I have been noticing a trend lately in Toronto. Musicians are finding new ways of presenting their music. Yes the clubs have a great roster of bands, but what if it is overcrowded and you want to play. Well you find or create new venues to get your music out there. That is what just happened at Primal Note Studio over the weekend.
It started off as a simple idea. A new Band called Soul’s Cut Cold wanted to celebrate their drummer’s birthday. His name is Spencer, hence the name Suspense Fest. Guitarist Sean thought it would be a good idea to invite a bunch of bands to honour this great drummer. BTW, he is a great drummer, he just hit the stage when I walked in and was impressed with his beautiful kit and enjoyed how he could handle such a solid kit. So the band worked hard to pull this idea together and a new festival was born. I love the innovation of musicians. They need to play so they get creative with how to accomplish this.
Suspense Fest 2023 just happened and 10 bands showed up to melt our faces and show Toronto how they like to Rock! Blast showed up and was able to see six bands. I won’t go into full reviews of the bands, but instead, I will give a brief description of what I saw and if you like what you read, your job is to go out and discover these bands when they play at a club.
Soul’s Cut Cold- Yes I read this quickly and thought this band may be disturbed Deli owner’s from Hell, but like you, I read the name wrong. The first sounds I heard from them were very chunky, so to say they blow chunks could be close to the truth. There were moments I thought I heard cats in heat, but that is the originality of this band. Their fashion sense is pretty cool, with each member dressed originally and giving it their all. I must admit, you should just go to see the drummer’s kit and watch him drum, the rest of the band is eye candy with attitude.
Here are a few images of Soul’s Cut Cold:
The Android Meme- The moment they walk on, you know this is going to be something cool. We have to thank Vicky “Freakin” Blue for the solid make-up job. My first impression is Sci-Fi Tension. They have a solid modern sound with straight forward tendencies towards a more commercial sound, but still have a nice edge to it. It would be best described as streamlined Alt Rock. They are very punchy as they are visual. You get a really cool vibe from this intense band.
Here are a few images of The Android Meme:
Hot Apollo- The first thought with this band is Trashy Glam. The singer looks like he woke up in a gutter after a rave and is still looking for the next party. If Iggy pop had a grandchild, this singer would have been breastfed by him. Their songs are simple and fun and they even have a song that comes from the Marvel Universe. This band can reach a larger audience with a few tweaks in their performance, so go check them out and watch them grow. Any band that ends their set with-“We love you and us” is worth checking out.
Here are a few images of Hot Apollo:
Jody and the Friendzone- If you like Punk covers from bands like Green Day and Blink 182, go out and see these guys. That’s what they do.
Here are a few images of Jody and the Friendzone:
The Incomparable Pretties- With psychedelic lights and a smash and grab attitude, this band will grab your attention immediately. Their sound is super cool and their visuals keep your eyes locked and loaded. They have a high fuel show and they all gel very well together. I shouldn’t give this away, but the lead singer who chose to wear a dress at this show decided it would be a good idea to do a belly flop on the drum kit at the very end of the show. If this is your kind of concert, get out and see these guys very soon.
Here are a few images of The Incomparable Pretties:
Bank Heist – These guys robbed me of my mortal soul. The noise, the mayhem, the melodic mud they drag you through keeps your self-destructive side near the surface of your existence. They sing a song called, “Let’s get high”, but I found myself going the other way and drowned in their song. They are sloppy in a drunk kind of fashion. So if you are looking for some chaos in your life, maybe this is your band.
Here are a few images of Bank Heist:
At the end of the day, it was a lot of fun and I hope I get invited back to the 2nd annual Suspense Fest!