The Toronto music scene has produced a plethora of fantastic musical acts over the past decade or so with Broken Social Scene, Feist, Metric, Bedouin Soundclash, MSTRKRFT, Death From Above 1979, F***ed Up, The Beauties, Crystal Castles, The New Deal and Woodhands just to name a few. Let's not forget that Toronto has also been the home of prog-rock legends Rush since the late 1960s. These collection of bands make the place known as "The Queen City" the king of burgeoning and creative music in Canada. With their debut self titled album, Eight And A Half is about to join the "court" of musical talent erupting from Toronto like a rhythmic volcano over a plain of harmonic greatness.
Consisting of Broken Social Scene's Justin Peroff on guitar and vocals along with Dave Hamelin and Liam O'Neil of former Montreal band The Stills respectively on drums and keyboards, the band formed after The Stills broke up following a tour with Kings of Leon and Broken Social Scene went on hiatus after doing a tour with TV On The Radio last year. The album features a folktronic sound that meshes together synth beats and keys along with acoustic guitar chords that remind me of acts like The Beta Band, except with an indie/new wave style.
"Scissors" begins with a simple guitar riff that gets overwhelmed by synths and loops, accented by keyboard notes that make you feel like you're in a scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The most uniquely produced track on the album, "Go Ego" features looping guitar chords, groovy beats and Peroff's soft, stylish voice that will get you rockin' in no time. If you are looking for a track that will make you dance, "Two Points" will do that in no time with feverish drumming complimented by ambient notes and randomly placed riffs that will make you shuffle your feet. "Walked Into Diazepene" is a spacey track that utilizes complex drums, psychedelic loops and Peroff's voice exclaiming the feeling of being apart from your own self under the influence of psychoactive drugs. As I always say, don't take my opinion as gospel, grab a copy of the record and listen in for yourself.
As of right now, Eight And A Half have three shows coming up in Canada next month at The Starlight Room in Waterloo, Ontario on May 1st, The Casbah in Hamilton, Ontario on May 2nd and Il Motore in Montreal on May 3rd, but be sure they'll be in your neck of the woods before the alleged apocalypse during the end of 2012. Until then, be patient and do yourself a favor, get a copy of Eight And A Half's new album and experience some amazing music by one of the best new bands from Toronto. It'll make your ears and mind feel as if they were taken to another world filled with audial ecstasy.
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