The Heelwalkers with Borgo Pass and Temporal Dystopia at the 360 (326 Queen West), Saturday (October 12). $7. 416-593-0840.
The four scruffy, long-haired denim warriors who are Halifax's Heelwalkers may well be the great new rock hope for a music scene long since written off as a sludge of twang, twee, fiddles and fuzz pop. Their balls-out debut album reeks of old Stooges and MC5 Detroit rock, with heavy sniffs of Motörhead crunch and wailing guitars. Tunes are unabashedly about rockin' and rollin', chicks and wrestling. Easily one of the more welcome East Coast exports in a long while.What with their hard, heavy and horny sound, it's a surprise to discover that in person the Heelwalkers are like precocious high school kid punksters, interrupting and trying to outquip each other. Definitely more Blink 182 than Lemmy.
Lead guitarist Benny Bjabin is a Swedish expatriate and ex-roadie for ABBA. Or so he says. When the pop group went tits up, Bjabin hitched to Canada for some reason. Hitchhiked to Canada?
"Well, someone bought me a boat ticket. It was a girl.
"And when I got here, I was picking up papers and going to the unemployment office, and guess who I met in the line?"
The entire band?
"That's right. The entire band."
Zowie. What are the odds?
Bjabin is a novelist and Penthouse letter writer (guffaw!), and Ree Ree Bowler (rhythm guitar) is Short Bus Tully's (bass) pimp. Really?
"When times are tough I pimp him out. But he doesn't make much money cuz he's bad in the sack," offers Bowler.
"Hey! Can I help it if it's small? It may be short, but at least it's skinny!" retorts Short Bus.
Short Bus, a distant cousin of strongman Louis Cyr (he also claims to be a descendant of Liberace), is known as much for his feats of strength as for his "Wymanesque" stylings.
"Like, when we get a flat, we don't need a jack. Short Bus just lifts up the back of the van for us," says Bowler.
Tubby Lovespy, pie eater and stick hitter, is often mistaken for a gay biker, a not wholly unpleasant experience.
"I got cornholed in the bathroom at the Marquee (the Halifax bar where the Heelwalkers host a weekly open-mike punk rock jamboree) by this drunk guy. He was really drunk, so it took him a long time to come. But that doesn't make me gay. Getting a cock in the ass once in a while doesn't make you gay."
"Kissing!" says a voice. "Kissing another man on the mouth. Now that makes you gay," hollers Bjabin.
"And holding hands!"
The Heelwalkers are slated to play CMJ alongside the Mooney Suzuki. We wanna hear more from them in the future -- musicwise, that is.