Egg Paper Factory has been a Montreal fixture since Egg Paper Factory arrived in Montreal. The experimental record label’s appearance on the scene created a small haven of experimental artists, all with unshakable loyalty to the group. For the past three years, Egg Paper has been housing an interconnected web of bands, displaying some serious talent, and leaving an eclectic trail of cassette tapes wherever they surface. We stopped by their POP Montreal showcase at Brasserie Beaubien to check out some experimental up-and-comers from out east.
An intimate crush of flannel-bearing creatures sought shelter inside as the rain poured outside. Halifax-based band Moon opened the evening with subdued powerpop, skating between atmospheric drives and screeching transitions. The set was smoother than butter toffee, with melty vocals and the comforting vibes that arise when a band is clearly amongst friends. That natural ease was especially apparent during “One Thousand Natural Shocks,” a light and nuanced track with a thin glaze of pop.
Things strode forward with a split set from the Painters and Family Band, the former a new creation of Egg Paper Factory and the latter a seasoned mainstay of the label. The Painters slipped effortlessly through their first-ever show, serving trance-like instrumentals and endearing melodies for the chilled-out masses. After a brief disappearance, they retook the stage as Family Band. The crowd was already familiar with their one-of-a-kind blend of choral vocals, switchy beats, and sparkling guitars. Their songs were short, sweet, and refreshingly tropical despite the biblical downpour outside.
Old & Weird gave us a slight departure from the experimental norm of the sets with girly folk-punk. Their controlled voice cracks and the kind of baby-voiced lyrical delivery popularized by Girlpool and Infinity Crush draped over a base-level alt-rock frame to create a solid sound throughout. Next, the stage passed to Whitney K, whose sound brought together the strolling guitars of Makeout Videotape and the monotone quasi-singing of Minutemen. Their down-tempo start seemed to be an elaborate fake-out as they rose into a sprinting bombardment of fast, reckless tracks.
Strange synthesized phaser hits prefaced Egg Paper cornerstone Telstar Drugs taking the stage. Buzz surrounding their album release had been steadily building throughout the night, but the sheer number of previous acts left the audience sleepy as the set began. A dazed state, however, is a fine thing to have when listening to Telstar Drugs. Their screeching sci-fi effects, swirling synths, and arching melodies would make a sweet soundtrack to a world-destroying alien takeover. Their honest voice kept the high-reaching set from spiralling into a strange trip, and they left the crowd tired but wholly satisfied.
Each Other was more than happy to take over the kinda-drunk, very dazed audience. Their dynamic tracks bounced between high energy and slowly brooding, picking a path through slurring breakdowns to come out crystal clear on the other side. Their set stretched far into the early hours of the morning, and a smattering of sleepy little mosh pits were still breaking out as we left the scene.
The Egg Paper Factory Bandcamp is home to many worthy releases, including Telstar Drugs’ new album Sonatine.
(Image: Family Band ’15 album cover)