Army Girls at El Mocambo, Toronto – Gig review – NXNE

June 19, 2012
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Army Girls at El Mocambo, Toronto, NXNE 2012 - photo Brian Banks, Music Vice

What: Army Girls
Where: El Mocambo, Toronto
When: 14 June 2012
One word: Pow!

Showcase music festivals like NXNE with hundreds of indie bands (there were 780 at this year’s NXNE) are a tough gig for any artist looking to impress and stand-out above the rest. You’re likely only to get one or two chances to impress: luckily for me, Army Girls had two chances, and by all accounts they impressed at both. I’d missed Army Girls play the opening night of NXNE, but I had heard a bit of a buzz that night before in Kensington where they had played at the Supermarket. Second time lucky tonight, and upon arrival at 10pm at the downstairs stage at Elmo, I was among a packed crowd to see this Toronto two-piece duo. Their impact was instant. Like:

POW! YOUR MUSIC IS COOL. INTERESTING. AND THE ENERGY AND PURPOSE IN YOUR PERFORMANCE  SEEMS REAL. I CAN RELATE TO SOMETHING HERE. YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION.

Caps off.

I’ve got a soft-spot for two-piece garage punk duos. That soft spot turns goes extra gooey when said two-piece garage punk duo also have something tangible. It did not take me long to be drawn in by the sweet-crooning, guitar-thrashing, kicking intensity of guitarist and singer Carmen Elle. Andy Smith drums dutifully to fill the sound, but it’s Carmen Elle who you instinctively focus on. The spearhead of the operation. Sharp, tuneful and with some fire, Army Girls are a band with an edge.

This was the best set I saw at North By this year.

© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice

Internet links: Army Girls
Listen to their debut EP Close To The Bone on Bandcamp

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Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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