The opening line of BBQT’s new self-titled EP captures the tone and fun of what follows. “I wish I had a Pepsi, baby, yeah I do.”
Life simplest sentiments are its purest ones, and if you love Pepsi as much as you love anyone in your life at the moment, why not write the stuff a goddamn ballad? Why’s music so serious? Is thirst for a drop of Pepsi not as primal as lust for a lover, because we’ve all heard enough love-for-a-person ballads.
Track two’s sentiment, “I saw you at the barbecue, I wanted to go home with you” is also a straight-shooter. “Will you be my BBQT?” Why be all metaphoric and vaguely figurative with your lyrics right? In fact, the unpretentious nature of the album’s lyrics suit the feel-good nature of the happy-punk vibe of these instantly likeable songs about stuff like a “Handsome Dare Devil Bad Boy Kinda Guy” picking you up in their mom’s SUV.
That’s the title and gist of track 3, “Handsome Dare Devil Bad Boy Kinda Guy.” And its guitar has a blast playing off the song’s fun bass line.
There’s a totally engaging indie-jangle pop, California-vibed thing going on here, reminiscent of, say Best Coast, but it’s a grittier spin, with its distorted vocals and live-at-a-pool party production feel, that plays well off the album’s sincerity, sense of humour, and aloofness about being a 20-something in 2016.
BBQT formed in the wake of XBF’s demise, when Aley Waterman left town. Amery and Allison, naturally, wanted to keep making music together. “I was just super excited to write more songs after we did [Xbf],” Amery says. “Me and Allison were on a plane to Ottawa joking about a band name and she said, BBQ … BBQT.”
The duo brought Derek Ashley in on bass duties, and you can hear plenty of what made Jonny & the Cowabungas shine on the album. Jake Nicoll plays some keys on the album, and he also recorded it, imparting a fitting sound on the album that’s marked other albums he’s produced for bands like Family Video.
For less than 9 minutes worth of music, BBQT leaves a mark of their promise on its listener, and like a long weekend ‘round the bay, it leaves you wanting a little more before you move on. Sadly, you might never get it. Amery has moved away, as has Allison (for an internship at Drawn & Quarterly), making one of the city’s most exciting new bands and live shows a brief thing of the past. (Although with Amery coming and going, there’s a good chance of shows in the future.)
Alas, the album will be on the internet for the rest of time, for $5, or to stream. Give it a go, there’s a good chance you’ll wanna be BBQT’s BB for the rest of the week. It’s definitely the kind of album you’d meet at the funnest summer barbecue party, jump in a pool with, shotgun a beer with, and take home to meet your speakers.
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