SAFE & SOUND BENEFIT with SCANDALNAVIA , COUGAR PARTY , the GUEST BEDROOM and DANCE YOURSELF TO DEATH at Sneaky Dee's, August 20. Tickets: $5-$10. Attendance: 200. Rating: NNNN
Proceeds from Saturday's Safe & Sound show went to Toronto's Interval House , which offers a variety of services, including shelter, to women and children affected by violence, so this event was a winner right off the bat. Fortunately, attendees were also blessed with a strong lineup of female-centric bands.
To start off the night, Dance Yourself to Death played a low-energy set of perfectly capable girl pop in the vein of the Go-Gos. Formed mere months ago, doubtless with time they'll show more comfort and confidence on the stage.
The crowd swelled perceptibly for the Guest Bedroom , perhaps due to the buzz they've been getting for their recent self-released EP, or maybe because of the commanding way they take the stage. Singer/guitarist Sandi Falconer shout-sang their energetic angular power pop tunes decorated with sometimes unsettling blasts of circus organ.
Cougar Party dominate the space between hard rock and hardcore, but they're best at their most threatening. Drummer Shannon G. punctuated the band's heavy riffs with bloodcurdling screams, alternating with guitarist Amanda 's and bassist Shannon M. 's coos and shouts. The sheer volume of Cougar Party's set required earplugs and inspired an abandoned plate of Sneaky's nachos to gradually shimmy off the window ledge and crash onto the dance floor.
Scandalnavia bring the sexed-up rap-rock every time they play, and this night was no exception. Their shambolic stage act suits their bratty tunes about the Ex, stupid fonts, naughty Catholicism and bad daddies. ("Daddy, buy me a pony / Where's my fucking pony, bitch?")
Though the night was somewhat uneven and the crowd moved in and out in shifts, Scandalnavia easily brought it all home in their totally charming, totally hilarious, totally unique style.