Café Racer
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Café Racer

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Band Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Sep
05
Café Racer @ McGill University

Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Aug
23
Café Racer @ Crobar

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Jul
25
Café Racer @ Le Petit Campus

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


There are some albums that you fall in love with the second the hear them, and there are some albums that take a couple of listens to sink in. The former category is why so many buzz bands fail; after five listens there’s nothing new to hear and nothing is memorable enough to get under your skin. The latter category is what I call “sleepers”. Sleeper albums take slowly sink into your audio memory—they don’t immediately present their best features for your listening pleasure—and some people never listen to them more than once due to impatience or ignorance with the phenomenon. These people are missing out—the albums that sound perfect at first listen are often the opposite.

The latest EP by Café Racer, Apollo, is one of these sleeper albums. The band recorded it over a weeklong session at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango studio (same place F#A#8 was recorded), and the digital release will come out sometime this week. The band is physically releasing two hundred copies album on Thursday—all individually numbered and painted by the band.

Apollo is an album that definitely gets under your skin and gets stuck in your head, consisting of a nice mix of in-your-face post-punk/garage rock and slower jams that are difficult to define genre-wise. Even though I’ve heard it several times, I don’t know to describe it to you in a way that does it justice. Have you ever had moments where you just want to physically show someone something so they understand it in the same way you do? That’s what it’s like to go to a Café Racer show. Last time I saw them they literally blew out the lights after a cover of “Sprawl II”.

In essence, this is pure rock n’ roll, the kind of music that seems more likely to come out of any other scene in any other city. Instead, the band was formed in Montreal—a city more known for its computer-dependent loft parties than anything else. Café Racer doesn’t really bother with synths or any other version of electronic nonsense, and the end results are back-to-the-basics in the best way possible. The band itself is made up of vocalist/guitarist Myles Hildebrand, bassist Shawn Forbes, and drummer Josh Grant, and it becomes clear after seeing them live that they will never need to expand past a trio.

The “less is more” philosophy seems to be a recurring theme, considering the fact that the band’s upcoming EP release show is a first come first served kind of event. You have to get there early or you’ll be shit out of luck. It’s a spontaneous and unpredictable way of playing live shows, but “spontaneous and unpredictable” is just kind of how this band is.

I’ve seen a lot of bands in the past ten years, and one thing I’ve come to expect is that a live band will rarely sound as good as they do on a recording. Café Racer, on the other hand, rehearses incessantly, and the end result is a live show that is absolutely incredible. The band only plays once a month (roughly), so whereas some bands get spread thin because of too many live performances, all of Café Racer’s pent-up energy goes into one monthly show—and it shows.
- Leacock's Online Magazine


With the temperature in room hovering just below the boiling point of water, Café Racer took to the stage accompanied by the screams and cheers of the formidable crowd. The show took off with “No Time,” the punchy, snare-and-riff-filled first track off their new EP, which was being released that night.

The band then followed that up with the second track from the EP, “Go,” a fun, upbeat song that turns into pure funk in the last third. The smoky, wavering voice of frontman Myles punctuated by a bouncing bass line from bassist Shawn Forbes and crisp cymbals from drummer Josh Grant.

The crowd, dancing and cheering along, matched the high energy set by the first two tunes. One guy even crowd surfed. All the while, the songs became progressively and seamlessly mellower towards the middle of their set, reaching the ‘low point’ with the start of “Molly Doesn’t Move Anymore,” a sensual, swaying tune with soothing vocals.

The performance picked up again a few songs later, with “In n’ Out,” a song “as dirty as it sounds,” according to Myles. Equal parts funk, rock and innuendo, the energy was soon as high as the sweltering temperature in the small venue, accompanied by the customary profuse sweating and removal of shirts by most of the band.

The show came to a head with “Baychimo.” The slow start and relatively tame tempo belied the sheer intensity of the ending, which involved a wailing guitar section, culminating in an ear-shattering climax. The spectacle closed with “Black & White Rainbows,” also the last song on the EP – a song which managed to be simultaneously uplifting and calming, cheerful while lulling the now-drained crowd into bliss.

Just when they seemed to have spent the last of their passion and energy, and with the crowd begging for more, the members exchanged the briefest of looks before retaking their positions for an encore and going out on one final, glorious blaze of sound. 
- The Concordian


Next up was the extremely infectious, slightly gritty rock and old soul goodness of three-piece, Café Racer. There’s nothing you can’t love about this band; the vocals are rad, the guitar solos are challenging, the drumming is stellar, the bass lines hit all the right spots… The music is complex, yet still manages to nestle very easily into your head. The boys managed to get the venue fully riled up, noisy and disorderly, in the best of ways. You know it’s a good set when you break a string on your guitar and you’re forced to take off your shirt because of all the heat! Also, you can never go wrong with a solid performance of a Beatles cover. Everyone definitely “came together” for that, alright (I’m sorry that was cheesy, but very necessary.)

Update on observations of crowd’s behaviour: “Holy shit a guy fell over Myles’ pedals? Everyone’s so sweaty. Woah, I’m in a mosh pit. I think the floor is going to give way?!”

Café Racer recently released their first offering to the world, Apollo, a 6 song EP recorded at the beautiful Hotel 2 Tango studio. Take a look-see, and marvel at their work, right here on their Bandcamp page.
- The Main Montreal


Café Racer took the stage, and immediately they grew on the crowd. They employed an extensive guitar pedal board, and a matching amount of amplification for their sound. I could tell from looking at them setting up and watching them perform that this band does not mess around. They had a very captivating stage presence, as Myles whipped his shoulder-length hair around while the bassist jerked about on the stage with the music. There was a lot of movement on stage in general with this band. The sound of the band itself matched the epic nature of their presence. There were great lead vocals from Myles. They were extremely manic, and somewhat reminiscent of old blues singers such as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. The drums were played with extreme finesse and precision, and were highly entertaining to listen to on their own. The bass was appropriately fuzzy, and the bass lines were inventive and highly influenced by the classic grunge acts of the late 80s and early 90s. The guitar was funky at times, though it often resembled Chicago blues and Hendrix. The guitar solos were drenched in wah but never cheesy.

The most memorable event of the night, however, was near the end of Cafe Racer's set. Moments after Cafe Racer's fresh take on “The Sprawl (Mountains beyond Mountains)”, the power went out in the building. It seemed very apropos to me, as their set seemed to climax right at that moment when the song was finishing. Not content to keep the room silent, the drummer kept everyone entertained with a drum solo while the sound technicians did everything they could to get the power running again. It was in this moment, in my opinion, that Café Racer’s true character shined through; a lesser band would have just stood on the stage in silence like idiots, but these guys kept going despite what had happened. Then the techs succeeded in getting the power back, and their set ended after one more song and an encore. Café Racer are real pros, and well worth your dollar. Go see this band. - Hot Soupe


Discography

'Apollo'
debut EP released March 28, 2013
recorded at Hotel2Tango

Photos

Bio

Café Racer was conceived from the chance meeting of three Canadian musicians from three different provinces in Montreal. Shawn was born in Montreal, Josh moved into the city for the end of high school. They met through a music club in college for a hastily prepared talent show. After playing guitar for a few serious bands in Manitoba, Myles decided to move to Montreal to pursue an Engineering Degree at McGill University. Josh and Myles met through mutual friends at McGill and jammed together a few times. In the summer of 2011, Shawn joined Myles and Josh for the first time in an impromptu jam. The idea of starting a band was mentioned by Myles, and a year later (after some songwriting, a little bit of practicing and the loss of a Swiss synth player) the three piece rock and roll band Café Racer was born.

Café Racer is set apart by their live show, they hit the stage with a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm and have "a very captivating stage presence". They are also set apart by their eclectic mix of songs, as displayed on their debut EP 'Apollo'. In the words of one review: "Apollo is an album that definitely gets under your skin and gets stuck in your head, consisting of a nice mix of in-your-face post-punk/garage rock and slower jams that are difficult to define genre-wise. Even though I’ve heard it several times, I don’t know to describe it to you in a way that does it justice."