HSY Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 18

HSY Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 18
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
"That's a little fucked," muttered HSY's mononymous singer/guitarist Jude as he struggled to his feet. Moments before, the musician was writhing on the stage in pain, having just popped his kneecap out of place. Yet with the help of his concerned bandmates, he got up on a stool to continue the performance. Since he couldn't play and dance, he called upon others to provide energy: "Since I can't move around anymore, all y'all have to do that shit."

And move they did. It was clear that the Toronto band "from up the street" were playing to their people; from the moment they hit the stage they had the crowd whipped into a frenzy. Like Odonis Odonis, HSY pillage sounds from the late '80s underground and churn it all together in a blender. Jude himself was spinning in circles on stage before the band had even played a note, the guitar feedback letting newbies know what was in store.

Less performance than assault, their wailing vocals felt a bit alien sitting so high in the mix, but the pounding drums — both sampled and live — anchored the cacophony emanating from the speakers. With Jude somewhat out of commission, singer-guitarist Anna Mayberry took over as the band's visual focus, hopping up and down in the lead up to the next explosive track.

While the space in between each felt longer than necessary, especially given how short some of the group's songs are, HSY nevertheless ploughed through their frontman's pain and suffering to deliver a memorable show.