As accomplices in musical crime, U.S. Girls and Slim Twig have reached the twin peaks of their powers. On the eve of a European tour with fantastic new albums in tow, the duo's divergent yet complementary strains (him: groovy ghoulie psych pop with a flair for the baroque; her: the shadowy sub-basement of the Brill Building where the Shangri-Las are queen) delivered an out-and-out Monday night banger.
From the steely grey soundworld of her early releases on Siltbreeze, Meg Remy's U.S. Girls project has followed a seamless trajectory into the triumphant fanfare of her upcoming long-player, Gem. Backed by an all-star band featuring members of Zacht Automaat and Onakabazien, she commanded the stage like Yoko Ono possessed with a flawless mix of future classics. If a swooner like "Another Color" or the heart-wrenching "Rosemary" fail to change the room's temperature, you might need to check your pulse.
This would be a tough act to follow for anyone, but Sic Alps attacked their long-awaited Toronto debut like a teenage shredder let loose in the guitar store. All of the classic rock connotations that come along with that were present, right down to a straight-faced cover of the Who's "Seeker," but it wasn't all Q107 at drive time. On record, the Bay Area band are a whole other bag of wax, yet this rollicking set found them in the sweet spot between the stadium and the 5 a.m. wasted basement jam.
The night's final slot was left to Slim Twig, and the spotlight kid kept the hits comin'. Joined by the same A-squad backing band as U.S. Girls, he launched straight into selections from his recent release, Sof' Sike and tantalizing previews of his second 2012 LP, A Hound at the Hem. The moment of Zen was an extended vamp through "Madeline Has a Body," complete with Robert Quine-style six-string freak-outs. Take Slim's advice and bring this party back home.