WHOOP-Szo The Garrison, Toronto ON, February 18

WHOOP-Szo The Garrison, Toronto ON, February 18
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
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Currently touring with Wavelength headliners Julie & the Wrong Guys, London, ON road warriors WHOOP-Szo have covered a lot of ground while carving out ear holes with socially conscious observations and thick, generous distortion, and that's granted them a unique, terrifyingly informed perspective of the country they're living in.
 
Charting a doomy course with a tripled-up guitar section, synths and a paralyzing rhythm section, the band paints a bleak, desperate portrait of settler Canada and its various repressive state apparatuses, their heavy psychedelia a backdrop for the alienation felt on the margins. And if that didn't come through in the music, band leader Adam Sturgeon made it explicit in a pointed, emotional plea for institutional accountability after early set piece "Gerry," a song about the police violence that claimed his cousin's life.
 
"That by no means means fuck the police," Sturgeon said. "But our leadership needs to change, right? You can't walk into the home of someone who 'isn't feeling okay' and murder them. Where's the sensitivity training? I don't understand what happens." Heavy, righteous stuff that deserves more attention.