TANGIERS CD RELEASE PARTY with PONY DA LOOK and the UNCUT at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Wednesday (March 19). $7. 416-598-4753.
Enough already with all the blabber about Tangiers being Toronto's answer to the Strokes. Sure, our ragged rock and roll renegades wear some swank suits and look as though they sleep in them, but that's really where the similarity ends. Put some electrified instruments in the hands of Tangiers and those hyperactive hombres know exactly how to knock together a concussive clamour. The momentarily fashionable trust-fund twits from New York City, on the other hand, are more concerned with looking dangerously deranged.
Beyond the threads, Tangiers have something special going for them that neither wealthy parents nor well-connected management can provide -- it's called chemistry.
Some industry professionals believe a label can just throw together four able musicians and, between choreography lessons and makeover primping, that mysterious X-factor will magically take over. Not bloody likely.
Chemistry is almost always the by-product of long-term friendships forged before the publishing split was ever an issue. Watching Tangiers front three Josh Reichmann, Yuri Didrichsons and James Sayce bouncing off each other onstage, you get the feeling these boys would be causing trouble together in bars even if they didn't have a band. Their explosive Hot New Spirits (Sonic Unyon) debut confirms it -- they've definitely got it goin' on.
"We've all known each other for a very long time," concedes singer/guitarist Reichmann, still woozy from a Deadly Snakes soiree the night before. "Andre St. Clair from the Snakes was my best friend growing up, and back when we were 13 years old we had a noisy kid rock group with Marco (Tangiers drummer Marco Moniz).
"And I actually knew Yuri when he was a little kid but lost track of him until he became the Snakes' bassist. So we really developed our musical vocabulary together."
Apparently, they arrived at their snazzy stagewear on their own, saving themselves the cost of an expensive consultation with a team of stylists.
"Hopefully, we aren't defined by our aesthetics, but I always liked the way those soul and jazz guys used to present themselves. There was something sophisticated and sexy about their look, which is true of every music icon I ever admired. I mean, you'd never catch Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan flopping around onstage in dirty jeans and a T-shirt."
As a former OCA student, Reichmann is well schooled in the art of bullshitting a negative into a positive. Anyone else in the band would simply admit that the upside-down image of the band inside the digi-pack of their Hot New Spirits disc was merely a printing error in the first run. Not Josh. To him there are no mistakes, just happy accidents that present new opportunities.
"By having our band photo printed upside down," reasons Reichmann as he goes, "we were actually, umm, trying to subvert and flip the idea of the rock star, which has toppled from its once lofty position and is now seen as disgraceful.
"Er... yeah, that sounds good. Why don't you print that so we look smarter than a bunch of guys who have the right suits but their record's fucked up." firstname.lastname@example.org