Ben Massey | 09/11/22
Any band that starts their set off with the theme song to Scooby-Doo has a POV worth listening to. GROWERS were just that band: they’re a Toronto-based pop-punk outfit who visited Kingston for a night of scooby snacks in the mystical form of guitar riffs and hard-core screams. They initially caught my eye when I was scrolling through the listed gigs at The Mansion one night and I saw a band with a really cool aesthetic (something I would consider one of the most important parts of being a modern band), and then I checked out some of their songs and loved the sound. And let me tell you, they sound even better live.
Due to scheduling issues on my end, I only managed to catch two of the bands playing on Saturday night, but based on how awesome the night was, I wish I could have seen it all. The first band I caught was Melon Collie Caravan. I never questioned the name on the night when they introduced themselves, but now thinking about it, I would love to find out where that name came from. They boasted a solid post-punk sound and actually come from Kingston too. They covered a song by their favourite band Death Grips: the fusion of their punky guitars with the iconic, electronic Death Grips sound sparked anarchy on the dancefloor. I was impressed to see what a Kingston crowd had in them, but even more impressed by what a Kingston band could serve up.
GROWERS kept the anarchy coming as they turned up as a mystery machine collective, ready to invite your inner youth into the space. Lead singer, Charlie Joy, knew how to get the crowd going with his relentless drive, pun intended, the whole way throughout the set. Their song Come Closer reminded me of a Take This to Your Grave era of Fall Out Boy, but it certainly represented an evolution of pop-punk music throughout the decades, incorporating far more into their sound than we would once expect from the genre. They include a heavier edge with intense screams to cater to the heavier and hungrier tastes out there, much needed after a starter of imagining scooby snacks and head banging to the supporting acts. But as well as that, I must also mention Matt Raitt’s (lead guitarist) funky dance moves, which I can imagine to be a challenge with a guitar in your hands. I guess that’s the contagion effect and presence of a natural performer for you: energy dominoes around the room and we get to see the best of our local bands in turn.
Check out GROWERS’ new song TTYL on Spotify. It’s catchy, fun and upbeat. If you like Pop-punk, you will definitely be into them!
Edited by: Roxann Yus
Photos by: Ben Massey