Ice Cream House of Common, Ottawa ON, February 4

Ice Cream House of Common, Ottawa ON, February 4
Photo: Ming Wu
Though there were a few hiccups for Toronto's Ice Cream early on, the duo just laughed them off and settled into a great set on Thursday night. Leaving the bubbles and tulle at home, the stark white concrete wall they performed in front of was still an apt backdrop for their petroleum-based songs.
Ice Cream make fairly rigid and oftentimes dissonant music, but played with a cool, detached precision. Look beyond their deadpan and you'll find a playful sense of humour. Songs like "Science" are great drum-machine driven pop, and are studies in the art of repetition as the band slowly twist the melody into new and interesting shapes.
The textural interplay between Amanda Crist's synths and Carlyn Bezic's bass were especially great to hear unfold during the group's more instrumental passages, which find the band loosening up a bit to connect the dots between post-punk and spacey funk in a way that's as smart as it is danceable.
Their wit, style and economy make their music so completely compelling, and their live performances unforgettable.