As Saskatoon’s seemingly unassuming heavy duo, Vulture Kult, set up their stage to open what would be a raucous night of beer-fuelled rock and roll at Broken City, one could be forgiven for imagining that the group featured more than two members: three guitar stacks, a bass amp, a sprawling drum kit, stage lights and a smoke machine all littered the low stage, humming with anticipation of the sonic assault that would surely follow. Vulture Kult proved to be a treat: somehow, the duo managed to pull it off. With a sound caught between Black Sabbath and C’mon, alternating between high-crushing stoner riffs and death-driven blues fretwork, Vulture Kult warmed up the originally skeptical crowd up with ease. To be sure, though, a third member, someone holding down the low end, would be most welcome in rounding out the sound — frontman Hans does his best to fill it out, running his guitar through the three guitar stacks and a bass amp — and would elevate the band into an unstoppable spectacle.
Up next, Calgary’s ode to Tricky Woo, Napalmpom, took the stage, fell to their knees and howled the true rock and roll word proudly into the night. The quintet like to boast that their rock and roll is so good that even members of the band like to air guitar along to their own songs and its hard to dispute that: fast, fun-loving and furious, Napalmpom sounds like rock and roll’s best party. After Vulture Kult’s heaviness, the local boys proved to be an excellent foil, frothing the packed room in anticipation of Montreal’s Trigger Effect.
By now, Trigger Effect are somewhat of a local mainstay. They seem to be part of a select band of Montreal outfits — along the lines of Barn Burner, Priestess (when they were around) and to say nothing of Tricky Woo — that exist solely for the love of the almighty riff. Every time they tour Calgary, it seems like they bring out a growing core of adoring fans ready to party. What separates Trigger Effect from the pack, however, is their seemingly effortless ability to take elements of hardcore, punk and rock and roll and foam them together like an over-shaken, shotgunned beer. Amidst plumes of sprayed PBRs and ferocious guitar riffs, frontman Nick Babeu lost all control and enthralled the sloppy crowd. Friday nights were meant for this kind of mess, regardless of how Saturday morning might feel.
Review and photos by Sebastian Buzzalino