PYPY, OMHOUSE, B-17, BAD RIVER at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina), Friday (February 21), doors 9 pm. $7.50. RT, SS, TF.
Pagan Day (Slovenly), the recently released debut album by Quebecois psychedelic punks PyPy, is unhinged, noisy, spooky and paranoid. But more than anything else, it's gleefully fun.
A casual offshoot of CPC Gangbangs, Duchess Says, Red Mass and other Montreal underground acts, PyPy are pleasantly surprised by the positive reviews the album is already getting in unexpectedly high-profile places like NME and Pitchfork, and credit much of that success to the no-pressure spirit behind the project.
"I think it's really apparent we are making this music for the love of it, and for fun," guitarist/vocalist Roy Vucino says. "You can tell we're not taking ourselves too seriously. When we get together, it almost feels like when I was taking arts and crafts classes when I was young."
There's an almost deliberately naive and playful aspect to the songs, even when co-vocalist Annie-Claude Deschênes is screaming like a banshee and Vucino is laying down a bed of screeching fuzz guitar over angular post-punk funk beats. Instead of the references coming across as contrived attempts to be cool, they sound more like a punk-rock jam band who accidentally stumbled onto a great sound.
"My heart is definitely still in Red Mass, but it doesn't have that feel of when you first start a band - when you're young and just playing for the fun of it. There's no reason behind PyPy, other than getting together with your friends," says Vucino.
"My last few projects have been things where I come in with tracks, but we write together with this band. The songs really come from jamming."
In fact, it wasn't until they began recording Pagan Day that PyPy's songs developed solid, consistent arrangements. But that recording only happened because they were on the verge of retiring all of those jams without having documented them.
All the jamming and messing around might lead you to think that the music is a bit half-assed, but actually the songwriting is surprisingly tight.
Vucino believes the former might explain the latter.
"Some people could believe that we didn't work that hard on them because they're jam songs, but we've actually been playing and working on variations of them for a year or two now."