THE CLASS OF 2015 featuring Nancy Pants, New Fries, Bile Sister and BB Guns at the Silver Dollar Room, Saturday, January 24. Rating: NNN
The Silver Dollar Room’s recent recognition as an official heritage destination is indeed a nod to the iconic venue’s past. But perhaps a more appropriate recognition would be of the venue’s continued efforts to foster both the city and the country’s young, burgeoning bands. Case in point: the sixth installment of the Class of 2015 series, featuring bands destined to make it big this year.
Toronto’s BB Guns projected an earnest mod vibe, complete with bassist Clint Rogerson playing the set in slim sunglasses. Their tightly-wound fuzz rock was dusted with ‘90s rock radio guitar solos from lead singer Laura Hermiston, and eventually a hesitant crowd gathered around the stage.
The poor mix that hampered BB Guns and sparse trio Nikki Fierce was smoothed out for Montreal trio Nancy Pants, making their Toronto debut. Their swinging set had a serious Detroit Cobras feel they were loose and ambitious as lead singer Ohara Hale appeared incredibly composed onstage. The dark verses lead into insanely catchy choruses and their set was the evening’s highlight.
New Fries showed none of the pop aesthetics the three earlier acts did but were engaging in their own right. Lead singer Anni Spadafora seemed possessed at times and took the band’s spastic punk in strange places. When it worked, it was tough to look away. But other times their tracks were directionless and a bit tough to stomach.
Bile Sister finished with the late set, letting loose their ambient, electronic-induced pop on the crowd that wasn’t entirely focused. Nevertheless, their playful approach was appreciated. The Silver Dollar room had it right: expect promising things from all of these acts this year.