Red Mass Brings Salvation to Toronto

Red Mass Live in Montreal, photo by <a href=
Red Mass Live in Montreal, photo by Susan Moss
posted Wednesday Feb 18th, 2009

The term “collective” is in a pretty sorry state these days. Appropriated by mild-mannered indie rockers who want nothing more than to play to sleepy crowds and knit each other multi-colored scarves, the imagery behind the word is anything but rock’n’roll.

This Friday, Red Mass will change all that when the revolutionary outfit takes over Toronto’s Silver Dollar.

Rising from the ashes of Montreal’s CPC Gangbangs, comes Red Mass, the brainchild of the infamous Roy “Choyce” Vucino. With a rotating lineup of diabolical characters (including members of Hot Springs, Chocolat, Black Feelings, Demon’s Claws and Ghost Limbs), the collaborative group is hell bent on injecting “chaos, sex-magik and liberation through art” into our crumbling world. Targeting young artists and outsiders alike with their twisted blend of deranged noise, which runs the gauntlet from psychedelic garage, heavy with fuzz and swagger, to spacey reverb-rock before veering into even stranger territory with free-jazz soundscapes, Red Mass promises salvation to those brave enough to join their ranks.

With dynamite material already out on Goodbye Boozy, in addition to the s/t 12” put out by Psychic Handshake, Choyce and his avant-garde hootenanny have certainly set the bar high with this sonic juggernaut. And if you can’t wrap your spinning head around the group’s expansive sound, fear not, as Red Mass encourages participation in animation, illustration, improvisation and art films, which means there’s a place for everyone in this burgeoning collective.

Joining Red Mass for this monumental occasion are fellow Canadian visionaries, Brutal Knights. Mainstays of the hardcore scene, the manic fervor of this nasty quintet should get the blood bubbling, as will their forthcoming 12” EP on Ptrash Records, which promises to have all the chaotic charm of absurd classics like “Be My Babysitter” and “Bikini Diet."

Rounding out the bill with some soul-infused garage are Toronto’s Bang Bangs. Fronted by a vivacious siren that goes by the name of Siânteuse, the recent upstart – which shares a member with rowdy Canadian punkers, Dirty Chinese Thieves – is a whirlwind of swirling organ, dirty riffs and sultry female vocals. Nothing on wax yet for this group of merrymakers but stay tuned as something is surely in the works.

check out a video clip of Red Mass at their record release party for their 12" EP on Psychic Handshake, courtesy of trentostvig, right here: