Published Mar 21, 2008This Monday night showed promise with Said the Whale and Brad Sucks, two bands that have gained attention through repeated spins on CBC radio, and transformed the usual "drink-and-a-band night out into a diminutive event. As Zaphods began to uncharacteristically fill up around the eight oclock mark, Ottawas Jordan Patrick discreetly took the stage, played a few absolutely unmemorable and uninspired songs and courteously left. Vancouvers Said the Whale, on a stopover from their weekend appearance at Canadian Music Week, appeared as a rare four-piece, due to keyboardist Laura Smiths school related trip home. They broke into quite a lovely set that relied on sharp melodies and a sound that impersonates the Shins just enough to remain enjoyable and not off-putting. The trade-off vocals of dual guitarists Ben Worchester and Tyler Bancroft with the resourceful drumming from Spencer Schoening promptly filled the hole left by Smiths absence. From Kanata, Delay the Explosions front-man and songwriter Ben Ing made an effort to hone his groups brand of irony-free 21st century grunge with their follow-up set. Within the course of the bands first track, it became clear that Ing struggles to write the type of mainstream melodies his band try to mimic. The closer of the evening, Ottawas Brad Sucks, who recorded one of the most infectious songs of 2007, "Making Me Nervous, forsook his great four-track electronic sound for a live guitar/bass/drums live set-up. His dependence on traditional instrumentation caused Brads sound to change drastically, abandoning his Beck-ish slacker vagabond delivery while draining everything that made his debut album, I Dont Know What Im Doing so enjoyable. The anticlimactic end of Brad Sucks performance capped off a night that stressed the importance of a strong live performance in the post-record store era of independent rock.