Grounders Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 12

Grounders Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 12
Photo: Matthew Ritchie
7
It was fitting that as the opening chords from Grounders late night set rang through the doors of the Horseshoe Tavern, a plume of pot smoke rolled in immediately. Taking their cues musically (and visually in the case of the band's lead guitarist) from the likes of the Thompson Twins, New Order and Teenage Fanclub, Toronto's Grounders delivered sparkling, guitar-driven pop that sounded like the soundtrack to your next trip to Brighton Pier. Layers of chorus and flange battled to occupy space next to the bassist's limber fretwork and the drummer's propulsive drumming, providing the perfect combination of steady pop grooves with enough aural intrigue. Having fun with the crowd, the group took a break from playing tracks off their recent Wreck of a Smile EP to do a rendition of the Eagles "One of These Nights," baiting the ten-odd photographers in the front row to snap as many shots as possible as the group's two guitarists traded solos for over a minute. It was refreshing to see a band not take themselves too seriously.