FRESH SNOW, MASS and DEL BEL as part of THE CLASS OF 2014 at the Silver Dollar, Saturday, January 11. Rating: NNNN
Considering the diversity of young, independent bands on display at the Silver Dollar, it would be easy to wax poetic about how Toronto is truly becoming one of the world's great music cities. The packed house was already aware of this, of course, and the bands spoke very few words, letting - cliché as it sounds - their music do the talking.
Del Bel's jazzy set took time to get going, but eventually built toward a brilliant and climatic finish. Easily the most endearing act of the evening, their strongest moments proved that the band's honed their craft with precision. It's time to hear a follow-up to their 2011 debut LP, Oneiric.
While Del Bel's beauty lied in its subtleties, thrashing punk-rockers MASS bludgeoned the crowd with a driving set. Void of crowd interaction, the Ottawa ex-pat four-piece were polarizing in their relentlessness. If you could hang on tight, their Hot Water Music-esque vibe was plenty powerful.
And finally, recent NOW cover stars Fresh Snow: Well past midnight, the crowd was good and liquored up. Curiosity abounded and, as per the night's running theme, the band shut up and rose to the occasion. Inspiringly cinematic, Fresh Snow were part theatre, exploring haunting sonic depths and overwhelming highs - all the while dancing between genres and tags with abandon. My notes look like the ramblings of an overzealous drunk - such was their effect.