November 12, 2010 — Lately it seems as though Montreal’s pop/electro/synth/bass/rock — everything but country — scene is more than thriving. Sure there are names like Thunderheist, Handsome Furs, We are Wolves, and Wolf Parade that come to mind when thinking of Habs’ city, but Winter Gloves somehow know how to preserve a somber synth-pop edge over the previous. Their sophomore album, All Red, helps illustrate this signature.
The dance floor: packed. The back perching pads: decently packed. The bar: full of comers and goers. The night was set.
As part of Paper Bag Records, the Montrealers brought energy to the stage, but something felt like they were holding back. As a music enthusiast I genuinely want to say good things about musicians; why would I bash? It’s so Perez-like.
Perez has never been cool.
Still, something about their set seemed cautious or full of uncertainty. Or perhaps Winter Gloves did not need to invade the stage, or pull rockstar antics. Perhaps Winter Gloves simply wanted to perform, intimately.
Noticing the flock of daintily dressed ladies and equally inebriated men, it was an interesting Friday dynamic at the ‘Shoe; one that still hasn’t fully settled.
Darting eyes, robotic glass gulps, and new friend hugs quietly ensued.
An extremely talented act, evoking a sound that draws on mood with well-calculated electronica blasts and tear-soaked lyrics should have received more cheers. Period.
Even so, their whimsy ballads held the attention of most, just in a surprisingly unexpected way.
Then the boys played “Trap the Mouse.” Now, the crowd surged with bounce. Regardless of how many times this track is blasted, there is something so catchy and consuming about it. On top of the dance-dance factor, the tambourine jolts of cadenced bliss and their indie-rock dexterity helped complete a nice coffee- house-meets-club listening party.
They move from charming pop to deep-rooted drum blasts, pushing the boundaries between dance and alt-rock with a continuous thread of intertwining rhythm.
The guitar medleys were far from boring. More so, the feel, although sometimes quite melodic, was full of taste. Their bold bite soothed, but again, unexpectedly.
Mixing in their quintessential grimy bass, Winter Gloves left many in a trance-like glue, producing an emotive-soaked puddle of bubbly pop without underachieving in the lyrical stabs.
Still, they deserved more cheers.