Sound and Fury
Sound and Fury
Released: 2008, Megaforce
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing." — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)
A band was introduced to me recently by a friend in the know about what’s new in hard-edged Canadiana emerging out of Ontario. Initially intrigued by the rocked out skeletal decorations on the jacket (reminiscent of the Rolling Stones’ skeletons playing cards on the VOODOO LOUNGE album insert) I was also drawn to the band’s name: Sound and Fury. My Shakespearean spidey senses tingling, I was quick to check the annals of our man Will and- zounds!- there it was in Macbeth’s ‘tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’ speech. Which begged the question of whether this band is full of Sound and Fury signifying nothing? As for whether it is told by an idiot, I’ll have to find that out later if I snag an interview.
They’ve opened for Sum41, their bass player is former Age of Electric bassist Jon Kerns, and fronting the ensemble is Luke Metcalf , the self-proclaimed “ wolf in a culture of sheep” whose press kit bio chronicles a past that reads like a post-punk, raggle- taggle Kerouac. They promise full sonic assault, power chords and no bullshit rock and roll, as they are devoted fans of 1970’s rock and punk. Other comparisons proclaim them as iconoclastic as AC/DC, as impetuous as the Sex Pistols, and as “anthemic” (their word, not mine) as the Ramones.
Lyrically, there’s an abundance of what one would expect from a wild, party band; songs about smokin’ , drinkin’, screwin’ and corrupting young and not- so- innocent high school girls (“High School Hot Box,” “Runaway Love,” and “Bad Touch”- not to be confused with Bloodhound Gang’s of similar moniker; different song, same general intent.) Simply put, like all rock anthems, its all about rebel fuck power. And “Hellhound” has some interesting imagery beyond a bottle, a toke and a raging hard on. Good to see.
The tale begins with “School’s Out” diving right into the grit, although Metcalf sounds like he struggles to sustain the high notes above the heavy drive. The music’s good but vocal support is lacking here. Head bouncing to “Can’t Get Enough” is definitely reminiscent of AC/DC with a sweet pick up in the pace mid-tune that resolves itself back to the memorable chorus. “18” plays well, but again, Metcalf is staying within a range of about five notes before talk-singing some lines. “Bad Touch” is another nod to AC/DC with Metcalf veritably channelling Bon Scott, but this seems to serve him very well. A slow brooding bass and creeping drum throb introduces the power chords in “Night of the Ghouls”, and my, oh my, how we love the subtlety of “High School Hot Box.” Here’s a hint, lads: it ‘aint about sitting in your buddy’s car during lunch break with a blunt the size of a baseball bat. “Runaway Love” is a negligible, dude- I’m –doing- your- daughter tune that’s followed by a similarly themed “Supercharged” but with much better rhythm and guitar solos that ascend in key and chord changes just like Angus would have it. Happily, the gargantuan guitar solo is making a comeback. We also like the end –of- concert feel and enormity of “The Stranger”, but it could have been the selection for the end of the album, instead of the return to the talk-singing on “Hellhound.”
Essentially, we were pleasantly impressed with this album: might be worth a look-in as they tear Edmonton a new one with Airborne August 29. Musically, Sound and Fury is very significant. Listen to it while cruising the strip? Definitely.