Published Sep 19, 2014Despite the fact that their two cassettes sound like they were recorded underwater into a megaphone, Montreal pop-rockers Look Vibrant have a live sound that marries that frenetic exuberance with an obvious penchant for smart pop hooks. The quartet, fronted by Justin Lazarus and Matthew Murphy, come off as the ecstatic love child of early Wolf Parade and Born Ruffians with a splash of Grizzly Bear harmonics. Set highlight "Sweater in the Lake" best encapsulated that comparison with great harmonies and an earworm of a "whoa oh" chorus to really impact the somewhat sparse 7 p.m. crowd. Bolstered by Alex Rand's quick, smooth bass lines and Eli Kaufman's furious but calculated drumming, the band has no shortage of young talent, and is definitely poised for a breakout in the near future.
Occasionally, the group gets trapped up with some experimenting that doesn't quite pay off, like with a weird rap-turned-screaming turn in an early song, or squelching vocals way out of their range on "Plateau," but their hooks, harmonies and employment of saxophone on some tunes betray an intelligence for crafting catchy, noisily infectious pop, along with their undeniable enthusiasm. Plus, their ostensibly unrehearsed cover of Donnie and Joe Emerson's "Baby" showed the band's technical talent. Hopefully the band can use their rising exposure to create some better sounding recordings; once they do, their future will definitely, um, look vibrant.