Published Sep 29, 2008Initially touted as a two-night affair in which each of their albums would be showcased in consecutive nights, Ottawas Hilotrons brought a sizeable and animated crowd outside the city limits and into the seemingly isolated, beautiful and iniquitous Blacksheep Inn.
Saturday night openers, Daiquiri, let their intentions known upon entering the petite stage. Sporting fuzzy animal/serial killer masks while surrounded by two processors, one iPod and one Furby, the Ottawa duo preceded to kick out the electro jams. Lee Neutons Human League-via-Anthrax guitar style coupled with Mike Hs over-assuming vocal delivery may give Daiquiri the title of "closest thing Canada has to Ween. Although the duo rely on novelty much more than they do songwriting, Daiquiri delivered a highly theatrical set full of humour, energy and a cover of Temple of the Dogs "Hunger Strike.
Hilotrons greeted the mostly-border-hopping audience to a packaging of songs from their infinitely quirky LP Bella Simone before launching into "Emergency Street, squashing all previous plans of themed evenings. As the band "herked and jerked through tracks from their new LP Happymatic, the nominally stagnant Blacksheep crowd immediately christened the space between the tables and the stage "the dance floor.
As the five-piece flawlessly cycled through most of their material, the ridiculously talented Michael Dubues vocal delivery showcased a band sounding much more earthy and relaxed than Happymatic may suggest. As the audience pleaded for an encore, Hiltrons delivered in full by ripping through the last few songs in their arsenal.
After an hour and a half set, Hilotrons sophisticated approach to electro rock did much to cement their relevance in an Ottawa scene already obsessed with "the traditional approach to rock. The Hilotrons keep good company with Kathleen Edwards, Jim Bryson and the Acorn because like most unexpected guests, they prove to be the life of the party.