Everyone has to start somewhere. Every artist and every band you love has a genesis story. Some bands played bars for years before they made it. Some have had to totally reinvent themselves, and some were doomed from the start. I’ve been pretty cynical of new music, but most of our “new music” is determined in Hollywood behind closed doors. Wanna hear the real pulse of your city? Take a walk downtown on a Friday night, pop into a bar, and see what’s going on. You’ll also tend to find music at its purest in (and on) this stage; music created by people in love with their songs, and the art form. This is my plea to remember to support local music, and an introduction to the next phase of our saga. Enter The Implications: a band that’s dusting off an impressive list of accolades with their freshly pressed EP, Songs About Last Night. Let’s check it out!
If there’s one piece of advice I can offer to any upstart band in any scene, it’s to be interesting. Unfortunately, and as the introductory track would slag me for, I find myself in Brampton. There’s nothing more disheartening than to support a band or see a show and be subjected to the wall of noise that is screamo/metalcore. The genre itself isn’t to blame. There’s just an oversaturation of mediocrity in which musicians seem to be afraid to try something new. In Ajax, it’s typically been whiny pop-punk (and you can thank Sum 41 for that). Fortunately, there’s still hope for Toronto. There’s a very active PC punk and metal scene, as well as some blues rock revival, but it’s rare you hear something fresh. This is my poor attempt to tie The Implications into the Toronto scene, and clearly, I can’t do it in the best way possible. This is fresh. The sound alone would draw me into a bar as I’m strolling past.
I would never guess this came out of Toronto in 2015. Songs About Last Night is what would happen if rock told adult contemporary to start being cool again. The EP sits somewhere between the crooning melodies of a Michael Bublé or Frank Sinatra, with the bluesy revival acts akin to John Mayer, but it’s not afraid to get edgy. There are some really great guitar sounds throughout the EP, and some groovy bass features towards the latter half of the album. If there’s one production gripe, it’d be the typical modern-pop overcompression. With music that can be as moving and dynamic, it’s a shame to hear a rather static drum sound and linear vocal processing. It’s not that it detracts from the EP, but I feel some of the performance nuances that grace the style were neutered when they should have been set free to rise and fall with the music.
At the same time, performance nuance is the name of the game! Through my meagre production history, I often find myself having to tell musicians not to play their part, but to play “the song” as its own piece. A bluesy song should lay back on itself in ways that a driving rock song shouldn’t. All of the big famous songs are famous not only for being well-written songs, but because the band came together and found a common groove/pocket that they all fell into. I can’t overstate this enough because it’s something modern music has lost to digitized quantized production. That being said, your foot should start tapping even before the drums enter into Fair Warning. These guys get it!
Not only that, but there’s a focused maturity within the songwriting where the group has come together to write songs as a whole. By that, I mean that the band is working on the same wavelength. Songs About Last Night wastes no time in making that apparent from the very first track. There’s enough space for the inviting vocals to be punctuated by the offset drums, and the other instrumentation falls into their appropriate places as the arrangements build. Nothing is busy when it shouldn’t be. I really enjoyed how the drums skirted all around the time during Fair Warning, yet still punctuated a gem of a guitar solo. No, really, if tone was addicting, we’d need patches and gum for that take!
Ultimately, we decide the future of music. Sometimes we can’t avoid an earworm, but the more attention and support we direct towards a group, the more the big labels will notice. From there, the potential for exponential growth dramatically increases. Every YouTube view or Soundcloud listen counts. If you want to directly support a band in their infancy, every CD or T-Shirt sale goes an extremely long way to fund the entire litany of behind-the-scenes endeavours. I’ve heard countless friends complain that there’s nothing good on the radio anymore, but they won’t look for something to fill that void. Well, I’ll serve this one to you on a silver platter. Songs About Last Night is a decidedly cohesive toe-tapper. The Implications have relaunched with a new mission statement: to make you dance, and the best part is that they hail from Button Masher’s home in Toronto! There is no better way to support local music, so check out the EP, and keep your ear to the ground for show dates!