Stop and take note | The gritty rock of Switches

by LJ Kessels

Three women and one man that create a whole lot of noise; the Switches brings you garage rock mixed with raw wailing vocals, doo-wop and 60’s organ to be exact. It’s a combination that can only come from the capital of Alberta, Edmonton in Canada.  A city that serves as a gateway to diamond mining and oil sands in the north and host a scale of festivals year-round. The music of the Switches reflects this in its gritty sound and fun harmonies.

Since 2013, the four piece has created catchy rock tunes filled with anger and heart, singing sweaty and sweetly about dear roommates and laser ray power adventures. There is an air of romanticism in their punk rock that invites you to sing along. They want their audience to have one of those long merry nights having your arm around your mate sweat coming down both your backs and you all shouting out lyrics. Creating a synthesis of vocals where the voices from the band members and their audience collide.

Their debut album I Just Wanna gets out on November 4th.  The first track of the album 15 Beers has now been released in anticipation. Starting out with a classic punk rock bass riff, it’s followed by a 1960’s organ which gives an almost psychedelic twist to a garage band trope. As all the female members of the band take on the assignment of singing the lyrics in a punk harmony, it becomes a throw-back to riot grrrl bands from the greater Pacific North West area of the United States. Like a freight truck driving past, it causes the ground to shake. You have to stop and take notice.

There certainly is a particular correlation between the places bands hail from and the sound they produce. As is the case with Switches, they can go on all night in the festival city, while the workers take the long way north to the winter road looking for oil in Fort McMurray or diamonds in the Northern Territories. There is a sense of dirt under the fingernails and public intoxication, but in a joyous, happy fashion.

Disclaimer: Switches is highly recommended for all whom like Ty Segall, La Luz and The Shangri-Las. Check them out below.

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