Published Aug 29, 2008The four guys that make up Toronto's Tusks have such an impressive collective past that I'd almost rather just focus on how accomplished each and every member of the band is than wax poetic about their music. Seriously, the list is a mighty one that includes Kepler, Wooden Stars, I am Robot and Proud, Sea Snakes, Snailhouse, Clark/Metal Kites, Hilotrons and the Ben Gunning Band.
With such pedigree, Tusks (they normally spell it in caps) have an almost unreachable level of expectations on their shoulders. Can they live up to them? Heck yeah! These vets are well-oiled (take that however you like) machines who combine their adept musicianship to make some of the loveliest, no frills melodic rock conceivable.
"Melodic rock" sure doesn't sound very enticing but Tusks deserve to be the ones who give it some fresh meaning. I'm not sure I hear the Fleetwood Mac influence, which apparently gave them their name, but they bring such precise riffage and ultra-tight arrangements that they are fill to the gills with unpretentious melodies something Buckingham and Fleetwood were all too familiar with. These melodies elevate the music, ringing out not just from singer Samir Khan and his group's affable backing vocals but also from the succinctly zippy guitar lines of Dr. Julien Beillard and Shaw-han Liem's inventive keys.
Taken from their forthcoming self-titled EP (out September 30 on White Whale), "Baby Noise" has gotta be faster than anything these dudes have ever recorded, as the parts all move briskly to keep up with Robin Buckley's bubbly time-keeping. As they say in their bio, Tusks are "sharp and stabby in their constitution," and this cut demonstrates just how immediate this band's impact hits.
They've got a few shows coming up, a couple of which are with label-mates Poorfolk. Don't miss out.
9/13 Ottawa, ON - Mavericks w/ Poorfolk
9/14 Montreal, QC - Le Divan Orange w/ Poorfolk
9/18 Guelph, ON - Ebar
9/19 Toronto, ON - The Tranzac (Main Hall)