Hammer Records covers a lot of Vancouver shows, but on the odd occasion that we've been in Victoria, we have gone out to enjoy their local scene. On one of those outings we went to see No Operator at the Copper Owl, and also saw Synapse that night. Well, both of those bands made the trip over to the mainland to rock Joe's Apartment with local band Liars and Lions. Booking two Island bands is always an interesting move, so we weren't shocked when the venue wasn't packed, even by the end of the night. However, the music was top notch and there were some very enjoyable sets.
Synapse opened the show. Think of Alexisonfire, Rise Against and a smattering of Tool all mixed together. Some solid prog-rock tunes. Great stage presence. Having three people in the band sing really makes the chorus' sound huge and the gang vocals stand out. Also, we noticed a great use of harmonies in their set that really sets them apart from a lot of bands. The vocals really cut through the mix and we could really hear some catchy hooks and the lead singer's pitch was spot on. The guitar and vocals were very melodic, laid perfectly on top of a thick and heavy instrumental. I think a perfect combination would be having them open up for local bands Quartered or Incura to help them propel themselves to the next level. Go check out their Facebook page HERE.
It was our first time seeing No Operator's new lineup with the additional guitarist. We had seen their vocalist's first front man show (due to a wrist injury he didn't play guitar but has healed since) and we could tell that it was still new to the band. What a show though! Such catchy songs and nice trade off of clean vocals and screaming. The new guitarist stepped up and really didn't miss a beat that we could catch! I think some more time and tightening of parts will make this band a force to be reckoned with! If you haven't checked out their Facebook go HERE.
Last up was Liars and Lions. From what we had seen so far this night, the energy kind of dipped down. Being a three piece is hard because you have to push that much more to really fill that stage and connect with your audience. The tunes sounded good and the originals were nice and heavy. A good number of covers were thrown in which was nice, including a Rage Against the Machine cover and a Queens Of the Stone Age cover. I did notice that the bassist didn't really connect at all with the audience; kind of had a blank stare going on through the entire set and remained fairly still in one spot. The guitarist/vocalist did his best to rock but being tied down to a mic stand really limited his capability of movement. The middle of the stage remained fairly empty for the duration of the set. Check out their Facebook Page HERE.
To see more photos go HERE. Big thanks to Clyde from Magnetized Productions for letting us cover this show and to the bands for putting on a great show!