Yamantaka // Sonic Titan: show review

Montreal buzz band lands in Saskatoon en route to Sled Island

Despite the buckets of rain, a sound check that ran late and technical difficulties that plagued both bands, last night’s show at Amigos (Tuesday, May 22) ended with a proverbial roar.

Local openers Feral Children have been playing a lot of shows in Saskatoon as of late – it has gotten to the point where it is easy to dismiss seeing them at any given point since they will likely be playing with a couple of weeks. This strategy, however, is by far paying off. Playing live is a fearless way to hone your stage show, and this may have been one of the best Feral Children sets I have ever seen.

Feral Children May 22

Front man Ryan Davidson yowled and yelped his way through a fiery interpretation of psych rock-meets-dance grooves-meets electro pop chaos. The rest of the band swayed and plummeted along with him, making a convincing argument that they may (still) be one of Saskatoon’s best kept secrets.

On the other hand, here’s hoping that they will soon be able to afford to buy a new bass that doesn’t fall apart mid-show.

I applaud, both for the swirls of chem-trail keyboard noises and the weeding out of squares.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, on the other hand, have already landed in buzz band territory with several glowing reviews, a ridiculously awesome name and the collective thumbs up from the Polaris Prize crowd. Hailing from Montreal, their debut album is a confusing cyclone clusterfuck of psych, sludge, punk, ambient and Japanese traditional vocals.

Except it sounds nothing like that.

Heading into the show with a vague sense of WTF, I was instantly taken in by the Kabuki-style facepaint and seizure-inducing light show. The band launched into a drone-y set that came with a dragon shuffling through the crowd like a dazed protestor that lost its way on Montreal’s Ste. Catherine.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan 1

Despite being buffaloed by a somewhat hilarious technical difficulty – a wayward computer shutdown during the first song, forcing the band to, you know, smile and bullshit the crowd a little – YT//ST gave one hell of a performance.

The highlight came with a 10-minute long interlude of repeated chants and sparse percussion that easily blew a few minds and forced some of those with a weaker constitution on to the streets towards their soggy homes.

I applaud, both for the torrential downpour of chem-trail keyboard noises and the weeding out of squares.