Zones Menz Bar, Halifax NS, May 28

Zones Menz Bar, Halifax NS, May 28
Photo: Steve Louie
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Light and shadow, colour and shade: Toronto's ZONES brought brightness to a darkened Menz Bar stage Saturday night (May 28), draping their stage setup in bright flowered prints that seemed to almost dance in the rotating lights coming from the Halifax club's ceiling.
 
The flowers were well-aligned with the band's sound. Though wedged deep within walls of hazy, wavy reverb, there are real pop sensibilities buried inside of Derek McKeon's songs. His guitar riffs stayed just on the stable side of off-kilter, while Kat Murie's live electronic accompaniments washed over the mix, blurring the various sounds together. But just like on ZONES' latest record (AFTER IMAGE, released in April), there's a melodic core to the material: short, repetitive and deeply hooky patterns that catch the ear and stick there.
 
Though the set wasn't long, ZONES made for one of the more engagingly pop-oriented performances of this year's OBEY Convention: bouncy, sweet and just a little bit weird.