Mauno The Garrison, Toronto ON, May 10

Mauno The Garrison, Toronto ON, May 10
Photo: Jennifer Hyc
Idiosyncratic is an appropriate, though somewhat unfair, way to describe Halifax's Mauno. Nominally indie rock, it's hard to say who the quartet's forebears might be. Talking Heads and Hayden both came to mind at various points in their set, yet neither comparison does the group justice, which really is a big part of their charm.
What "idiosyncratic" doesn't capture is the surprising power behind their playing, particularly onstage. An early broken string on singer Nick Everett's guitar threatened to derail the set one song in, but the band persevered, as did the crowd, as he darted backstage to replace it.
Looking like a cross between David Byrne and Jonathan Richman, he literally pranced on his tip-toes at several points during the set, further adding to their mysterious allure. The quartet often seem to be playing in spite of each other, tense and untethered, anchored only by drummer Adam White's rock steady, though somewhat unorthodox, beats. Quite frankly it shouldn't work, but then it all coalesces around a groove and the band's rep as East coast up-and-comers seems wholly justified.

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