Hexes & Ohs / Statue Park / My Dad vs. Yours Casa del Popolo, Montreal QC - January 7

Hexes & Ohs / Statue Park / My Dad vs. Yours Casa del Popolo, Montreal  QC - January 7
Tucking themselves into the right-hand corner of the stage while a film no one seemed to be watching was projected on the left, Ottawa's My Dad vs. Yours led this otherwise mild-mannered electro-pop show with a long and lovely up-tempo instrumental set. Their guitar styling spanned from groovy surf to frosty film soundtracks, complementing the imagery, which was filmed driving down major boulevards in Lima, Peru. Rather than succumb to the standard wall of noise, the quintet maintained melody and made space for subtle keys, xylophones and bells, which sounded like a generous layer of icing on a hearty cake. Despite the absence of their "programming genius" (aka vitaminsforyou) and the permanent departure of their founding keyboardist, Statue Park put on a brave face and a solid set. Alongside a keyboardist on loan from another local band, Pawa Up First, Statue Park's singer/guitarist and bassist delivered rich vocals, tender lyrics, inviting melodies and flashes of dissonance, and a rhythmic and romantic snap, crackle and pop that kept the crowd on its toes despite the swooning. The recent downsizing of A Vertical Mosaic to Hexes and Ohs suggests that three was a crowd for Edmund Lam and Heidi Donnelly, who've left the edge (and their former cohort Ali Rahman) out of their retooled electro-pop oeuvre. Mixing and matching caffeinated beats and bittersweet melodicism with decorative drops of sonic syrup, the pair certainly doesn't slouch when it comes to song craft. Accompanying their boyish and girlish vocals were neatly arranged guitar, bass and synths, and a moaning duet between a concertina and fab-organ during one song. Hexes and Ohs certainly aren't a visually-oriented band, but few are these days, including the other bands on this bill, so seek out their tunes online or look for their debut LP, out on Noise Factory this spring or summer.