The Buzz

Canadian Music Week: The unpretentious, the unenchanting and the unforgettable

Categories: Music

 Claude Munson & The Storm Outside are an indie folk outfit from Montreal. (Laura Thompson/CBC)

Canadian Music Week, we meet again.

Claude Munson & The Storm Outside

This blustery Thursday eve starts with an unpretentious, eclectic set brought to us courtesy of Claude Munson & The Storm Outside. The Montreal indie-folk outfit has some interesting components to note: a bowed stand-up bass, brushes on a snare drum, slide electric guitar with no shortage of reverb. Two female singers back-up an acoustic guitar-playing main man, Claude Munson himself. Nothing mind-blowing here, but a decent show well-suited for the casual vibe of The Gladstone Hotel.

The Breaks

 The Breaks brought Hendrix-esque guitar to Canadian Music Week. (Laura Thompson/CBC)

Toronto's The Breaks handily entertains a room of concert-goers at the Cadillac Lounge, displaying killer chops, with talent to spare. Bluesy bass riffs and driving drums back very Hendrix-esque guitar phrases from a classic Fender Telecaster. Compositionally advanced, lyrically lacking.

The Zolas

The best discovery of the night comes at the Rivoli in the form of a tall fellow whose catalogue runneth over with sweet, catchy rhythms, and a knack for writing to boot. His name is Zachary Gray, the enigmatic front man of The Zolas, hailing from Vancouver, B.C.. It's memorable, uplifting electro-pop, Gray swapping out his Gibson 339 for a mini-synth at one point, that inspires one to Google this band on the spot.

Poor Young Things

Unenchanted puts it lightly, when I'm met with the hard rock stylings of Poor Young Things at the Horseshoe. Nickelback lite. The objectionable wall of noise is momentarily forgiven, however, during a slick, redeeming rendition of MGMT's Electric Feel.

Yuichiro Tokuda's Ralyzzdig

If you thought you knew a "full" arrangement, think again. Yuichiro Tokuda's Ralyzzdig comes to us straight from Japan's jazz scene. With intricacy nearly beyond comprehension, each and every one of these five artists is a true master of their craft with the propensity to share it. Frontman Yuichiro Tokuda writes all the songs, and his saxophone work is beyond superb. This is busy, progressive, very advanced jazz, with "simple" not a part of this vocabulary.

Canadian Music Week continues Saturday and Sunday in Toronto.

 Progressive, very advanced jazz from Yuichiro Tokuda's Ralyzzdig. (Laura Thompson/CBC)

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