I’ve always been very fond of Canada – not really sure why this has been the case for as long as it has, but I suppose it’s that allure of “being somewhere else but looking a bit familiar. Albeit much bigger and with bears in it” mixed with a whole host of favourite bands and good friends. I even went there once on a strange whim that became a romantic thingy which became a bit of a heartbreak (see my first proper post on this blog for cryptic non-explanation) so my actual visit ended up as a whirlwind of brilliance – interrupted by a bit of a scary car crash outside Moncton – in which I didn’t really pay any attention to my surroundings as my attention was focused entirely on the company I was fortunate enough to be in keeping. Then again, I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s sublime I Confess last Christmas (watch it, it’s brilliant) which was set in a Quebec City I recognised, and that big Chateau thingy, the name of which I forget. That was over 10 years ago now.
Anyway, all this waffling can only mean that I have a shortish EP here in front of me and am trying desperately to set the scene for this sophomore effort by this Canadian band, who do little to disprove my theory that Canadians are all-round good eggs.
Tyranahorse hail from Vancouver, and are fronted by one prOphecy sun, whose oddly charming (or charmingly odd, if you want) Bird Curious iPhone-recorded album I did a thing on earlier this year. With a full band involved, the charm and oddness remain in full swing for the quarter-hour duration, with the general effect of making me feel terribly old all of a sudden.
There’s a certain vibe about the band that reminds me a bit of when punk got boring and a whole host of weirdly interesting people came through the doors that had been kicked open, especially when the women got involved – X-Ray Spex and (particularly during opener AA Foreplay) The Slits come to mind quite readily, as does the theme tune to ’70s sitcom Taxi during the opening to Out Of Control, probably my favourite track on here due to its relative serenity compared to the first two songs, great ear for a tune and utterly baffling lyrics. There’s plenty of fun to be found elsewhere, with the kazoo-filled bruiser Rumble Tumble and New Wave slow buildup of Alice closing the EP’s brief set.
On the strength of this EP, Tyranahorse are certainly fun and mad enough to warrant attention, and come across as the sort of band who would be an absolute hoot to see live in much the same way as the side of the family that we don’t talk about much but who always turn up at parties with the best presents, songs and booze. Garbage Bears may take a couple of goes to sink in but once it’s there it’s stuck, like all those ursine heads in bins that I saw when looking for a decent-sized image of the record artwork for this post.
Please toddle off to Tryranahorse’s Bandcamp page here, where the EP can be purchased for 7 Canadian Dollars. I have no idea about exchange rates in these uncertain financial times (in fact, the only thing I can vaguely remember about Canadian money is that ducks are somehow involved somewhere), but it certainly sounds like a bargain.