Sheer Agony Olympic Community Hall, Halifax, NS, October 19

Sheer AgonyOlympic Community Hall, Halifax, NS, October 19
Last year, Montreal power-pop four-piece Sheer Agony were one of the unexpected gems of the Halifax Pop Explosion, delivering a passionate set of refined bubble-gum pop with a hint of British melodrama.

Since then, the group have been lucky enough to get a pair of EPs under their belt and experience in front of crowds from Sled Island to Pop Montreal. So with the coveted opening spot ahead of festival headliners Of Montreal, the band came off as a bunch of road-hardened pros.

The throwback punk twang of "Good Cats Go to Heaven" and atmospheric pop of "The People Left" filled the auditorium, as Jackson Macintosh's come-hither croon and jangly riffs caused the all-ages on the balcony to sway side-to-side.

After only a handful of songs, the band left the stage without so much as a whisper. But judging from the crowd's cheers, they'll be back filling Halifax dance halls in no time.

To see Exclaim!'s Halifax Pop Explosion photo gallery, courtesy of Lindsay Duncan, head here.