OXW 2018: Day 2 – Strange Attractor, The Shame and Omerta @ The Dom

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Ev has synesthesia, and they incorporate their sensory experiences into music reviews. Synesthesia is a condition in which the brain links a person’s senses together in a rare manner, prompting unusual sensory responses to stimuli. People with synesthesia, for example, might see a certain color in response to a certain letter of the alphabet. Those who experience synesthesia “hear colors, feel sounds, and taste shapes” in a remarkably consistent fashion.


The Dominion Tavern fostered unmatched and unrestrained energy on the second day of Ottawa Explosion Weekend. The lineup consisted of three mind – and ear- blowing bands: Omerta, The Shame, and the highly anticipated Strange Attractor.

Omerta getting hardcore at The Dominion Tavern in Ottawa, ON

Omerta ripped right through the silence and absolutely painted the town red. The raw unfiltered aggression that came through the ragged and strained vocals immediately grasped the attention of the crowd. The acute sound of the guitar riffs bubbled with patches of blues, oranges, and at times greens. The striking ochre that the bass painted in psychedelic swirls drove home the fact that it produced a dirtier sound. While the rest of the instruments slammed together to form coherent noise, the drumming produced a frigid tone – hollow and booming. The crash and ride cymbals produced a blue that was strikingly close to white.

Omerta is a band that is timeless in terms of hardcore punk – complex enough to steal your focus while maintaining simplicity. This is a punk band that one must see.

The Shame rocking out at The Dominion Tavern in Ottawa, ON

Next up were a band called The Shame.The band was not ‘The Pits’ by any means. Experimental punk with a favourable flavour. The riffs and guitar work moderately felt as if it was surf rock but they were certainly not to be kept in a box. Their sounds bit at your ears and provided streaks of yellow-green and bright yellow while the vocals added a murky blue to the setting. The drumming resonated and the snare was tight. This provided the Dom with all sorts of deep and baby blues. The bass added depth but found itself a little shy and hiding in the background. Nonetheless, the bass offered foamy greens to the soundscape.

Look no further for the soundtrack to the most infuriatingly nostalgic moments of your life because this band is it. Weird enough to capture your emotions, good enough to put your feelings – and thoughts – into a fast-paced unchallenged muddle of the most pleasant noise.

Strange Attractor closing out the night at The Dominion Tavern in Ottawa, ON.

The last band to play was Strange AttractorThe band managed to spin an entirely new meaning to belligerence. The guitar work held an irritation while maintaining a strained tightness, hence, allowing vivid blue, lapis lazuli, and a green apple sort of colour to seep into the scene. The vocals had a fuzz to them while simultaneously erupting from the back of the throat, remaining tense throughout the set. The drumming felt full and thick, and the cymbals sounded warm. The drumming fought between yellow splashes and reddish-purple splashes. With consistency, the bass deepened the wine hues – having mixed itself into the soundscape with grace and subtlety despite having been one of the most prominent sounds.

Not quite party punk but certainly the punk you can party to, the band is high energy and filled with soul. They get you moving and grooving in ways that one wouldn’t believe. Kicking off your summer the right way includes this band – and if it doesn’t for you, you may want to reconsider. You won’t regret it.

What are you doing if you’re not coming down to Ottawa Explosion Weekend? Let loose, have fun, and most of all, enjoy the sheer talent that each and every band possesses.

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