Surprise Party Windsor Hotel, Winnipeg MB, July 18
Published Jul 19, 2014Just back from tour in support of their debut album, Heart of Love, time on the road has not only allowed Winnipeg's Surprise Party to introduce their psychedelic slacker rock vibe to the rest of Canada, but obviously given the four-piece more space to stretch out the album's distinctive sound.
Not that it wasn't there before, but having seen the band open up for Ryan Hemsworth back in February at Portage Place Shopping Centre, Surprise Party have dialled up the weird, trippy elements found on Heart of Love and given the songs even more of a rebellious sheen. Showing up early in its set, tracks like "Surprise" and "Jealousy" may be underpinned by a warped view of '60s pop or surf rock, but avoided being stuck in the wrong decade or coming off like a cliché.
Buried in swirling guitar and radiating synth lines, Surprise Party don't take themselves too seriously, but that just adds to the fun. Heart of Love could be the soundtrack to drunken nights drinking beers in the park or bring back memories of trying to fall in love and getting into trouble with your friends. Songs like "Saturday" and "Cut Me" take on a new feeling live, letting the band show off what they've been working on for the past year. It may only be the group's debut album, but it sounds like they are one of the bands looking to shake things up in Winnipeg's sometimes stuffy music scene.