Many musicians cringe upon reading their band/collective/menagerie compared to other existing formations in an attempt to peg their singular brew of sonorities. They’ll argue it amounts to journalistic laziness, and they’re usually right.
So when the band in question – in this instance, local syncopated synth rock creatures Pom Pom War – supplies said comparisons voluntarily, it can only mean one thing: they hold the acknowledged parties in high regard. ‘‘We all come from the same circle, so it’s inevitable that people will compare us to Duchess Says,’’ confesses Pom Pom’s untamed beast at the mic Caroline Dostie, whom we met at a Plateau café with bandmate Jonathan Bouchard. ‘‘We’re both hysterical girls singing; we make electro rock and we’ve opened for them before. We totally dig them, We Are Wolves and the entire electro rock scene. We’ve all been influenced by those same bands.’’
The similarities don’t end there. Duchess Says used to perform with a beat box machine until they met their drummer at a gig. Pom Pom’s Dostie, along with her frontman sibling Nicolas (of former one-man electro act Dusti) and guitarist Bouchard were likewise drum-deprived until they struck gold with Roberto Parada last fall. ‘‘It’s so much more collaborative and rock-driven now,’’ gushes Dostie. ‘‘Before it almost felt like a karaoke band, a pseudo band. Nicolas would come to the table with preprogrammed beats and even lyrics, whereas now we do it all together. And our sound is so amped up!’’
The allure of unruly gigs and Dada porn
The band – which recently signed with indie label MInDIque and will release their long-awaited EP Allez! Prenez leurs armes this month – has been assaulting Montrealers with their rabid post-punk antics since 2007. Known for their mesmerizing, uninhibited live sets, they also boast a uniquely cheeky aesthetic courtesy of Bouchard’s signature Dada-like collages, found on album covers, flyers and all promo material.
‘‘I have a bank of magazines that I cut out of, especially children’s books, really dirty vintage porn rags and old medical magazines,’’ says Bouchard, as he doodles on the latest Star Système Britney Spears cover. ‘‘I never start with an idea in mind, it’s all stuff that’s in my subconscious. Of course, alcohol helps a little.’’
For their upcoming shows, Pom Pom has supplemented their EP and its B-movie-inspired tracks (song titles include ‘Eat you alive’’ and ‘‘Sliced Up!’’) with fresh new material conceived with drum patterns at the outset, promising to deliver even more commanding performances.
‘‘When all four of us connect on stage, there’s this crazy chemistry that just takes over,’’ says Dostie. ‘‘The crowd goes wild, everyone starts thrashing, rushing the stage and grabbing us all over. It’s a madhouse.’’
Pom Pom War
Green Room | 5386, St. Laurent