The music scene in my old westcoast Canadian hometown has been definitely filling its quota of quality poprock of late. Today three bands you-could-stand-to-get-acquainted-with are hailing you from way out west. You really need to take this call.
Limblifter go back to the 1990s in one form or another. I came across them in their Pacific Milk period circa 2015. Wow. Sounds like Zolas, the Shins, and nothing you’re ever heard before. “The Fauves” and “Mood of Mechanics” are the stand out tracks for me. Their recent album Little Payne takes the sonorous guitar and keyboard licks in totally new directions on a host of cuts. But the monster should-be hit single here is “Haystack Rock.” What an earworm! This is a perfectly produced bit of poprock songcraft. So many interesting twists and turns, from the chugging rhythm guitars to the synthy keyboard wash to the delicious candy-coated vocals. Altogether, a pretty magical three minutes.
If you’re looking for a bit more dread and distortion in your melodic rock Dead Soft may be more on your wavelength. Combing through their Bandcamp back pages I might have gone with shoe-gazey or Swervedriver-ish as a descriptor. But their most recent single brightens their heavy pop sound quite a bit, in a fab Matthew Sweet sort of way. “Glimpse” has harmony vocals and super-charged lead guitar runs that will give you chills in all sorts of places. For the full treatment, check out their long-playing record Big Blue. Then there’s Mounties, a supergroup of sorts that delivers yet another flavour of westcoast poprock. I discovered the band quite by accident stumbling over their spot-on 1980s-riffing song “Hall and Oates.” Though if I’m being honest the sound is more Alan Parson Project with just a few Oatesian vocals interjections. “Pretty Respectable” from the same 2014’s Thrash Rock Legacy is also seriously good. Their more recent Heavy Meta is also loaded with killer cuts like “De-Evolve Again” and “Burning Money.” Personally I hear shades of Brendon Benson tucked in here and there.
Vancouver doesn’t call as often as it should. But when it does, with bands like these, you just gotta answer.