The sun was overstaying its welcome for second day in a row, with temperatures sweating up to the high 30s. That was no reason to pause discovering more amazing Canadian bands on the closing day of Sled Island. I moseyed on over to Broken City where Wavelength was hosting a free showcase on the upstairs patio.
Starting it all off was Toronto’s WHIMM. No stranger to getting love from RTT, the garage rock trio’s material seemed to cover all corners of the genre’s spectrum. Apart from the usual louder songs with buried vocals, songs like ‘Receptors’ had more of a lo-fi shoegaze feel to it. The brooding nature of the band’s material was better suited for grimly lit basement clubs. But, atmosphere isn’t everything. It’s the music that counts.
The homegrown all-girl band Dream Whip had it all. Simplified and hooky garage pop that injected pep to every step. The drummer had the right kind of psychedelic shades paying homage to the original years of the doo-wop genre. Wacky yet endearing sense of humour kept it all loose. What would have been the dream whip on this dessert? Louder vocals. The youthful numbers lacked the echoing vocals that you expect from this genre. Instead, all we heard were power chords and mumbles. Considering the youth of the band, we will chalk it up to a rookie mistake.
As the sweltering afternoon continued, so did some great Canadian music. Saskatoon’s Radiation Flowers seemed to be the ideal soundtrack to the crowd’s dreams and their nightmares. Songs like ‘Dream in Black’ or set closer ‘Feel It’ had quiver inducing bass-lines and haunting vocals that created this perfect concoction of psychedelia and progressive rock. The memorable set earned its place on our festival preview list.