October Sky at The Annex Wreckroom
I have a confession: one of my friends works for the band. So I’m sure SaraMarie Harding would appreciate a glowing revue so here goes:
The band was terrific (actually quite accurate, they were terrific), the audience loved them (which is again true) and everyone had a great time (can’t speak for everyone but I certainly did). All that was said without any money or graft changing hands.
I have seen October Sky maybe 3 times now and each time they just keep getting better. Coming off a 20 date tour in which they opened for Mobile, they sound much tighter and self-assured than the first time I saw them at the ElMo back in August. They have often been compared to a cross between Muse and Radiohead and certainly there is that element to their music but I don’t like to make comparisons, I like to judge each band on their own merits.
October Sky can certainly hold their own with some of the best Canadian bands touring right now. Their songs are sonically filling with lots of atmospherics and driving rhythms. And, to be honest it is really great to hear a band with a rhythm section that actually knows what it’s there for. The drumming dares you to ignore them and drives the songs along giving the vocals and guitar the support they need.
The band is LOUD! and that’s a good thing. The songs are well-written and delivered with confidence and passion. The lyrics could use improvement, imho, but it could be they suffer in translation but that’s a minor quibble unless you are a lyric snob. Karl Raymond’s voice is certainly one of the best I’ve heard in a while, nice range with a clear, clean upper register and good pitch control. His guitar work was also impressive and I liked that he didn’t indulge in gratuitous guitar solos. All the solos were completely within the context of the song and enhanced the piece rather than standing out like a sore thumb.
The stand-out song of the night is a new one that will be on their new CD that will appear sometime in 2010. They will be touring through much of 2009 and so writing and recording will be done at a later date. The song is called “Failure” and, like their others, could easily fill a much larger venue with it’s sound. “Hell Isn’t My Home”, and new single “Sacrifice” were also strong songs that pleased the crowd. “Sacrifice” opened the set and was a real attention-getter. It served notice to the crowd that they were in for something special. And the last song, “Fear”, left my ears bleeding, in a good way.
October Sky will be playing December 18 at the Silver Dollar Room, 486 Spadina Ave., Toronto. Opening bands include The Merry Warners, The Invisible Mouth and Reverse Mount Rushmore.
October Sky are also a featured artist on MySpace so go check them out. Also, you can watch videos of their tour on their MySpace page, and be sure to come to their live show, you won’t be disappointed.