NXNE Night One – Machinegun Suzie @ the Hard Luck bar
It’s NXNE week, baby! Bands are invading the city, bars are open until 4am, it’s nonstop rock and roll all week! Or simply put, it’s Ashley’s favourite time of year!
With 1,000 bands in over 50 venues over 7 days, it’s almost a daunting, overwhelming task to pick and choose who to check out and where to go. Not to mention trying to divide schedules and bands between two people with very strong musical opinions.
As a veteran NXNE-er, however, Ashley has long gotten over her need to see it all and found a happy medium in setting her expectations to a more reasonable point. Music hungry and always on the hunt for new sounds, Ashley will be happy coming away from the week with an introduction to a couple new bands that have really made an impact.
So instead of recounting each and every act, over the next few days she’ll be offering her NXNE highlights of bands that stood out among the rest. Not surprisingly, her first night out introduced her to a band that could arguably be her new favourite band.
As a grunge rocker at heart, it was hard to pass up a band with an official description calling them “dangerous little sisters of Josh Homme and L7” that remind you of a time when Courtney Love and Melissa Auf der Maur shared a stage (you know, when Hole was still good). As a lover of hard-rocking females, it was hard to pass up a band with four strong women taking the stage with a nostalgia of the Riot Grrl movement. Everything about this Quebec band screams Ashley.
From the very first song, you could see the vibe in the Hard Luck bar start to change. Everyone sitting lazily at their tables were suddenly on their feet and moving towards the stage. People were exchanging awe-inspired looks and crashing air-drums in sync with the thumping drum beat. This is what you want from a rock band.
With their adorably “bad accents and f—cking bad reputation”, Machinegun Suzie barreled through their set with the confidence of a long seasoned band. They were tight and powerful, making music not just playing instruments.
As their set went on, you discovered a darker side with heavy guitars laying down their defined stoner rock sound, heavily influenced by the 90s, with surprisingly mature Auf der maur-ish vocals that are almost hypnotic at times. Not only can you feel their passion through their music, but you can see it on their faces and in their presence. These girls belong there on that stage.
For some vexing reason, their website says Machinegun Suzie is “a group of girls who do not make music for girls”. As a girl, I assure you, this is exactly the kind of music I want to be listening to.
Machinegun Suzie‘s debut album Black Paper Horse is now available.