Nostalgia was the name of the game this night, as some Southern Ontario punks joined Vancouver’s own Azimyth for a blast from the past extravaganza at the Picadilly. The crowd was scarce, which tends to happen to a mid-week, poorly advertised show, as hipsters hit The Cellar for some pretentious boogying, and college kids stay home playing Yahoo! Pool instead of working on their PowerPoint presentations. Nonetheless, a few handfuls of locals were treated well by the $3 cover, the cheap pints, and some mean Canadian rock.
On their second self-funded, cross-country tour, the Brantford, Ontario foursome Youthinasia delivered a solid jam in support of their latest E.P.—recommended for ingenious E.T.-esque artwork and melodic punk revival sentimentality, The Solution is especially catchy. Short and sweet (pop) punk songs were masterfully executed with a bruising ferocity the Pic’s diminutive stage definitely cursed the next day. The music was reminiscent of NOFX, Green Day, and Lagwagon, with singer Ryan Jarvis lapsing into Blink 182 poppiness and brief reggae-inspired grooves, while excellent bass line bridges and tight drumming made for a set highly enjoyable to locals and tourists alike.
While Youthinasia delivered a dose of happy mayhem circa 1995, Azimyth handed out distressing, disturbing, brooding, screaming, post-grunge pop-metal that took me back a few more years, to the early nineties, when bands like Nirvana and the Pixies were dishing out their angst and noise. Surprisingly well-dressed this night, Azimyth did not ‘hit’ the stage; they walked on, looked around the room, nodded to each other, and commenced their set.
This is a band that does not require wild on-stage antics to be enjoyable. Their music has matured since the band’s conception in early 2002, and now demands a certain dignity; while I have seen a younger singer/guitarist Corey Hawkins plummet to the stage floor in Cobainesque anguish, this was not the case tonight. I appreciate this band for their soft-to-heavy transitions on all fronts. Dancing cymbals explode into merciless cannonades, happy little bass riffs get dark and broody, distortion pedals add layers of noise to the guitars, and Hawkins’ soft hums mutate into morbid, resonant screams…and back again, in the span of a single song.
Not their best show tonight, but certainly solid enough to gain more fans, provided more people would get off their proverbial asses and support local music! A hair-raising time was had by all, from crunchy opener “We Won’t Break” through a finale deliriously covering CCR’s “Fortune Son.” This local trio is not to be missed, and may well be gracing larger stages in the not-too-distant future. Eat your heart out, Blasphemers! You missed a good one.