Handsome Distraction has taken a steady approach toward breaking into the rock music scene since its formation in 2009. Its refreshing, upbeat rock sound and authentic and energetic stage performance sets them aside from the surplus of others trying to make it big.
Devin Perfect sings with passion and power while blazing his two-step around the stage, Joey Mono's leads stay with you like a well placed catch phrase, while Chris Weaver dances his fingers over the bass’ fretboard, all supported by Kyle White’s robust nerve pulsing rhythms. Handsome Distraction’s talented quartet successfully combines the eclectic influences of bands like Weezer, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, and the Pixies.
Handsome Distraction have successfully recorded and released three EP’s over three years. Their latest EP, "A Mighty Roar," was released in May 2013. It was recorded at The Noise Floor Recording Studio with engineer Jordan Koop and mixed/mastered by Adam Sutherland at Infinity Studios. The band continues to earn their place among the best in Canadian rock music, as well as their ever-growing online presence and catching music, capturing the awe of their fans and attention of industry representatives.
The band had a very successful 2012. They released their second EP, “Fight or Flight,” which has received high acclaim. The band also went on a successful Canadian tour that August, catching the eye of fans, promoters and managers across the country.
So far, 2013 has had the band showcasing at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler, the release of their new EP, "A Mighty Roar" which continues to chart and earn radio play on college and mainstream stations across the country, a western Canadian tour in September, followed by performances at Indie Week Canada in Toronto and CBGB Festival in New York in October.
Andrew King, editor of Canadian Musician Magazine said “I was really impressed by their performance when I caught them back in May. To be totally frank, I didn't think it would translate as well to the CD (based solely on history), but I was wrong.”
Ben Conoley of chartattack/Exclaim!/Alternative Press said “their most appealing characteristic comes from their borrowing of swagger seen in early 21st century Scandinavian rock from bands like The Hives and Turbonegro and especially The (International) Noise Conspiracy, who’s influence is especially prevalent on “No False Alarm” – a catchy, urgent, and up-tempo jam…fans of rock and roll with some intense immediacy should take note.”
With tight arrangements, natural flare, and catching songs, this band has it all. Keep your eyes on these guys and your radios dialed in as Handsome Distraction makes their way through a city near you.
Devin Perfect - Lead Vocals and Rythm Guitar
Joey Arthur - Lead Guitar and Vocals
Chris Weaver - Bass and Vocals
Kyle White - Drums
A Mighty Roar (EP) - May 2013
Fight or Flight (EP) - May 2012
Middle of Somewhere (EP) - January 2011
1_No False Alarm
4_Snakes and Ladders
02_Against The Grade
EMURG.com REVIEW: Handsome Distraction "Fight or Flight" EP
[+ Show ]
Handsome Distraction is a four piece band that is based out of Victoria, BC, Canada. Their most rec...Handsome Distraction is a four piece band that is based out of Victoria, BC, Canada. Their most recent EP, Fight or Flight, is a five song alternative rock album that blends a modern indie band sound with a touch of 1990s alternative music, with a little bit of punk thrown in for spice.
The EP starts with “Intervention,” a song about the dangers of drugs. The lyrics paint a dark portrait of a young man who has lost control of his life.
“Your life repeats, what they keep supplying. / You fall through the cracks while they keep rising. / Why do you do this to yourself? / You hold a grudge like no one else.”
The song serves as a strong introduction to the band’s music style as the heavy guitar solo leads the listener to a crescendo. It then stops suddenly, as if the person in the song were standing on a ledge and hesitated just before he was about to jump. Then, it drops back into a soft refrain with two harmonious vocals and a soft guitar. It gradually builds back up to a rock beat and singer Devin Perfect closes the tune with the question, “Why do you do this to yourself?” This is the strongest rock song on the EP.
“Against the Grade” starts with a guitar riff that is reminiscent of old Foo Fighters or the punk band A.F.I. It’s a simple punk rock song with a driving beat the propels the listener through lyrics begging the listener to “watch over me.” This track features the lead guitar playing over the rhythm guitar during the choruses with a killer solo at the end courtesy of lead guitarist Joey Arthur.
I’m guessing the third track, “Bad Neighborhood,” is based on a place the band is familiar with in their hometown of Victoria. While they don’t leave any clues as to the exact location, they do give plenty of lyrical signs as to what you can find there. Asking the question, “Who goes out at night anymore?” Handsome Distraction sings a cautionary tale about drug dealers, prostitutes, junkies, and killers. The singer is begging the authorities to check it once and a while. “Bad Neighborhood” reminds me of the mid 1990s alternative wave of music that followed grunge. It features some great chord changes that shift from major to minor with a lot of emphasis on vocal harmonies. It also has the best bass and drum riffs on the EP.
“Knee Deep” is a carefree melodic rocker with a bass line that will have the listener grooving to the beat. The lyrics describe two people that are “knee deep in trouble,” but then follows that lyric with “La la la la la,” which tells the listener they don’t really care. The end of the song features an epic guitar solo which crescendos and falls back into the riff that drives the entire song.
The EP closes with “Animal,” a four and a half minute rocker that would serve the band well as a jam song for their live show. “When she lies, she lies like an animal,” lyrically describes a bad girl that hunts down her prey. The simple guitar riff at the beginning would be at home on an AC/DC album. Then the band shifts to a more melodic alt rock riff layered with vocals that go back and forth between the two singers, Devin and Joey. The driving guitar part could easily propel a mosh pit.
Handsome Distraction has successfully combined the best of modern bands with a touch of music from the past that inspired them. The interesting mix of modern and 90’s era alternative style music make Fight or Flight a very satisfying experience.
Recommended for fans of Kings of Leon and the Foo Fighters.
MONDAY MAGAZINE REVIEW: Handsome Distraction "Fight or Flight" EP Release
[+ Show ]
If you’re a 20-something guy and found yourself fortunate enough to attend the Handsome Distraction ...If you’re a 20-something guy and found yourself fortunate enough to attend the Handsome Distraction EP release party at Lucky Bar last Saturday night, May 12, chances are you went home happy.
The concert was everything young rock fans could ask for: mildly entertaining opening acts paving the way for a group that has impressed Victoria audiences for a while now, oh yeah, and sexy burlesque performances between every act. If you don’t fit that demographic, however — if Limp Bizkit, Weezer, Nickelback and quasi-pop-rock boy bands aren’t really your go-to music — be glad you stayed home.
Handsome Distraction has been touring the local circuit for three years now, but teamed with Higher Ground Productions this year and hit up Lucky for the first time to release their new EP, Fight or Flight. The band itself straddles the fine line of trying to make popular-rock sound new (representing the next “IT” sound, they boast on their website), and for many songs they do succeed. But although their quirky plaid shirts and innocent good looks had plenty of ladies looking, the handsomeness of the four band members wasn’t nearly as distracting as the handful of fans near the front of the stage who were still learning how to dance, or jive, or mosh — it was hard to tell.
To the band’s credit, opening acts The June Fiasco and Pardon My Striptease made Handsome Distraction look devilishly so. But just as the previews of a movie are meant to intrigue interest for like-minded fans, the preliminary sets gave a less-than-crowded Lucky bar that ominous feeling that we were still watching a high school talent show, with the amateur burlesque acts blowing everyone else out of the water.
Thankfully, Handsome Distraction pulled the evening back into top showgear when the band walked on stage, with talented drumming by Kyle White, Chris Weaver on the bass, Devin Perfect rocking rhythm guitar and Joey Arthur taking lead guitar. Their songs sound akin to those that stuck in your head through The Zone, and the team offered plenty of kitschy swag to impress hungry fans.
And fans be aware: the band is looking at plans for a Western Canadian tour this year, with a follow up Cross-Canadian tour for August are already in the works — if you can handle that much handsome.
Year of the Rat/Handsome Distraction/Sons of Nova @ Logans [Jan.7,2011]
[+ Show ]
Then we switched over to Handsome Distraction after being introduced by the same guy who was heartbr...Then we switched over to Handsome Distraction after being introduced by the same guy who was heartbroken/repaired by the Cranberries cover. I'm not too sure if he just wandered up on stage, but the guys in the band didn't cause a fuss. Devin Perfect on rhythm guitar/vocals never missed a note as the sweat beamed off his skin. If the man wasn't singing, he was doing a mix between hopping and jumping, which may just be the Devin Perfect signature rock move. Bryan Reiber, with stylish hat, beat his drums with precision [as always] and is one of the finest guys that can sing behind a kit. Bassist Chris Weaver was fun to watch because he makes it look easy. Out of all the band, he seems to be the most stoic. It's not a negative slag against the man. The important thing is he doesn't look bored. Corey Scheiding, lead guitar, always has a smile on his face. You may mistake him for the Matthew McConaughey. He's just on stage doing leads and having a good time. Like, if North Korea launched a nuclear missile, he'd still be cool with it. It might have been where I'm standing, but I found it hard to hear Perfect's guitar [and he hates when people say that after a gig]. I asked around, and people said they heard it alright. So, either I was just in a bad spot or I'm technically the male Helen Keller. A sweet moment was when the band wished Sarah Butcher a happy birthday complete with traditional song. The set was pretty solid, but I think they were a tad....and I mean like a SMIDGE better when I saw them at V-Lounge. That all comes down to opinion. I guess that's why I write reviews.
REVIEW OF LUCKY SHOW ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2011
[+ Show ]
Here they are now! Upon stage, they gazed out into the sparse crowd. Handsome Distraction is a band ...Here they are now! Upon stage, they gazed out into the sparse crowd. Handsome Distraction is a band that maintains a high standard of playing. I've never seen them play a bad show [even two years ago when they played the Cambie in Esquimalt with a different roster and no bass player]. They have hit a definite mark on their performance level, and I would hope, if there is any justice in the world, that their star power rises in this little town of ours. Blowing through tunes like Dirty Knives and Who Do You Love?, the band was firing on all cylinders. Although all the band members sing, they aren't much for harmonies. It's all about beefing up the vocals, which works. It's really hard to say anything about this band that I haven't already said. The guitars intertwine between Francis and Perfect without overpowering eachother. Each member plays to their own strength. I don't see any big egos on stage or stereotypical rock stars. Weaver's bass flows to the beat. Reiber is still one of my favourite drummers in Victoria. Serious, Handsome Distraction is a band I would recommend to anyone. If I could suggest anything to take it to the next level, would be to entertain the idea of harmonies more instead of just doubling/tripling/quadrupling.
REVIEW OF FELICITA'S SHOW ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2011
[+ Show ]
Then Handsome Distraction took the stage. These guys were definitely ready to tear it up, opting out...Then Handsome Distraction took the stage. These guys were definitely ready to tear it up, opting out of a soundcheck and just leaping into it. There is no question that this is a band that knows its stuff. Excellent stage presence and refined arrangements kept my attention as the two guitarists battled it out over a thunderous rhythm section. The bass player (like most) is definitely entertaining to watch and listen to.
Crash Assassin/Handsome Distraction/Sea-Sekshun & Weak Patrol @ V-Lounge [Dec.10th]
[+ Show ]
It was time to be handsomely distracted by Handsome Distraction, whatever that means. The first time...It was time to be handsomely distracted by Handsome Distraction, whatever that means. The first time I saw Handsome Distraction was at the Cambie in Esquimalt about two years ago. They didn't even have a bassist. With switches in the line up, we now have Devin Perfect on vocals/guitar, Corey Scheiding on lead guitar, Chris Weaver on bass and Bryan Reiber on drums. From the get go, the band sweats professionalism. They are very tight. Perfect achieved some heavenly [and hellish] guitar tones from his pedals, though it was Scheiding that wowed us with his prowess for licks. For only being his first show with the band, he made it look easy. Another great thing about this band is that everyone lends their voices, all the while, Perfect is the main singer. It just adds a lot of dimension to the songs. Reiber is also an incredible singer behind the kit and he is always crisp with his drumming. Does this guy even make mistakes? Chris Weaver was more the screamer. I'm not sure if screaming suits this kind of band. It was better when Weaver stuck to singing. Perfect also let out a few shrieks during the set...but I think the band's music is more set for clean vocals. The sound reminds me of the commercial accessibility to current day Kings of Leon in the way that the chorus come across as anthems. Though, the music is more upfront like that of The Thermals or Hollerado. It never gets too heavy, but the riffs do pack a punch. Perfect talks a bit too much. I'm glad he mentioned the Mustard Seed, but he almost talked after every song. Less talk, more rock! Keep an eye on this band. Even though they had cartoons playing in the background, they refused to be upstaged by Optimus Prime.
...I would definitely recommend both Handsome Distraction to anyone looking to catch some local music. (They) are going to blow you away.
Victoria Underground - Handsome Distraction - Neighbours and Immigrants
[+ Show ]
Tonight begins my first in a series of (hopefully) many reviews of unsigned, independent local relea...Tonight begins my first in a series of (hopefully) many reviews of unsigned, independent local releases. For this installment we have on offer Victoria band Handsome Distraction and their 2010 EP Neighbours and Immigrants.
The band's name may appear to infer a certain cocky swagger, but make no mistake: Handsome Distraction are as down to earth and humble as rock musicians get. Frontman Devin Perfect has been a tireless contributor to the Victoria rock scene, both with HD and previous efforts such as Last Transmission (now Introverter), and even now in the hectic weeks following the birth of his daughter Freya, is planning HD's return to a busy schedule of constant gigging.
I first saw HD when they played with my band, Year of the Rat, back in February at the Fort Cafe. I was taken with the friendliness and approachability of the band, and further impressed with the energy emitted in their live show. It's clear that Mr. Perfect and co. have a deep passion for live music, and this really shines through in their performances.
Neighbours and Immigrants was recorded in the basement of Devin's home, fully produced and mixed by the man himself, and while it is apparent that it is a home-produced record, there are a number of production qualities that are quite impressive for a demo EP of this type. The vocals are clear and balanced, sitting nicely on top of instrumentals that are very tight and well-focused. Guitar tones are crisp and appropriate--you won't find any of the buzzy, indistinct or poorly-miced guitar tones of other home-produced records. The bass is warm, and while it could stand out a bit more in a few places, is for the most part well-mixed.
Only the drums seem to suffer from a bit of occlusion, but even then there are times when they really shine, seeming to suit the nature of the songs quite well in their background texture. Whatever the case, it's evident that drummer Bryan Reiber is a competent beat-keeper, with many of his patterns seemingly influenced by classic drummers like Dave Grohl and Chad Smith. He even kind of looks like Dave Grohl, which is never a bad thing for a drummer.
There are demonstrations of the band's songwriting up to this point on Neighbours, and hints at where they will progress to in the future. Tracks such as the one "Matter of Time" showcase a forward-thinking approach to songwriting, with interesting guitar textures and non-traditional song structuring.
This is a demo record, and so of course there are indications of a band struggling to find their identity; at times, HD's textural guitar licks feel flat and unimaginative, and their lyric-writing falls, at times, into bouts of cliche. In general, though, Perfect has done an able job of crafting a record for the working-class, everyday sort of chap in all of us. Neighbour's songs touch on themes of getting older, finding inspiration in the midst of daily responsibility, among some of the usual relationship-y type fodder that most of us can identify with. Being such an approachable and down to earth fellow as he is, none of this is surprising, and it's part of the band's charm. All this is part of the natural evolution of a modern rock band, and does little to deter the earnest nature of the EP.
Armed with a recent lineup change at lead guitar, and with a whole new set of life experiences to draw from, I can honestly say that I can't wait for HD's future output. This is a band that's hell-bent on making it places, and rather than take the usual "no hostages" approach, they're doing it in a fashion that's going to earn them a lot of friends (and fans) along the way. Perhaps there's a lesson in that for all of us.
Recommendation - I won't tell you not to buy this record, because it's a respectable effort for a more than respectable band, and certainly worthy of the meager amount of money you will spend on it. I do remain convinced, however, that these guys are capable of more; I also happen to know that they're in the midst of new recordings as this is being written (studio ones this time), so perhaps hold out and spend your hard earned dollars on future Handsome D albums; or, better yet, spend those bucks at one of their shows, which feature a lot of new material written after this record that is top-notch.
BAND INTERVIEW IN THE MARTLET NEWSPAPER "Handsome Distraction Catch Your Musical Attention"
[+ Show ]
After going through a few different incarnations, Handsome Distraction is finally settled and ready ...After going through a few different incarnations, Handsome Distraction is finally settled and ready to focus on taking their music to the next level.
The Victoria-based four-piece started out as a two-piece acoustic act, then released their first EP without a bassist. Then the band’s lead guitarist, one of the original twosome, left after the band’s second release, Neighbours and Immigrants. It’s been a rough ride for the group, but things are starting to look up.
Handsome Distraction’s first studio album, Middle of Somewhere, was released in January and includes Devin Perfect — the sole survivor from the acoustic era — on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Bryan Reiber on drums, Chris Weaver on bass and the newest member, lead-guitarist Corey Francis. Handsome Distraction is in the finals for UVic’s Battle of the Bands, taking place on March 26 at Felicitas and the band believes they’re now better than they’ve ever been.
“A year ago the idea of leaving the city and touring would have been just an ego-stroke,” said Perfect. “But now we’re confident with the material that we have, and the performance that we can put on, that we can leave this city and leave the comforts of Victoria and go elsewhere and play to people that we don’t know. And put on a show that they enjoy.”
The band describes their sound as good old-fashioned rock and roll, but with an edge that can get you out on the dance floor. It’s rock and roll for a good time, Francis says, meaning it’s accessible enough to have wide appeal, without being generic.
“We can play gigs to 50-year-olds at the Crofton and we’ll get applause . . . then we can play a bar where everyone is jumping around and head-banging,” said Reiber.
The music comes organically to the group. Perfect initiates the process, bringing a riff in to a jam session. From there the band will expand and build on it.
“[Perfect] brings in something and then we play off of it, we collectively mould it,” explained Francis.
The end result is often something completely different than the original sounds Perfect brought to the session.
“Most of the stuff that I come in with is morphed in that process. It might have had a different tempo, a slightly different melody, and even cord changes at times that get rearranged because Weaver goes ‘no, that’s a terrible bridge, do this,’” Perfect said.
Weaver joined Handsome Distraction after seeing the band’s Craiglist ad for a bassist. His bass playing was an instant fit, although at first he was pretty quiet.
“But he opened up, he blossomed into a nice little butterfly,” Reiber said of the 6-foot-3 Englishman.
The band’s original lead-guitarist, Chris Reigner, left, when the other three members decided they were ready to get a bit more serious and start playing more shows, which led to a mutual and amicable split. This created an opening for Francis. The remaining band members had some guitar try-outs, but no one impressed until Francis, who was “another instant fit”, said Reiber.
Francis is a more natural lead-guitarist than Reigner, and helped the band’s sound fill out.
“It just came together,” said Francis. “It was good, it was very natural. We didn’t have to really try.”
Now, Francis said, all four have the same goals and want to do the same thing as a band.
This helps Perfect, who is also the band’s promoter. Each member appreciates the steps needed to get the Handsome Distraction brand out to the public, but things are getting easier.
“It took us like two months to get a Lucky Bar show, and now I just have to call up Dylan (Lucky’s manager) and we get a show,” said Perfect.
They’re also networking with other bands, trying to mutually achieve success by building off each other’s local following. This networking has the band opening for Rocky Mountain Rebel Music at Rehab for the Zone’s Band of the Month show on March 31. But taking over Victoria isn’t enough.
“We’ve played Victoria quite a bit and we’ve built up a good buzz here in town and we’re going to continue to do so . . . the hometown presence is super important,” said Perfect. “But we want to get off the Rock and get into Vancouver. We’re going up to Nanaimo for the first time [on March 25]. And hopefully get down into Seattle and Oregon and do a couple of tours down there.”
Whether they’re jamming in Perfect’s home studio, playing in front of local fans in Victoria or touring coast to coast, for Handsome Distraction, playing music is what’s important.
“It’s just doing what you love. I’d say that’s the whole thing behind the band,” said Francis. “It’s just do what you love. Come out and have a good time, get that kind of meaning from it. Feel what you love, and just go from there.”
BAND INTERVIEW IN SAANICH NEWSPAPER On our playlist: "Saanich's Handsome Distraction on the Rise"
[+ Show ]
Last February, Handsome Distraction didn't know what kind of room they would be playing to when they...Last February, Handsome Distraction didn't know what kind of room they would be playing to when they walked into a gig for a bit of an older crowd in Crofton.
“There was this old lady and she had a walker and she was sitting there at her table, tapping her feet and bobbing her head and we were on stage rocking out” said frontman Devin Perfect. “Then we come back down here to play all ages shows and the kids love it.”
Embarking on a tour to meet new audiences is a risk, but one Perfect's willing to take. And the self-described band papa doesn't make such decisions lightly.
At 31, the eldest of the four-piece, Gorge-Tillicum-based group, juggles the responsibilities of being a husband and a father of a young baby with his drive for making music – alt grunge, rock music with melodies that soften the edges, he says.
“This band from day one has just been growing and getting bigger and it’s kinda taken a lot of us by surprise," Perfect said.
Part of their growth came after winning a battle of the bands at the University of Victoria in March. The full Handsome Distraction story goes back much further, though, starting at a time when Perfect and original lead-guitarist Chris Regnier would get together and write acoustic songs. During a Halloween party at Perfect's house, the two asked drummer Bryan Reiber to jam and from there the three-piece incarnation of the band grew. Recently, amidst talk of touring, Reiber decided the May 6 show in Duncan would be his last.
But the only remaining founding member of the band and his drive to perform has Perfect looking for a new drummer and to Handsome Distraction's future. It’s a vision that includes lead guitarist Corey Francis and bassist Chris Weaver, who responded to a Craigslist ad and sparked instant “love at first sight” for the guys.
For Perfect, it was all about Weaver's onstage charisma and style.
“It’s one thing to play to your hometown crowd, but it’s a whole different thing to play to other people who don't know you. You have to put your best foot forward because it's all about that first impression."
Handsome Distraction released Middle of Somewhere, an EP recorded by Steven Klipper this January, yet their high-energy rock shows remain what the guys do best.
"If I'm not walking off stage dripping in sweat, I didn't put my all into it."
Full Set List (in no specific order):
2. Against The Grade
3. Bad Neighbourhood
4. Knee Deep
6. No False Alarm
8. Snakes and Ladders
9. Fly on the Wall
11. Stick Them in the Dirt
15. The Why
16. Drive Safe
PDF RiderHandsome Distraction Rider Contract 2013.pdf
|May 6, 2014 Tuesday||12:00 PM||CMW||Toronto, ON, CA|