Lacerda / Dance Electric / Ghost Hands / Now Yr Taken / Postage Stamps Cat’s Eye, Toronto ON - March 25, 2006

Opening up a compelling night of aggressively unique music was the Björk-meets-Atom and His Package style of Lacerda, a vocal-based boy-girl duo. Having only recently left the solo route behind, the act benefits from the added stage presence of a female vocalist. Performing to a backing track of synthesised electronic beats and copious vocal layers, Lacerda’s energetic style of bizarre yet poppy music was a strong way to start the night. Brampton’s Dance Electric followed suit, performing a set of what can only be described as "dance punk,” that is, if "dance punk” wasn’t lame. Featuring one half of Strawman Fallacy, the band played up the aggressive side of acts like Red Light Sting and the dance-y side of bands like Refused, creating a cohesive and original sound. Ghost Hands, the recently adopted moniker of the previously solo Andre Theriault, were one of two bands to gain an advantage during the night thanks to a new female voice. Performing gentle, observant acoustic numbers as a trio (the group also includes a second guitarist), Ghost Hands’ songs were occasionally reminiscent of the sweet-voiced naiveté of old Death Cab for Cutie, with the same quirky, pop-based style and structure. Now Yr Taken, yet another band to have only recently moved on from the solo act realm of one guitarist/vocalist, now includes two drummers, and the addition is brilliant. Most songs were performed with only one drummer, but the epic addition of a second for several was breathtaking, particularly as it genuinely added to the sound, rather than merely acting as an additional layer of noise. Using a massive row of peddles, the group built songs up to truly epic levels without adding too greatly to their cheese factor, building single notes to huge crescendos. Finally, there were the Postage Stamps, local veterans and a consistently solid band. They certainly delivered, offering big-sounding indie rock with little-sounding vocals, a combination that gives all their work a feeling of true earnestness.