Show Review - Kestrels' 7" Release Party for "The Solipsist"

January 15th 2011
Doors are at 10:00, and cover is $8.00.

Kestrels -
The Sleepless Nights -
Hospital Grade -
We're Doomed -

Review by Dan Nightingale

We're Doomed were a late addition to the bill. We arrived in time to catch most of their set, though the most striking feature upon entering the Seahorse was the sea of blue pub crawl T-shirts. It seemed like most of them weren't sure what to make of We're Doomed's dancable, intense hardcore, though a band of 4 or so were up at the front of the stage dancing and jumping. It wasn't my kind of music but I could see these guys killing on Warp Tour, so fingers crossed for that (they're in the battle of the bands for Warped Tour if I understand correctly).

We're Doomed - Jan15th2011 @ The Seahorse Tavern 01


The second band of the night, Hospital Grade, hails from Saint John, and while I'd heard their name before I'd never seen the band. They seemed to be a pretty varied mashup of styles; the vocals were pretty pop-learning, and someone remarked that they sounded like a slightly noisy Kings of Leon. I heard more depth in the music with grooving guitar duals, and a nice wide dynamic on drums, jumping between scattered percussion and driving rock choruses. Overall I couldn't help but enjoy their brand of slow, heavy pop music. They're playing through out Canada in the coming weeks and months in support of their new album, so check them out.
Hospital Grade - Jan15th2011 @ The Seahorse Tavern 02


The Sleepless Nights were known for touring their asses off and moved many a booty all across Canada before the slow death of their beloved touring van. Now with most of the members working in new bands, or on DJ sets, the Sleepless Nights are still almost as tight as at their touring height - but with a seasoned rhythm section it's not hard to get back into good form. They still know how to pump out the hand clapping, sing along pop jams echo with that thick, coastal sound that inspired bands like Wintersleep.
That being said, I've had this nagging feeling for years that the Sleepless Nights seem to have become the very classic rock band that indie rock originally rebelled against. It's hard to fault 4 guys rocking this hard and having this much fun, but with trite, weakly sexual lyrics and over exaggerated drawn out rock endings, band seems to have circumnavigated the sea of irony and come full circle to become a full fledged example of the music they might be parodying. You can't fault results though, and the dance floor filled up in no time once they took the stage. Unfortunately, the pub crawl was long gone by this point, which was a shame as they surely would have had a damn good time.

DSC_0163cccThe Sleepless Nights - Jan15th2011 @ The Seahorse Tavern 06


Kestrels were up last to celebrate the release of their new EP, the Solipsist. You can check out our review of the record here, but needless to say the band was in fine form and blisteringly loud, as predicted. I feel like I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but once again it was hard to distinguish the lyrics in a live setting, which is a shame since they're so front and centre on the record. This is a band that probably really needs a proper large stage and a suitable PA and a good bit of pre-show checking to get the sound to really work – the ultra thick guitar tends to conflict with the bass when it's not mixed properly. Sound issues aside, the band put on a great set and the new songs sounded as loud and full as they did on the record. Stay tuned to for news on new records and summer tours.

Kestrels - Jan15th2011 @ The Seahorse Tavern 02

Kestrels - Jan15th2011 @ The Seahorse Tavern 01


See all the photos from this show HERE.
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