Jeff Scheven (left), Vanessa Fischer and Ronnie Morris embrace their inner Leos.
LIONESS with STOP DIE RESUSCITATE, JAIME SIN, MIKEY APPLES at Wrongbar (1279 Queen West), Friday (November 14). $10 (with CD $15). 416-516-8677.
Lioness frontwoman Vanessa Fischer sounds pretty calm considering that the band should be in Montreal but instead is just approaching Kingston after being delayed by an emergency pit stop in Pickering.
Fischer says this new project has been a much more mature and mellow experience compared to her days with soul-punk outlaws No Dynamics and her rhythm section's time spent backing up much-hyped death disco outfit controller.controller. Her days of throwing herself, high heels and all, into the crowd are over, in favour of a more soulful and danceable vibe.
"I used to do that because I'd be a little too drunk and wanted to dance with the crowd, but it started to get too aggressive for me. At the last No Dynamics show, we wanted to play on the floor at the Boat. It was fine at the beginning, but people kept pushing and pushing, so I ended up playing the whole show standing on the kick drum. Every once in a while I'd fall off into the darkness and land on a monitor."
If you're wondering what this new project sounds like, imagine the post-punk funk drums and bass of controller.controller stripped of the guitars, with Fischer's blues-inflected wailing at the centre. Although they've only been working together a little over a year, their strong debut self-titled EP (New Romantic) reveals a chemistry that began before their official founding.
"[Drummer] Jeff Scheven and I had been going out for a while. He would go away on tour with controller.controller and I'd be playing shows with No Dynamics. We always wanted to start a project together, so when his band broke up and No Dynamics slowly stopped doing shows, we thought it would be a good time to start something easy and fun, because we just wanted to keep playing music."
Their sound evokes some of the minimalist outsider disco of ESG, with some of the fierce soul punk attitude of the Gossip. Fischer herself isn't quite sure what to call it, so she defers to the fans for a label.
"One kid at the Glass Candy show said we were ‘stoner rock house,' which is kind of cool."