Mounties Olympic Hall, Halifax NS, October 25
Published Oct 26, 2014Mounties opened with "Eyes of a Stranger"-meets-Zeppelin radio hit "Pretty Respectable," from their 2014 Polaris Music Prize long-listed album, Thrash Rock Legacy — Mounties are so indebted to classic pop that they're almost a cover band. The cartoonish animation of singer Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat), the drama of Hawksley Workman on stage-right drums and Daniel Knowlton (the Gay Nineties) added personality to the affair.
The set was pulled from Thrash Rock's track list including the 8-bit inspired, key-heavy "Hall & Oates" and "Feeling Low." Mounties shouldn't be faulted for writing familiar music — the tunes feel contemporary, especially in the way they mix genres. "This is punk," said Bays, quickly correcting himself, "Well, no, it feels punk, but with a good PA."
Mounties was high-energy music for a late afternoon. Later in the set, they added sixth musician Joel Waddell (Rich Aucoin's drummer) to shake maracas with Cary Pratt (Prairie Cat) before ending with "Headphones." Workman offered the most appeal, adding moans, flirtatious gestures and spontaneous solos, embodying an animalism that was theatrical and sexual, the two required elements of glam rock, and giving Mounties edge as they wrapped their satisfying performance.