Minus The Bear / The Spill Canvas / The Metal Hearts Club Lambi, Montreal QC - April 24, 2006

Club Lambi’s stage was so low to the ground that it made it difficult for anyone to actually watch the bands. Instead, the night had the atmosphere of a packed, sweaty basement show. The Metal Hearts delivered a delightful mix of deconstructed drum loops, math-y guitar parts and catchy sing-along melodies. With a former Montrealer at the helm, they were touring with Suicide Squeeze label-mates Minus the Bear in support of their first release, Socialize. The trio was subdued and jangled, reminiscent of old Modest Mouse or Pinback. The Spill Canvas separated the older members in the crowd from the myspace generation, leaving most folk over 18 running next door to watch hockey. The emphasis was obviously on the melodic vocal harmonies and riff-y guitar parts. The South Dakota outfit is white-belt friendly, watered down Dashboard Confessional stuff that kids never seem to get sick of. Minus the Bear seemed tired and uninterested and struggled to get through the set. The crowd was receptive and excited, barely stopping their dancing long enough to notice the ridiculously hot room. Unfortunately, their excitement was met with a blasé, lacklustre performance. MTB showcased mostly songs off last year’s Menos El Oso, but it was all the same electro-tinged, quirky rock. Musically, the band is consistent but this night’s performance left something to be desired.