Sugar Boys, Rys Øfe The Feenickes

Amelia Pitcherella

Montreal’s Sugar Boys have got a pretty solid lineup—Andy White of (Tonstartssbandht, Andy Boay), Riley Fleck (TOPS), and Jesse Hicks (Waupoos). They’ve also got a pretty good sense of humor to offset the gravity of their sound—their first album General Store / Back to Business marked them as “the world’s heaviest time-traveling rock band” (their words), and there’s a good chance the title of their new EP is a play on the name of a Tenacious D record.

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The Rys Øfe The Feenickes EP comprises three extensive recordings from the group’s live shows. The title track, from the last Sugar Boys show in July 2013, clocks in at just under 20 minutes and takes us through a complete transfiguration in that time. It starts out with the low buzz of a big bass guitar backed by a continuous snare section, together providing the foundation for some improvised guitar licks, then the music falls to a hush as a soft, swaying vocal line comes out of the woodwork. This pattern doesn’t last for long, as the song rises into a fiery anthem with plenty of cymbal-crashing—the title is apt.

The following track, “Live at L’esco”, allows listeners to backtrack to the first-ever Sugar Boys show, recorded in 2011, and features a quick-paced drum section with distorted guitars rubbing up against some jazz-tinged chords, and despite the ever-increasing tempo the band doesn’t lose control for an instant. “Hot Sky” is the final and shortest track, still a moody earful with its layering of wavy guitars and fuzzy bass. Through all of the sonic shifts, Sugar Boys express a huge amount of dynamism. If one thing’s clear by the end of the record, it’s that their live force is tremendous—and if you weren’t there, you probably missed out.

Just released on Does Are, a limited-edition cassette of Rys Øfe The Feenickes is currently only available for purchase at Tonstartssbandht, Andy Boay, Eola, TOPS, and DJ Proudfather shows. You can stream the full EP from Sugar Boys’ bandcamp below.

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