OLD TIME RELIJUN with THE CREEPING NOBODIES and NO DYNAMICS at Trinport, October 15. Tickets: $8. Attendance: 160. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
The creeping nobodies like to make their shows a little bit special, and Saturday night's Half-Saboteur EP release was a good example of their Martha Stewart tendencies.
Ossington's normally skuzzy (but always friendly) Trinport was given a twinkly glow, its walls decorated with fairy lights muted by white sheets. It was almost enough to make us forget we were in a basement sports bar.
The theme of the night could've been hypnosis: along with the dreamy setting, the lineup brought together three bands who masterfully use repetitive notes and sounds to build and release tension mercilessly.
A steamy set of garage soul by No Dynamics ended with a tune featuring guest percussionists that sounded and felt like an army's worth of machine-gun fire.
The Creeps' sinister clatter is built upon Matthew McDonough 's lurching bass lines, with the jagged, dissonant guitar and panicked vocals of Derek Westerholm balanced by the calm voices of guitarist Valerie Uher and keyboardist Sarah Richardson . They ran through pieces from their new EP as well as some of the familiar tunes that have made them one of Toronto's highest-regarded bands.
Those who've never heard or seen Old Time Relijun could infer quite a bit from their name: picture a wailing, yelping lunatic preaching the blues. Singer Arrington de Dionyso makes every show his own revival meeting, his voice rising up over the thumping upright bass, discordant guitar, pounding drums and occasional squawking clarinet to stir the eager converts into a frenzy. Shirtless and drenched in sweat from the get-go, the charismatic de Dionyso could probably handle snakes and still get you to believe in his freaky gospel.
Though the bar temporarily ran out of booze before midnight, and despite some drunken louts, the capacity crowd (including a Trinport barfly or three) seethed and writhed on the dance floor at the mercy of the night's soulful and menacing bands.