KID SNIPER CD release party with Little Clever at Rancho Relaxo (300 College), Saturday (May 25). Pwyc. 416-920-0366.
Jonathan Bunce's batteries are drained, literally.I try to catch the artist also known as Jonny Dovercourt on the road, where he's touring with Kid Sniper in support of their new Landlocked disc, but we play phone tag for a couple days 'cause his cell is dead.
You'd think he'd be personally drained too, given that he's the man behind the local lo-fi/hi-fi indie rock-electro hybrid band and a mastermind of the weekly Wavelength series and zine. But he keeps going strong.
When we finally connect, he's sitting on a bench in Athens, Georgia.
Chatting with the dude in a far-off place seems particularly appropriate. He claims the Landlock release was inspired by "going away somewhere for the wrong reasons, travelling to escape the state you're in and realizing that you're just as trapped."
Bunce's claustrophobic wintertime-in-Canada lyrics unify the tracks on Landlocked (High School Champion). Nifty and subtle evocations of place -- I always appreciate lyrics about clementine oranges and cleaning beer out of the fridge -- mingle with creepy synth lines reminiscent of old spy movies and Atari games, carried by driving bass and surprisingly sophisticated, jazzy drums.
It's a mellow video-arcade mix that mercifully stays away from the usual fuzzy indie rock guitars -- for the most part. Plus, you've gotta love their punkish two-minute cover of Can's Moonshake.
The disc is a departure from Kid Sniper's earlier Vantage Point record, which took aim at celebrity obsession and popular culture with songs about tabloid icons like Calista Flockhart. Up next? A full-on electric guitar rock Fuck You.
Bunce says change is the only constant with the band.
"There's no real mission statement behind Kid Sniper. For Vantage Point, I was doing a lot of writing on acoustic guitar, playing along with a drum machine. For Landlocked, I worked more with bass and synths. I don't like playing the same type of song everyday."
Bunce has been working within the Toronto indie community for a full decade, and being on the road has reinforced his feelings about T.O.
"There's so much stuff in Toronto that can match or kick the asses of stuff out here. But so much still needs to be done. We need to create an infrastructure. We need a purely music newspaper. And we need more indie labels to push the records through Canada and into the States and Europe.
"And bands really need to believe in what they're doing and go out on the road. Even if you don't play to anyone, touring is better than 10 rehearsals."email@example.com