Heavy Traffic, a garage rock duo from Ottawa, released their first taste of music on their EP1 on June 17. Cam Steacy & Josh Scammell play with many groups in the psych & alternative rock genres. Scammell played drums on the Song of the Neverending Ugly Lizard LP by Pith & the Parenchymas and Steacy recorded and produced that record. The Yips, Organ Eyes & Patterson Hall also received recording, mixing & mastering work done by Steacy, who also plays with Sam Pippa & Jon Bennett in Organ Eyes.
The opening track is a noisy introduction to Heavy Traffic’s leanings. It takes the listener as far as his or her ear can appreciate effects and twists. The blaring cacophony was too much for me but a fast-forward to “Stingray” reminded me that garage rock was going to be more than just a quick descriptor. Heavy riffing, fast-paced percussion, and buzzed vocals on the second track and “Dead and Wonderful” came with basic but enjoyable hooks. “Sparkle Rock” is anything but. It’s a blast that launches you through the remainder of the album best described as lethargic & energetic.
Favourite track: “Depends on How you Look at it.” This is garage rock bliss, alternative but consistent pop melody. I’ve always found the term “garage” doesn’t really do the genre justice, but calling it “cellar”, “latrine” or “cubicle” music doesn’t quite work either. What’s stopping me from calling this chamber music? Not a fucking thing. This is alternative chamber music… recorded in a garage?
Heavy Traffic will not help with road rage but it will get you through a long day.