Review – “EQUALS” – Acronyms

a4123944254_10reviewed by Chris Matei 

An acronym by definition packs a great deal of subtext into a simple word or phrase. And like their namesake, Saskatoon’s Acronyms amalgamate and combine: their members originated in a slate of other area bands before coming together in this combination, and they blend a range of different sounds and concepts- from indie rock to pop to shoegaze – into three short songs on their sophomore EP.

“L… is for the way you look… at me….”

EQUALS trades in both density and brightness, as when the dual vocals of  Billy Tataryn and Brynn Krysa lift opener “Your Words” over its palette of tight, reverb-painted guitar crunch. They manage to come across languid and poppy (those soothing background aaaaahs certainly help in that regard), while also retaining the bite and snap, especially in the drums, that the track needs to keep from dissolving. It’s less “Time To Pretend” and more “Electric Feel”, as it were.

We must be on to something with this whole acronym metaphor, because EQUALS’ middle track is named “SimpleComplex.”  Thematic coincidences aside, it’s a winner: the delicately oscillating bridge section breaking into full on fuzz-licious riffage, the aqueous blissfulness, and progressive, spacious, melodic approach to “alternative” sounds that have landed them in touring company of bands like We Are The City shown off in full.

The title track and closing slice of this all too brief EP is its most upbeat cut, sunny and disco-patterned, synth-washed and poppy but with the DNA of alt. rock firmly ingrained in its core. The vibe is very much like that of Wintersleep’s brand of Haligonian haze and shimmer – it sprawls into wild, proggy excursions but doesn’t stretch for post-rock immensity. The track hits peak emotional fervor only to vanish into a last splash of delayed repeats, leaving the listener keen for more.

Ambitious and evocative, this three-song set certainly makes a statement out of a varied, eccentric collection of ideas.

Top Track: “SimpleComplex”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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