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.
Ottawa Explosion day three found itself to be quite the killer day Friday night. From the astounding and mind-blowing lineup that The Dom to Peach Kelli Pop playing twice in one evening. Day three was one for the books.
Tightlip kicking things off at The Dom during Ottawa Explosion Weekend 2018.
At the Dominion Tavern, Ottawa’s Tightlip was the first to play. With orange rasps of the vocals, green-blue and magenta grit of the guitar, deep red basslines, and drumming as blue as robins eggs, the band kicked up high expectations for the night – and morning. The vocals ripped through the crowd and added a sunset orange and scarlet tint to the room. The rasp from Ashleys’ throat projected into the audience. The cold drumming added contrast to the warmth emanated by the vocals. Crashing and unapologetic, the drumming was thick but skeletal. While the drumming bubbled and burst through, the bass rumbled wine reds, and maroon relentlessly. The guitar bit back and squalled with the bass while emanating pale blues with the solo work and beautiful magenta hues the lower the notes got. Tightlip is a band that keeps it tight but radiates a wild and untamable energy. Whether you’re bitter or having a good time, this is a band to listen to in those moments.
Next up was the ever lovable Leather Jacuzzi. Not just a hot tub band, no – they are the hot tub band. They shine with well-timed noise that remained melodic, rhythmic, and rapid. Indigo and magenta splashed and mixed together as the vocals powered through. The guitar work unleashed the chaos and let soft pinks bubble and filter through. Keeping its awe, the guitar was muted and quick. Wrapping it all together was that bass. Within the wall of entropy, a deep resonance was added and sprang forth. Like an abstract painting, the maroons that the bassline provided seeped between the rest of the colours and dared to provide the backdrop. The shallow crashing drumming not only managed to drench the scene in an ice blue, but also captured attention due to its shallow cymbals and full and thick toms. Leather Jacuzzi is the band to see if you’re looking to party. When they’re on the bill, the promise of a good time is sealed in fate.
Sof leading DOXX on stage at The Dom during Ottawa Explosion Weekend 2018.
DOXX were up next and brought a true ferocity to the Dom getting people moving, screaming, and fist-pumping along. Reds turned into burnt orange, turned into rich earthy tones from the overdriven guitar, each chord ramming itself into the next with force. Wrapped in relentless emotion was the harsh and frigid drumming. Kieran added neon blue and celeste to the scene with his drumming – icy, bone-like, and booming.
Jeff played a back and forth game on his bass with Brit’s guitar, adding a golden yellow hue to the scene, the bassline split away from the rest and sewed itself back in seamlessly. It set the tempo for the way Sof moved – alongside the rhythm of the guitar. She found a way to drive the anger through and through while simultaneously adding purple, red, and some blue-greens to the mix of colours.
Radiation Risks absolutely rocked the stage at The Dom during Ottawa Explosion Weekend 2018.
Penultimately was the wonderful and insanely talented Radiation Risks. Possessing a stage presence not many are capable of, their exuberance radiated in forms of lime greens, and neon yellow. Meanwhile cyan, deep purple, and a shock of orange ripped through the neons. The guitar riffs took the form of yellow and lime, waving through the atmosphere while the chords spiked orange into it. The vocals added to the greens, ragged and ripped right from in the singer’s throat producing vivid forest greens. The drumming was thrashing and added cyan to the mix and the deeper the sound he produced the deeper the hue. The basslines rattled one’s rib cage and produced violent purples meshed with warm red to orange undertones. It was subtly violent and fucking messy. Radiant of wildly unique energy the band is one that is certainly worth seeing live due to the one of a kind performance they bring every night.
Bleu Nuit gave it their all at The Dom during Ottawa Explosion Weekend 2018.
The last band to take over The Dom was Bleu Nuit, from Montreal. Mellowed out post-punk that borders indie, they set an obscure scene and painted an even stranger picture. Playing with synths, they shot neon blue and neon green into the scene. Even the guitars painted greens and yellows due to their heightened tones and diminished sounds. Psychadelic acid trips are induced by the band. The drums were full and warm – red, magenta, neon and vibrant pinks streaked through the air. The bass and guitar combined to create a kaleidoscope of strange high pitched frequencies which roughly translated to vivid neons. The vocals were the only muted element, having remained relatively calm and tame while the rest let loose. The vocals were what painted the softer shades of orange and ochre that melded into a gradient of neons. Entrancing, and soulful, the vocals grabbed at you with their softness.
To finish the night I headed next door to the 27 Club, where Peach Kelli Pop played their second set of the day. The band kicked into upbeat songs and immediately the vocal harmonization burst into light and airy vivid pinks that molded into periwinkle and baby blue. Sprinkles of yellow chimed in with the higher notes that were plucked lower on the fretboard. The drums provided similar shades, having incorporated light greens in the mix. The drumming was warm, light, and even splashing. The basslines blended effortlessly into the rest of guitar work, rumbling beneath your feet and maintained a chestnut rose to crimson shade. Everything came together like a burst of confetti.
While in the midst of their set, they ripped out “Astro Zombies“ by The Misfits and absolutely rocked the crowd. Peach Kelli Pop never fail to amaze and they know how to work the crowd. They’re the fun upbeat summer bash band that is sure to show you a good time.