Fresh Snow Baltimore House, Hamilton ON, September 10
Published Sep 11, 2016Comparisons to Godspeed You! Black Emperor can be lazy and reductive — not every group crafting emotive instrumental soundscapes with sporadic usage of ominous spoken samples needs to be held to the same standard as the Polaris-shunning post-rock behemoths. But I couldn't help but think of Godspeed during Fresh Snow's set thanks to a barrage of loud riffs both triumphant and terrifying, though the synth work (and the fact that you could actually see the band) supplied ample difference to set the Toronto quartet apart.
While Fresh Snow are hot off the heels of their sophomore LP, ONE, it's the tracks from their 2015 WON EP that served as the set's greatest achievements: tunes like "Blood in the Sun" and "King Twink Rides Again," even without the latter's jazzy, late night horns. Though pared down from their studio versions — no guest instrumentalists or vocalists were present for this gig — the quartet distilled their music to its barest essentials for a raucous torrent of guitars and drums, still providing enough noise to juxtapose against the melodic riffs.