The Hard Luck Bar on Dundas St. W, Toronto is everything you would expect from a venue with a long history of disseminating punk and metal out into gentile streets of Toronto. Many a hard noted band has played here. Audiences have called out for the black musical vapor to pour onto them, contracted hepatitis and gotten pregnant here; this is the place to witness to magical underbelly of today’s burgeoning post-punk scene.
This Hisses is such a band. Though I’m sure they would prefer not to be labeled, as no band actually likes that; they are so called because of the incredibly hard notes that back up the languid and beautifully dark lyrical content of their catalogue. Patrick, their guitar maverick, is quite demure in real life, but as I knew from their album ‘Anhedonia,’ that I was going to witness massive shredding.
Julia doesn’t look like your typical disenfranchised punk singer. She is operatic, and dresses with an air of femme fatale. Red dress, smokey eyes, and a come-hither-so-I-can-scream-in-your-face expression; she is the epitome of vocal talent and stage persona.
It’s possible that JP is one of the most dynamic drummers I have ever seen. He creates a huge space as he uses his kit, standing sometimes for emphasis, moving all the way around the symbols so as to hit the skins like a Taiko drummer; all accented by his artisanal facial hair.
I am blown away by the assuredness they project while on stage. Their songs feel like small pockets of dispelled knowledge; truth that one needs to learn the hard way. I’m sitting with my back against the sound booth, my feet vibrate on the wooden bench when the bass hits. Everything in the bar that is nailed down oscillates. I am in a weird space where physically I feel massaged, and emotionally I feel messaged. For forty minutes they are the last band on earth, and we are the last listeners. Ahhh, punk.
Look out for MVRemix’s upcoming interview with This Hisses.