THE CARPS as part of the NXNE Xtra Series at the Mod Club (722 College), Saturday (June 14), 8 pm. $10, free for first 50 wristband holders (see page 62). 416-870-8000. Rating: NNNNN
“What the hell do these guys sound like?” you might have asked after watching this upstart duo’s untraditional anti-??gun-violence video Compton To Scarboro that aired on MuchMusic last year.
Lately, that question’s getting harder to answer, not easier, as genres and boundaries fall faster than record companies’ CD profits. But on the Carps’ MySpace page, this statement gives a hint of their flavour: “Marketing companies say it’s punk rock with a gun to R&B’s head on the dance floor.” Ha.
What we know is this. They’re a two-??piece group, with Neil White handling the electric synthesizers and brutal, buzz-saw bass guitars while Jahmal Tonge produces the crushing percussion and the vocal soul spasms that richly colour their jagged-??edged new-millennium dance-??rock thrashers. Their sound? A touch of Death from Above 1979, with additional symptoms of Parliament Funkadelic, Cody Chesnutt and Nirvana, with a throat infection of the late-70s Michael Jackson, more or less.
They’re genuinely attempting to redefine genres with each song, and this risky approach to music makes it difficult for them to be fully appreciated in Canada (where similarly uncategorizable pirate fairy Esthero sadly couldn’t find a foundation and thus departed for L.A.).
Boundary-??bullying hard rockers the Carps have already toured Europe and the U.S., and they’ve collaborated with über-??hot hipster darlings the Cool Kids, as well as Datarock and M.I.A. And they’ve put out two impressive EPs: 2007’s The Young & Passionate Days Of Carpedia and 2008’s Waves And Shambles, both on Urbnet. Okayplayer.com loves them, too, so when they’re crowned “the next big thing” by someone other than their hometown scene, just don’t say we didn’t warn you. See them while you can still afford to.