Published Jul 05, 2013On July 4, a day of mass Canadian indifference, it's hardly surprising that the Silver Dollar is sparsely populated. A shame, as Weaves are on fire, a drunken juggernaut of Hooded Fang hollers and free-spazz guitars that recall Pavement at their loosest. Starting the set in deranged fashion, the four-piece are enchantingly unfocussed; singer Jasmyn Burke decorates the opener's breakdown with a kind of mournful scat, as if vocally re-piecing debris from a shattered psyche.
The approach is not dissimilar to that of early Fall, instruments seemingly independent of players, never completely out of time but not really in it, either. The sense you're watching a musical three-legged race isn't off-putting, however, and "Hulahoop," the Toronto band's only recording to date, stands firm live as a scattershot treasure, sprinkled with delightfully feeble melodies and asides. The crowd are moved cerebrally if not physically: "Come closer!" Burke yells, a cue for people to look sideways and mumble, inching half a step forward maybe, before Brian Borcherdt rolls his shoulders and swaggers through to the stage front space, dancing encouragingly.
Welcome social gestures aside, Borcherdt's bravado is back-seated for Twist, a new unit comprised of two Toronto staples (Borcherdt of Holy Fuck and Dusted alongside Laura Hermiston of BB Guns). He has the unsettling appearance of being both supremely confident and agonisingly awkward, looking like he'd rather be almost anywhere else, but, hey, here'll do and why not make the best of it. With two electric guitars and a shaky drum machine — no bass — Twist occupy the barren space between rockabilly, punk and bubblegum pop.
Performed solo by Hermiston, "Where to Lie" cuts the Twist ribbon, a sharp what-went-wrong number that's elegantly-wrought and decidedly less cutesy than its Soundcloud counterpart. At this stage there's a palpable "bedroom-jam pals" vibe to the pair's union, a blessing and a curse for a band who sound professionally heartfelt but too slipshod to overcome the primitive set-up. But it's coherent enough to intrigue: during the set, there's diversity aplenty, an XX-alike ballad rubbing shoulders with sophisti-punk blasts, before Hermiston's space-rock digressions and stony-faced yelps interrupt some industrialized rock'n'roll. Disjointed drum-loop transitions occasionally disrupted the flow, but mistakes are part and parcel of the early show, and Twist promise to make endearing addition to Toronto's bursting indie-pop filing cabinet.