Hartling. Brown filled the shoes nicely, especially for the first show with the band. A few careful stares at guitarist Chad Peck guided a few tricky parts but for the most part Brown held his own with no problem, delivering the hard hitting style needed to compliment heavily fuzzed out guitar and chunky basslines. According to Peck a new 7" is in the pipe for upcoming release, so it looks like these guys have no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Look for it on Noyes Records in the very near future.

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Check out all the bands Myspace Pages here:
http://myspace.com/citystreets
http://myspace.com/kestrelskestrels
http://myspace.com/thevagranthearts

TNaugler

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