Published Mar 31, 2014It had been 30 years since Regina's first punk band the Extroverts last played in Saskatoon. Having formed in 1979, the band have the distinction of being one of the first punk acts to form in the province. Having reformed in 2009 at the urging of Joey Shithead, the crowd at Amigos was nevertheless on the sparse side; too bad, because who knows if and when they will ever come back.
Billed as the Saskatoon release show for the Prairie Shag compilation cassette, curated by Carl Johnson of Library Voices, openers Herb and the Humans wasted no time unleashing waves of distorted guitar amidst bluesy rhythms. Stylistically the group never seemed to settle into a single groove, but their set was well received by those brave enough to wander onto the dance floor.
The energy in the venue spiked with Regina's Delta Throats, who managed to sound even larger than Herb and the Humans. Trading off on vocals, the trio's sound was a mix of aggressive guitar work layered amidst subtle melodies; never mind that the drummer battered his kit to a pulp throughout the entirety of their set.
Having only released one record during their entire existence, a seven-inch EP with the songs "Living in Poverty" and "Political Animals," it's likely that those who gathered knew what to expect from the Extroverts. Combining elements of power pop and new wave with the searing hiss of '79-style punk rock, the Regina group immediately broke into a sweat during their first few songs.
While the Extroverts have obviously aged since their heyday, the musicianship was surprisingly razor sharp, a strong indication that the group haven't just reformed to simply rehash old glories or to piss around for fun. Singer Brent Carlson's delivery is still as fierce and snotty as ever; maybe the bottle of wine he kept on stage helped. Amidst deadpan banter about 8-track tapes and cassettes, the group got some of their biggest responses from the cover songs thrown in, which included "In The City" by British mod-rockers the Jam. And despite 99% of the crowd being too young to remember the Extroverts in their prime, the entirety of the bar was finally dancing by the end of the night.
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