Mounties – ‘Thrash Rock Legacy’

Review by Dylan Hudecki

If the bio and buzz implies that this band has an impressive back story, the short answer is yes. The entirety of the back story leads to a press’ wet dream.

In case you haven’t read it or heard, Mounties is a “super” group made up of Can-alt rock “royalty”. Rock and rollers Hawksley Workman (musician, producer -Tegan & Sarah, Jeremy Fisher, Hey Rosetta, more), Ryan Dahle (Limblifter, Age of Electric) and Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat). An empty net goal right? A collaboration that is bound to work?

These 3 heavyweights (who are quite svelte in real life), have completely paid their dues in “the biz”.  So much so, that they’d agree they’ve overpaid them.  People that haven’t slaved over tunes, rehearsed like crazy, played terrible show after terrible show, don’t realize the strain, sacrifice, and living in a perpetual state of flux that goes into it. They hear you on the radio, see your videos and shows and think that you are; A) living the life, B) making enough to get by and then some, or C) all of the above.  Nine times out of ten this is incorrect.  There are so many bands fighting for the music lover and general public’s focus that they give up under the strain and the ups and downs of semi success.

And then there is Mounties… three friends and talented producers with no aspirations or motives, working as a team to turn improvised jams into bangers.  And with Thrash Rock Legacy they succeed!

Thrash Rock Legacy is a Lamborghini ride through outer space on warp speed with a glass of wine in hand and headphones on.   “Made up my mind” gives the listener a vocal harmony laden, fuzzed bass, Bloc Party meets Supergrass party vibe, whilst “The Twig & the Tree” rocks in all it’s new wave goodness.  “Pretty Respectable” is a drummers workshop with raps reminiscent of Jurassic 5, with a chorus straight out of Andy Partridge’s mouth. “If this Dance Catches On” is a 6 minute straddle between song & jam out, making it Mounties version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Paranoid Android”.

“Edible Cannibal” sees them venturing into an arpeggiated synth outer space vignette with enough rototoms that even Neil Peart would approve. “Hall & Oates” equal parts comedy as it’s a sincere homage to one of the greatest duo’s of all time (says everyone, anywhere).  And then there’s “Headphones”. A stand out hit if there ever was one. It’s immediately catchy & glossy without being perfect. Smart lyrics and simple melody. Not too busy, with a good groove, even if it’s lyrical hook features a modern ode “Feeling more connected than unlimited wi-fi”. The headphone heads out there will definitely identify, while everyone else will just bop their head and sing along.

It’s no surprise how great this record is, judging by the three inventive producer/musician/songwriters. Together they are bigger than the sum of their parts, yet at times you can hear the three bands playing as one. It’s a bromance record.  Is there a bit of showy self indulgence? Sure there is.  But a fan of any of the three bands these lads come from will eat every extra drum fill, fuzzed out riff, three part harmony they can get their ears on.  In a nutshell, the three amigos have carved a neat niche in Thrash Rock Legacy.  Canadian Alt-Rock version of “Monsters of Folk”. An engaging and fun record that seemed to happen out of nowhere, presumably from a pure place from three friends.  It’s as much fun to listen to this record as it presumably was to make it (by the looks of their YouTube “Making Of” clips).

Mounties are very much like Cerberus, the 3 headed monster from Greek mythology, which Wikipedia defines as “a beast with three heads, that each respectively see and represent the past, the present, and the future. The heads represent birth, youth, and old age.  Kinda fits right?

RIYL: XTC, Flaming Lips, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Bloc Party, Television

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