New Fries Townehouse Tavern, Sudbury ON, August 11
Published Aug 12, 2016New Fries are an electrifying experiment in organized chaos. This much was clear when the band hit the Up Here Fest stage in Sudbury Thursday night (August 11) for an evening of loud, fast and tremendously weird punk rock, with nods to math-rock and experimental music.
Vocalist/guitarist Anni Spadafora shout-sung behind a curtain of greased-to-the-max hair, yelping out a combination of dadaist lyrics and what sounded to me like the punk rock equivalent of a Chance the Rapper ad lib. It was, like the rest of New Fries' set, gloriously batty.
All good New Fries songs (the best being "Uncle Carmin Cruise Ship Cuba" and "Jasz" at this particular show) generally follow the same basic template. Start with some breakneck drums, add in some menacing bass and discordant guitar and keys, let Spadafora do her thing and then have it all descend into chaos, like a sudden steepening of the world's fastest water slide. The band played this strategy perfectly again and again, racing through tracks from their recent EP, Fresh Face Forward, as well as older material.
To end the show, the group descended into straight noise for several minutes. Keys were mashed, bass guitars were repeatedly fallen on, and Spadafora stood hunched over at the corner of the stager maybe screaming her guts out, or maybe not — it was so loud it was hard to tell. Then the drums kicked back in and the band rode one last wave of gleeful incredulity to cap off a brilliantly bizarre set at Up Here fest.