Syzzors Divan Orange, Montreal QC, November 21
Published Nov 22, 2014Montreal-based electronic trio Syzzors perform synth-heavy pop music that blends the traditional instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums with electronic samples and drum patterns. Performing right after Choses Sauvages, they demonstrated some of the same issues when it came to language limitations, with Raphaëlle Chouinard's vocal delivery in English somewhat alienating, relying on vocal ticks to infuse strength into her performance. Her guitar work is also a little shaky, and maybe it'd be best to concentrate on adding a few percussive flourishes, as she sometimes did throughout the short set, to better results.
Chouinard was backed by Gabriel Tremblay on bass, keys and synths, and Lisandre Bourdage on drums and backing vocals, who provided some of the stronger instrumentation. Emotional opener "Rain" came off as more cheesy than affecting, with the vocals being overshadowed by Tremblay's strong production, and "Love Triangle ♥∆," while not about the band being a love triangle — though "they do really like each other" quips Chouinard — explores modern love dynamics nicely enough, if not in an original manner. Their material needs some editing and polishing, as they often try to cram too many ideas into a single song, and it'd be interesting to see what they could do with strictly instrumental cuts. The songwriting is also lacking at times, with some long-winded compositions and bland use of metaphors, and you can't help but wonder what they'd be able to achieve if they wrote in their native French.
It's also a little hard to discern what type of band they're hoping to be, with some cuts coming off as a rockier version of the xx, while others are on the electro-singer-songwriter spectrum. The best song of the night was actually the first one Syzzors wrote together as a band, entitled "That G Word," a nice sparse slow jam that recently got the video treatment to be released next week, and which ended their set nicely.