Lately, the Internet has been abuzz with search terms like “Moving to Canada,” thanks to the sideshow that has become our national election. But let’s face it. You’re not moving to Canada if a certain presumptive nominee, with shall we say, interesting headgear wins. Let me give you a different reason to want to move there, or at least visit. And yes, it still involves creative head attire. Go there because you want to see more of The Wet Secrets, a dancy pop-rock six-piece from the province of Alberta. These musicians know how to have fun and won’t offend you by their choice of headwear. They look like a ribald marching band totally comfortable with their giant hats. And they’ll make you feel good and get you gyrating and grooving all night long.
Opening up for the Wet Secrets this past Monday at the Mercury Lounge was a local dark pop outfit called Missyou. The band’s certainly worked on their look. Going for that dark, just stepped off the runway vibe. The band explores the usual themes of loss and heartbreak and try to match their sound to nighttime pessimism. Their lead singer seems to be more comfortable in the pit with the crowd as he dropped down to the floor a couple of times to be with their fans. The underlying power of this band comes from the fuzzy guitars of Omer Wald and the pounding drums of Vincent Quinn, so much so that you want to hear more of them as the basis for the band’s sound.
In stark contrast to the angst that Missyou revels in, is the whimsy and goodhearted nature of Monday’s main act, The Wet Secrets. The first thing that you notice is their bright red marching band uniforms. Six musicians ranging from go-go dancing lookers armed with trumpets and trombones to a frenzied saxophonist who’ll wail away on percussion while blowing his horn simultaneously. And the bands look is no shtick, to simply cover up a lack of a defined sound. It’s just and addition to the humor and joy that they bring to each tune. The marching band get up is perfect since they are basically leading you down the road to amusement and joy.
Lead singer Lyle Bell wields a funkified bass that sets the tone for the rest of the band. Their songs are about having a good time as long as you don’t mind high-concept horns, drums and snyth thrown in for good measure. The band’s humor extends to their interaction with the crowd. They have fun with each other, gently ribbing ascot-wearing drummer Trevor Anderson for arriving in a city that is “Grindr ground zero.”
The band feeds off the energy that each member brings. There is a wild exuberance as Paul Arnusch wields his conga drums in battle against saxophonist Christian Maslyk, who responds by hammering away on percussion while blowing his golden weapon for backup at the same time. It’s hard to take your eyes off Emma Frazier and Kim Rackel. The two, dressed as the go-go dancers of the band are so much more than that. They bring sultry vocals and toot a wicked trumpet and trombone. All while wearing some pretty tall platforms to, well, boot. I’m not sure whether I can decide if I want them to play their instruments or sing as they excel at both. And drummer Trevor Andreson keeps a steady pulsing beat while looking suave and regal. If he ever ditches the band’s trademark marching band blazers I’d say he’d look right at home on those drums while wearing a Hugh Heffner-esque smoking jacket.
This band is about fun and non-conformity. You’ll want to dance, laugh and make sure your passport is ready for a quick visit to Canada.
Article: Omar Kasrawi