As we now see the light at the end of the tunnel, the pandemic albums are hitting the airwaves. That’s not to say that there are COVID concept albums around every corner, it just means that bands have had some alone time to hone their skills and fine-tune their sound. On their third album, ‘Mushroom Death Sex Bummer Party‘, Toronto’s Wine Lips certainly sounds like a band that has put it all together while enjoying, as they say, “late nights, alcohol and promiscuity”.
Building on the psych-tinged garage rock bent of the previous two albums, these 11 tracks incorporate huge metallic guitars and dinosaur-crushing rhythms that burst out of your speakers with a vengeance. The guitars are huge and when the band is in full swing, it’s quite a racket and the production by Simon Larochette is rowdy and loud, a bit of a throwback to the menacing sound of the late 80s, early 90s stuff produced by Butch Vig.
There are a lot of different blueprints at work here. In fact, crossing genres is something Wine Lips are seriously skillful at as they equally draw on hooky garage rock, post-punk, grunge, and metallic reference points. There’s the Hives-like garage-rock swagger and energy on tracks like the blistering ‘Eyes‘, ‘In The Clear‘, and ‘Get Your Money‘ and ‘Choke‘ begins with a dirty little post-punk riff before turning into a hooky garage stomper with a ripping metal guitar solo. Psychy Death Valley Girls vibes run through ‘Tension‘, ‘Fingers‘, and the absolutely epic 7+ minutes of ‘Suffer the Joy‘. Both ‘Mall Walker‘ and ‘Lemonade‘ are abrasive grunge rockers while ‘Fried III‘ is a hazy psych interlude before the proto-punk hard rock zip of the closer ‘Kamikaze‘ dive bombs it all home.
Out now on Montreal’s Stomp Records.
Cam Hilborn – guitar and vocals
Aurora Evans – drums
Jordan Sosensky – guitar
Charlie Weare – bass.