Tusks Tusks

The sound of Tusks, a new Ottawa area indie rock super-group of sorts, isn’t too surprising if you’re familiar with the music of their principle players’ previous groups, but that definitely isn’t a bad thing. Bassist/lead vocalist of Kepler, Samir Khan takes the reins, filling similar duties in Tusks, his softly thumbed, sophisticated bass lines and delicate but confident vocal melodies forming the foundation of the group’s borderline weirdo pop. Where Khan holds down the classic pop structures, one half of Ottawa legends the Wooden Stars’ songwriting duo, Julien Beillard brings the edgy experimentalism and razor sharp hooks of his guitar and distinct backing vocals. It’s a match made in indie rock heaven. Khan’s beautiful, sensitive melodies are given a serious jolt of energy by heavily throbbing beats, Beillard’s spastically calculated riffs and wickedly arranged keyboards courtesy of Shawn-han Liem, who dials in some spectacular sounds over this EP’s six songs. A sense of familiarity with the styles of the brilliant musicians involved certainly doesn’t detract from the impact of this stellar debut. (White Whale)