TONIGHT: the Balconies and Cold War Kids

Maybe the eloquently-worded bio on the Balconies myspace page does them justice. Apparently we can look forward to “…Jacquie, with her batting eyelashes and wide eyes smirking and Jaeger soaked in his own sweat from playing so hard, and brother Stephen unassumingly spewing out tales of messy late nights and relationship faux-pas.”

Having just played a show at the Phoenix in Toronto, the Balconies are rolling into town to open for Cold War Kids here in Montreal. From Ottawa, Jacquie Neville, her brother Stephen Neville and non-sibling Liam Jaeger formed in university. Instead of studying music, they made their own music, resulting in the structured blocks of pop dance sound, the Balconies.

According to the same amazingly written myspace bio, Stephen Neville’s vocals have gotten compared to epileptic musical mess-genius, Ian Curtis. The vocals are actually nothing like Ian Curtis; they sound more like Adam Greene from the Moldy Peaches, flat and soft and mixed up with a less computerized version of Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie.

The vocals that are really impressive are those of Jacquie, as she hits these orchestral Joni notes on tracks like, 300 pages. Backing vocals and crashing cymbals, refreshing tempo changes and mournful guitar breakdowns stimulate any chance of boredom into mild obscurity.

The Slo vocally calls up dusty desert wailing and wistfulness while tracks like Serious Bedtime show off the band’s ability to throw around some pretty harmonies.

All in all, it might be one of the opening bands to actually show up for.

And then it’s going to be Cold War Kids; the actual kids are Matt Aveiro, Matt Maust, Jonnie Bo Russell and Nathan Willett from Long Beach, California. Formed in 2004, they all met at a Christian university; this brought some mouthiness from music blog, Pitchfork, but hey, it’s all publicity and with twenty upcoming shows as far flung as France, Spain and Chile, their personal religious choices don’t seem to be getting in the way of what they want to do, which seems to be music, and not preaching.

Energetic songs with strong vocal lines, foundations of rambunctious if not formulaic guitar…It’s nothing so far out in left field that you’ll get your face melted or anything, but everyone going probably knows what they’re in for, and those who are there will most likely find themselves jumping around and being caught up in the Cold War Kids’ brand of musical madness.

Cold War Kids and the Balconies
March 19 @ Corona Theatre
$20 adv. and $22 @ door


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