Montreal was once ranked in the top 10 places in the whole world to be a university student. This makes it a heavenly kingdom for the shit college kids stereotypically get up to; listening to Sonic Youth’s ‘Goo’ whilst getting stoned, watching ‘Fight Club’ whilst getting stoned sat in front of your ‘Reservoir Dogs’ poster and generally sticking it to the man in a way that toys the line between intellect and laziness. Montreal duo Solids represent this cliental almost immaculately. Their debut LP ‘Blame Confusion’ exists solely on a diet of velocity and pace which is fun when you get caught up in it but more often than not, it feels like they are just going through the motions.
The problem with ‘Blame Confusion’ kind of happens by accident. It’s dedication to momentum and tempo is unwavering. It is this same form of determination for noise that makes us love bands like METZ or Japandroids. However with those acts the clamor is either the byproduct or at least a companion to something a bit weightier, be it melody, production value or a higher level of experimentation. For the most part of this record it feels as if the straightforward goal of making a lot of noise became a little too paramount. This issue is made more frustrating on cuts like ‘Laisser Faire‘. This track showcases a followable vocal and a nice breed of fuzzy guitars. It’s the sound of a band with weapons but not the sound of a band constantly in open-fire. You’re given a smidgen of space to breathe before being muscled back in to the joyride for ‘Cold Hands’.
As with any carefree onslaught of guitar-based bullishness, there is an irresistible allure to the undemanding gallop of the faster tracks. The first 5 tracks are all one-size-fits-all assaults that aim to do little more than make a noise. They knock the shit out of your door but don’t really expect you to open up.
Just like Canadian post-grads reminiscing over bygone years, memories of the ‘Blame Confusion’ blowout are good, if a little tedious. Just like the kids who thought the coach journey was the funnest part of a school trip- you can have fun with them for a little while but eventually you want to get off and see something else.
Words: Duncan Harrison