Champion Lover Smiling Buddha, Toronto ON, June 21

Champion Lover Smiling Buddha, Toronto ON, June 21
Photo: Shane Parent
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Champion Lover's twin guitar attack was literal in more than one way on the final night of NXNE. Enveloped by clouds of vapour from the adjacent fog machines, twin brothers Edward and William Masuda led the charge in bringing a set of noise punk jams to the early crowd with volume levels through the roof and liberal use of feedback. Though at times they became victims of their own volume, Edward's boisterous yelp never failed to cut through the wall of sound, not even breaking during a raucous final number in which he slumped to the stage after expending all his energy behind the microphone.
 
Any musical gearheads who were in attendance undoubtedly had their eyes on James Cain, who was a treat to watch handling his Bass VI. A strange looking electric bass thanks to its thinner strings and shorter neck, Cain took the weirdness to new heights by taping a fuzz box to the instrument and playing it with a drumstick. Not unlike Jimmy Page and Sonic Youth before him, Cain could be seen jamming the stick in between strings and pickups when not whaling on his instrument with abandon.