Published Dec 06, 2010On the first Saturday of December in Halifax, the streets were wet, bone-cold and snowless. It was the perfect climate for the night's show at the Khyber -- a split tape and EP release party featuring Secret Colours, Bad Vibrations, Bloodhouse and Dog Day. Any sugary attempts at holiday merriment were shunned in favour of heavy and ethereal noises, a touch of slam dancing and a white bed sheet with the blood-red proclamation "No Reason for the Season" hanging grimly above it all.
The night began with Secret Colours, the solo project of veteran Halifax musician (and Bad Vibrations bassist) Evan Cardwell. His voice floated above a bed of rising synths and threads of bass -- a neutralizing sound bath full of delicacy and calculated climaxes. The hypnotic vibe held for the next act, the mighty Bloodhouse. With half the band buried within the crowd, they played a nonstop set, churning out stunningly heavy riffs while lead singer Alex Mitchell's vocals rose above the murk like spooky flotsam.
Bad Vibrations are to be admired for their pursuit of a singular and highly focused purpose: to rock everyone's fucking faces off. A sloppy mosh pit formed as the trio played a propulsive set of songs from their new tape and summer seven-inch Under Pressure. This was the sound of Motörhead fused with Eric's Trip -- a roaring, juddering ride with giddily astral detours.
The last band on the lineup, Dog Day, took the thread of tension built by the previous acts and smoothed it out with their weird, engaging sparkle. Recently pared down to a two-piece, the band -- Nancy Urich and Seth Smith -- traded instruments and vocals. The simplicity of this new structure brought out one of the best qualities of this band -- their voices, both sweet and alien, settling over the heart like a cold but comforting hand. As the crowd filtered out into the wet night, these voices echoed behind them in the rafters of the old building, high and knowing.