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"Incestual landscape"

May 17th, 2007

Incestual landscape
Lara Purvis

The ubiquitious Ottawa "sound" not a problem for Acres

Wrist deep in chicken wings, little could distract the three members of Acres, a local indie band, during a recent interview. That is until I threw out a question about an "Ottawa sound."

Singer and guitarist Matthew Corbiere leapt into a rant, "People think it's an insult to have an 'Ottawa sound.' It's not an insult, it's a compliment. Ottawa has this inferiority complex. I'm sick of people slamming this city. It's a small, incestual music community, so yes, you can hear influences from other bands. But that's not a bad thing because Ottawa has some serious talent. Admittedly, we're influenced by Weights And Measures, but we're as equally influenced by other outside bands, like Do Make Say Think and Fugazi."

Considered by some as Ottawa's most promising upcoming band, Acres consists of Corbiere on vocals and guitar supported by Michael Zorn's driving bass lines and Brian Ahopelto on drums.

After nearly two years of dedicated rehearsals and only a handful of live performances, Acres have finally come through with their first studio recording - a six-track EP called Autumn in December out this week. The record is a showcase of dark, rhythmic rock, focused compositions and moody unpredictable transitions that fit under whatever pretentious umbrella you want, whether it's indie rock, post-rock or plain ol' rock'n'roll, though Ahopelto said something that suggested Acres are inclined more towards math rock.

"[Our latest] is an orgasmic explosion of fractions [...] We love playing with time signatures. The idea is to have it as smooth as possible while deliberately jarring the listener for a moment."

Seeking more orgasmic explosions, the band - partly out of jest - chose Zaphod's for the album's release because, as Ahopelto put it, "there's a strip-joint upstairs - that way, after the show, you'll know where to find us." Bottoms up
- Ottawa Xpress

"All Ottawa Mix-Tape Vol 6"

May 19, 2007 By Calum Marsh

I remember the first time I heard Acres play 'Problem Solving' live: the audience, by this point accustomed to the band's inoffensive (though intriguingly) synthesis of ethereal post-rock and straight-up indie rawk, was a tad thrown off by the foreboding tension being established in the song's first few minutes. And when the band slowly grinds to a halt two-thirds of the way in, making room for lead guitarist and vocalist Matt Corbiere to step in with the most jarring distortion bombast imaginable, oh boy - the timid kids around me were scratching their heads, wondering what exactly they'd gotten themselves into.

Naturally I was a little worried about how that climax would translate on record. Yet here it is, fittingly made the closing track on the band's terrific debut EP Autumn In December, and I'll be damned if it isn't the strongest cut on the record.

Acres celebrate the release of Autumn In December tonight at Zaphod's alongside As The Poets Affirm, and I'm sure, yet again, that the audience won't have a clue what to make of 'Problem Solving'. -

"Acres of Talent"

May 18, 2007 By Matthew Polesel

This probably goes without saying, but I'm not really a fan of most music that falls under post-rock. As nice as the music can be, I'm just a lyrics and vocals kind of guy. When the music is as good as what's on Acres' debut EP, however, I have no problem looking past my aversion to the genre.

Of course, calling them post-rock isn't entirely accurate. Autumn In December may have its share of expansive instrumentals, but tracks like "Life Between The Lines" and "I'm Not A Dr., But I Play One On TV" also show that frontman Matt Corbiere has an impressively gritty voice. Over less interesting music his vocals probably wouldn't stand out as much, but alongside a song like "Make Due", the contrast is striking.

The only problem with Autumn In December is its length. While the songs are all pretty good, at less than half an hour the album seems to be finished far too quickly, and the songs that made the cut all suggest Acres have it in them to develop an album that goes twice the length. Still, it's always good to leave listeners wanting more, and Acres accomplish that feat with ease.

(Anyone reading this in Ottawa should be sure to head to Zaphod's tomorrow evening, to catch the band's CD release show. As The Poets Affirm open, and it's sure to be a great show!) - i(heart)music

"18 Hottest Bands in Ottawa 2006"

September 5, 2006

#15: With only three shows to its name, Acres makes my list due to sheer potential. The band plays a tight set that melds post-rock, math-rock, and indie rock into an awesome package. That’s a whole lot of rock. The raw energy contained in a song like “As it Were” is like a nuclear explosion of awesomeness in its purest natural form. Acres will soon record an EP and it will be a thing to marvel and cherish. Most importantly of all, I won’t look like a journalistic hack for over hyping the band to impossible heights. (Jonathan, Mocking Music) - i(heart)music


Autumn in December (2007)



That strange buzzing you’re hearing? No need to rush to your family physician. It’s simply the result of the electric debut release, Autumn in December by Ottawa rockers, Acres.

Immersing themselves in expansive instrumentals and tight, edgy vocal pieces, Acres is a three-piece consisting of Matthew Corbiere (vocals and guitar), Michael Zorn (bass) and Brian Ahopelto (drums). Acres has created a unique sound fueled by their somewhat geeky interest in the relationship between melody and tension. The result is dark, rhythmic rock, focused compositions and moody transitions, with an edge of unpredictability. Call it indie rock, post-rock, math rock - the essence is simply rock ‘n’ roll.

Tongue firmly in cheek, frontman Matthew Corbiere shares his thoughts, “We’ve heard all of those descriptions. It’s hard to describe that angular, driven sound… I call it porn-rock.”

Recorded at Ottawa’s Gallery Studios, Autumn in December is a six track EP, covering wide ground from the moody, atmospheric “As it Were” and fiercely intense “Life Between the Lines” to the succinct strength of album closer, “Problem Solving.” The powerfully emotive vibe strikes a chord of longing and tenacious vitality in listeners.

Acres’ sound is a natural progression of influences ranging from Neil Young, to Fugazi, to Do Make Say Think, but tweaked by Corbiere’s interest in technical musicianship and artistic effects, together with Zorn’s driving grooves, and Aholpelto’s vicious drumming.

Ottawa heard whisperings of Acres for almost two years before the trio shared their work with the city. Holed up in a tiny, dark practice studio the band turned rehearsal into a religion and dedicatedly headed twice a week to their sacred space. They’ve since played dozens of shows, sharing the stage with a number of popular bands including, The Walkmen, Plants & Animals, Torngat, Flotilla, As the Poets Affirm, People for Audio, The Museum Pieces and Nero.

Why the huge buzz? Take a listen and you’ll know.