by Michael Thomas
For a while now I’ve been aware of Distant Cousins, a musical collective of several bands, most notably the Elwins. I finally got down to a DC-run show last night at the Piston and was exposed to a few new bands and one whose recording I had already reviewed.
What I noticed immediately was that the atmosphere of the show was quite different from many others I had been to. It was a lot quieter than other bars I’ve been to, and everyone seemed to know everybody else.
The first band of the night was Hamilton’s greasy rock band Redanda. They certainly lived up to their image. Three of the four band members had really long hair and the drummer drummed shirtless for most (all?) of the set.
The music itself was quite funky. I had already got a taste of it when I reviewed their EP Carl not too long ago. The band seemed to have a lot of fun playing their songs, particularly ones with extended jam sessions.
Church was the next act up, and the group name brought a few jokes from the other bands. “Church is up next,” said Redanda’s lead singer. “Because it’s Ash Wednesday!” chimed in the drummer. Later when Air Marshal Landing came up one of the band members said “I’ve never heard so much swearing in church before.”
There was indeed quite a bit of swearing in some of Church’s songs, though I don’t know if that was for the sole purpose of creating a jarring feeling. The band is quite new. The show last night was only their third as a band.
Their show was quite polished, despite the band’s newness. I couldn’t tell if I was hearing a bunch of short songs being played with few breaks or just a few long songs. The transitions were seamless, though, and I found myself somewhat hypnotized throughout. Their first EP is a free download from their Bandcamp page.
Then I saw Air Marshal Landing, a band based in Uxbridge, Ontario. Categorizing bands into a genre is always the bane of my existence, and this band made it even harder. Their first song of the set was quite melancholy, but the last song was so groovy and summery that I was at a loss for words.
The three-piece act was pretty crazy, and my favourite song of theirs started with drummer moving in front of his drum set and drumming on another member’s acoustic guitar. It was pretty cool, and it made for a good introduction that eventually exploded into a much louder song. You can hear some of their stuff via their website.
Due to semi-exhaustion I didn’t stick around for Rival Boys, though I’m sure they put on a great show from the exuberant review of their album that was released last year.
Distant Cousins have a knack for gathering some unique talent, and their shows are definitely worth a visit.