Freak Heat Waves The Garrison, Toronto ON, February 17
Published Feb 18, 2018Road-hungry Montreal-via-Victoria art-rockers Freak Heat Waves recently upped their pavement intake following the announcement of their fast-approaching Beyond XXXL, the unit's followup to 2015's Bonnie's State of Mind, and at Wavelength, that meant fans could take in a fresh and unprecedented update on the act.
While the band's been teasing a more melodic take recently, the sounds they supplied here were their most concussive yet. Foregoing the guitars and drum kits of previous releases, the Heat Waves brought the festival a dramatic new two-piece arrangement that had vocalist Steven Lind occasionally tending a sampler opposite a more technically involved Thomas Di Ninno positioned behind a vintage floppy-disk-era drum machine. While Di Ninno built tracks with thick, descending smears of swirling, opaque bass rhythms rich with slapback echo, Lind cast his deep monotonous drawl over all, like some hellish post-punk take on dub, all shoulder deep in hard psychedelia.
Compelling you forever inward and setting the cycle to spin, the accumulating, gargantuan mass of it all hit with a magnetism that none of the band's previous recordings have offered, if steeped in the same eclectic taste.