ALEKS & THE RAMPS at Rancho Relaxo (300 College, 416-920-0366), Saturday (June 14), 11 pm. $12, free w/ NXNE wristband (see page 62). Rating: NNNNN
You could have the best reason on the planet for starting a band: you wanna tour, record, get semi-famous. Hey, why not? Only problem is, even the best-laid plans sometimes come to nothing. On the other hand, you could follow Melbourne, Australia, art poppers Aleks & the Ramps and have absolutely no plan whatsoever.
Started back in 05 when singer/banjoist Aleks Bryant took some time off from film school to pursue other interests like songwriting, the entire band was only formed to provide a full live sound for Bryant’s EP launch. A collective creativity bloomed, giving rise to spacey, clever pop that manages to bridge the celebratory playfulness of Animal Collective, the sun-soaked melodies of the Beach Boys and the aural freak-outs of Sonic Youth, often within the same song.
It didn’t take audiences long to catch on that what they were doing was pretty damn entertaining. Their theatricality and wild stage antics seemed to come naturally, and by the tail end of 06 they were recording their debut album, Pisces Vs. Aquarius. Since then, they’ve toured their home country twice and will be making NXNE one of many stops over here. Hopefully, if they continue not mapping out their future, we’ll be seeing much more of them.