Atsuko Chiba M for Montreal, Montreal QC, November 17

Atsuko Chiba M for Montreal, Montreal QC, November 17
Photo: Nadia Davoli
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Blending prog rock exploration, math rock attack and nu-metal vocals, Montreal quintet Atsuko Chiba certainly turned heads as they kicked off a noisy night at La Sala Rossa. Bathed in psychedelic projections, the troupe were at the centre of an immersive audio-visual experience.
 
They still gave the audience time to ease into it, opening up with meditative, Mogwai-reminiscent post-rock before the explosive, spoken freakout of "Panopticon" gave way to some mathy jamming. Atsuko Chiba's frenetic tendencies meshed well with their willingness to draw out and toy with ideas, allowing them to stay engaging and captivating without overwhelming.
 
Closing with "Wasabi Hands" from last year's The Memory Empire EP, the band's commitment to frequently switching up their sound while maintaining stylistic cohesion was on full display. Their sound isn't easy to describe or digest, but with plenty of melodies stockpiled in their dense, shifting songs, they keep it as accessible as possible without playing it safe.