Snowstorm Vol. I CD Release Party: Squalor + Pete Möss + Floating Widget + Medusa Head Trip + Absolu @ Foufounes Électriques

By Angelica - BVST - 02/16/2005

This was THE night for celebrating the best that the Montreal stoner rock scene has to offer. Tickets were cheap, beer was flowin' freely, and "paraphernalia" was handed out at the door, so the crowd was definitely ready to get down, and they weren't disappointed.

Absolu took the stage first. What a surprise. This band definitely delivered, all thick, grinding guitars and big, fat redneck riffs, perfect for pole dancing. The ass shakin' continued on a faithful, if slightly grungified French language cover of “She” by Kiss. Of course, at that point I was fully sold. Slow and greasy, this is rock'n'roll done right, and I look forward to seeing them again..

I've been enjoying High on Fire's latest Blessed Black Wings over the past couple of weeks, marveling at their no-bullshit steamroller approach to stoner rock. Medusa Head Trip are very much in this same vein: all dirty, freewheeling rock songs that thunder onward relentlessly. The heavy stoner riffs are there, but they're a little speedier, a little grittier. Plus, these guys are all about fast cars and faster women, so what is not to love?

Floating Widget are somewhat less accessible than the previous bands, with more complex song structures, and a more "traditional" stoner sound, but it was on their more "punk" (their word, not mine) inspired tracks that they truly dominated. Olivier Comtois' vocals were awesome that night, which is remarkable, seeing as I find that the singer is often the Achilles' heel of many great stoner bands. Of course, he could have cut down on the heavy breathing between songs, but now I'm just splitting hairs.

I've seen 2004 Montreal Emergenza winners Pete Möss before, and once again I was left... uninspired. This is more cock rock than stoner rock, and while I enjoy balls out rock'n'roll as much, if not more, than the next person, I find Pete Möss soulless. The riffs are heavy and the choruses are catchy, but like a Mickey D's cheeseburger, they're empty and unsatisfying and leave you hungering for something real. Pay some more dues before printing up all those boy-cut panties, boys.

Unfortunately, I didn't stick around for Squalor's set, despite the fact that they were the reason I decided to attend in the first place. However, because I have seen them on many different occasions, I can confidently say that they killed. These guys have been doing this forever, and their loaded, spacey instrumentals always satisfy, and I doubt that this night was any exception, unfortunately for me. Damn you, day job.

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