Library Voices

Le Cercle, Quebec City QC July 15

BY Mark TeoPublished Jul 17, 2012

When openers Honheehonhee called Library Voices one of "Canada's best live bands," they weren't screwing around. Of course, there's no shortage of entry points into the Regina septet's world. Simply see the playful humour that dotted their 2012 LP Summer of Lust, or their artwork featuring adored alt-model Hattie Watson, or the myriad dorky literary references in their songs. (Honestly, more pop songs need Joseph Heller references.)

All good things, but the best part about Library Voices' Zumpano-indebted power pop is their over-the-top enthusiastic live performance. With a stage crammed with two synths and a saxophonist, Library Voices often felt uncontainable. Bassist Eoin Hickey-Cameron pogoed as if he were in Youth of Today. Singers Carl Johnson and Brennan Ross stretched their vocal cords raw, never missing a note. And saxophonist Paul Gutheil, when he wasn't playing, thunder-clapped furiously.

But that eager energy -- more befitting of a hardcore act -- translated into scintillating pop, converting "If Raymond Carver Were Born in the '90s" and "Generation Handclap" into insta-memorable shout-alongs. And when they closed with the Misfits' "Where Eagles Dare," it became official: Library Voices owned the funnest set of the Festival d'été.

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