Boyfriend Material / Jet Five L'Escogriffe, Montreal, QC - August 5, 2006

With many of the university kids gone home for a few months and the bars occupied by just their regulars, summer tends to be a slow touring season in Montreal, all of which makes the July/August lull a ripe time to check out up-and-coming bands that would normally slip under the radar. Toronto’s Boyfriend Material and Montreal’s Jet Five are two such bands, both young and still working toward a singular disposition, but both very promising in the combination of attitude and influence they’re bringing together. L’Escogriffe, for its part, has become a very popular breeding ground for young bands, many of which land somewhere between garage rock, punk and metal. Local quintet Jet Five, who’ve been together for about a year, have come up in this bar. They’re the kind of band people love to watch; they have a look that pits them between the Strokes and the New York Dolls, a swagger reminiscent of a young Rolling Stones and a drawling aloofness that oozes out of their guitars. On top of that, the five members — all of whom look barely old enough to drink — play like one propulsive unit. The only drawback was that their set was half covers — Richard Hell, New York Dolls, the Sonics — but I can’t wait to see what these guys do once they bother to write more of their own material. Toronto trio Boyfriend Material have spent way less time working on their look but their original material is way stronger. Like Jet Five, they also succumb a bit too readily to their influences — in their case, Thee Oblivians and other garage legends — but their scrappy, "take no prisoners” live sets are raw with an unbridled energy that’s highly infectious. None of their songs venture too far past the two-minute mark and they all compete to be faster and louder than the last. It’ll be interesting to see where these two bands are at in a year’s time.