Slim Twig / Sic Alps / U.S. Girls Double Double Land, Toronto, ON, October 22
Published Oct 23, 2012As accomplices in musical crime, U.S. Girls and Slim Twig have reached the twin peaks of their powers. On the eve of a European tour with fantastic new albums in tow, the duo's divergent yet complementary strains (him: groovy ghoulie psych pop with a flair for the baroque; her: the shadowy sub-basement of the Brill Building where the Shangri-Las are queen) delivered an out-and-out Monday night banger.
From the steely grey soundworld of her early releases on Siltbreeze, Meg Remy's U.S. Girls project has followed a seamless trajectory into the triumphant fanfare of her upcoming long-player, Gem. Backed by an all-star band featuring members of Zacht Automaat and Onakabazien, she commanded the stage like Yoko Ono possessed with a flawless mix of future classics. If a swooner like "Another Color" or the heart-wrenching "Rosemary" fail to change the room's temperature, you might need to check your pulse.
This would be a tough act to follow for anyone, but Sic Alps attacked their long-awaited Toronto debut like a teenage shredder let loose in the guitar store. All of the classic rock connotations that come along with that were present, right down to a straight-faced cover of the Who's "Seeker," but it wasn't all Q107 at drive time. On record, the Bay Area band are a whole other bag of wax, yet this rollicking set found them in the sweet spot between the stadium and the 5 a.m. wasted basement jam.
The night's final slot was left to Slim Twig, and the spotlight kid kept the hits comin'. Joined by the same A-squad backing band as U.S. Girls, he launched straight into selections from his recent release, Sof' Sike and tantalizing previews of his second 2012 LP, A Hound at the Hem. The moment of Zen was an extended vamp through "Madeline Has a Body," complete with Robert Quine-style six-string freak-outs. Take Slim's advice and bring this party back home.