reviewed by Anna Alger
Calgary’s 36? carve out their own path in the indie rock world with their side of dual release with The Ashley Hundred, entitled split. These songs feature what is largely a more propulsive sound from the band, who are clearly game for experimenting and genre melding, keeping their music fresh.
The emphatically titled, “NO!” starts off the record, its insistent guitars and pounding drums full of energy. Distortion gives the song texture and juxtaposes the urgent vocals. Next is the dramatic “Old Bones,” which features expressive horns and intricate percussion, showing a different side of the band. They excel in quieter moments led by the skillful rhythm section, interspersed with loud punches from the brass.
Languid guitar bursts into sunny indie rock on, “May, 2011,” sounding like the embodiment of summer combined with vocals reminiscent of Julian Casablancas. The darker but no less energetic, “Kaleidoscope,” follows with melodies akin to those of Kasabian. Psychedelic tinged sounds swirl around the song’s heavy chords and pummelled drums. Closer, “I know you,” is a drastically quieter and more contemplative song, simplistic yet honest in its stripped back nature.
36? create a niche in the indie and alternative rock scene that is entirely their own on their side of split, melding a range of sounds and energies to make for an engaging listen. From using samples of dialogue from sources such as 1950s informational films, to blending psych and folk influences into their music, the band consistently displays striking originality.
split is available as a name-your-price download via the 36? Bandcamp page.
Top Track: “May, 2011”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good) + *swoop*