Froth w/ Wildhoney and Mundy’s Bay @ Le Ritz PDB, May 2nd, 2017

Perhaps this is simply an effect of the indie-scene filter bubble I’m floating in at the minute—the reverb-addled echo chamber that encourages me to skip any and every song that doesn’t start with a chip-packet crackle of feedback and some sweet, jangly, twangy arpeggio—but I’m convinced (hyperbole alert!) that we are currently experiencing a shoegaze revival. The Shoegaze Revival. Slowdive are back, Ride are back; in the last few years, we’ve had new albums by My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver after hiatuses of 15-20 years. A term that, at the time, was considered derogatory and shunned by just about every band it was scathingly applied to, now feels talismanic—a badge of honour, a title of supreme esteem.

The trio of bands who performed at the old Il Motore on Monday may well resent me for pigeonholing them thus (Baltimore’s Wildhoney were the only truly shoegazey band of the bunch) but whatever, I’m sorry. I simply couldn’t help but feel intoxicated—nay, completely and utterly shitfaced with joy—as I gazed upon the profusion of Fender Jaguars on stage, marvelled in delicious bewilderment at the recondite matrices of stompboxes scattered in esoteric patterns at their feet, basked in sounds so drenched, so sopping wet, so soaked in chorus and delay that I had to use a hair dryer to evaporate the buzzing in my ears afterwards. It’s a kind of nostalgia, no doubt, for an era I was too young to appreciate the first time round, but those times are back, baby, and this is good news for all music lovers born after 1975: we have been given a second chance.

I suspect, however, that this may not yet be common knowledge on the island of Montreal. The Ritz was barely half-full and the crowd somewhat subdued as local post-punk quintet Mundy’s Bay, Wildhoney and LA’s so-called ‘barbecue rockers’ Froth delivered us unto the bosom of dreamy noise-pop euphoria. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing; this sort of music doesn’t really lend itself to moshpit histrionics anyway and if I get to listen to some of my favourite sounds without a bunch of wasted douchebags banging into me every five seconds, more’s the better. I don’t do marks out of ten, but hats off to all three of the bands on Monday night’s lineup. Please continue to do what you’re doing and this is one indie lover that will lap it right up!