The Gertrudes Dawn Time Riot

The Gertrudes Dawn Time Riot
Many would question the viability of a music scene in a town known more for prisons and drunken undergrads than art, but Kingston, ON is quickly bucking all previously conceived notions. Leading the charge are the Gertrudes, a ten-piece collective that operate at the heart of the town's scene under the Apple Crisp umbrella. Less rocking than their buddies in rising group PS I Love You (who lend a hand on "Sailor"), the Gertrudes' first full-length does an excellent job balancing the multiple musical personalities of their members with a wide variety of styles and sounds. Throbbing indie pop propels "Wind From the South," while "Freight Train" moves along like its namesake, led by some whip-smart female lead vocals. And because ten members aren't enough, the band regularly invite the rest of the city's arts community into the studio ― the list of guest musicians is longer than the band's official roster. The Gertrudes' roots folk foundation might seem like a "been there, done that affair" ― God knows there are plenty of similar acts in Southern Ontario alone ― but it's this variety of sounds and personalities that makes Dawn Time Riot such a pleasure to listen to on repeat. (Apple Crisp)