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Formerly known as The Synaesthetic, this five-piece outfit has moved from London to The Big Smoke, and thus the opening track on this opus is entitled “Big City Bound (Miles Ahead)”. They’ve certainly refined their appearance (you can tell they all got haircuts before the band photo was taken) and the name change is an upgrade. Dog Tooth Violet sounds mysterious, but in a good way, whereas no one’s quite sure what a synasthetic actually is…

The quintet has polished its sound by recording at Beach Road Studios, yet Dog Tooth maintains the heavy, downtuned, depressed vibe that’s heard on The Synaesthetic’s Locomotive EP, whose two standout tracks (“Ladies and Gentlemen” and “The Wild”) have been re-worked ever so slightly.

Just as their monikers, both past and present, were meant to illicit confusion, it’s hard to put a finger on what to call this brand of music, “heavy rock” being too generic, and too often applied to a different type of band altogether. The raw, anguished screams of Bryce Jardine permeate these guys’ sound, and even on the couple tracks where he tones it down a bit, you can still hear the passion in his voice. One thing is certain: This is not a happy record, nor music to pick flowers to.

The band’s riffs have a bit of an atmospheric quality to them, albeit one that’s neither particularly sludgy nor progressive. There are some heavy riffs scattered throughout by the duo of Will Dean and Gaelen Olinski, which have a lot more crunch than groove. This is not commercial rock, in any sense.

And yet, Dog Tooth Violet isn’t aggressive enough to be sludge nor traditional enough to play doom. They sound anguished at all times, but seem far too angry to be emo. And randomly adding the word “melodic” to any particular genre is lame and clichéd. So what can we call this record? How ‘bout this: Music from the heart.

I wish these guys all the best in their ongoing career, and they’ve certainly got a professionally-designed product in this debut, courtesy of Bright Side Records. But I’m curious as to whom a label might market this to. It’s certainly not for the lowest common denominator, but is meant more for music fans who don’t mind expanding their horizons—and who despise sunlight, kittens, and all things cheerful. At least that’s the vibe I’m getting… Perhaps the inaptly-named Bright Side sees things in a different light? - Too High To Get It Right

The five former Londoners of Dog Tooth Violet are back for a homecoming gig Friday at a downtown club.

“Although we were born and raised in London, we all moved to Toronto last October to pursue the band in a bigger market,” says guitarist Will Dean. Known as The Synaesthetic when based in London, Dog Tooth Violet recently recorded a self-titled album with an old ally, producer-engineer-mixer and former OIART teacher Siegfried Meier of Goderich-area Beach Road Studios.

“They’re just a really cool, unique band — I’ve worked with them for a lot of years. ... I’ve worked with them since they were quite young (about 17),” Meier says. “Musically, they’re doing stuff that nobody else is really doing.”

Back in the day as The Synaesthetic, the band was taking its Locomotive EP to clubs in the summer of 2008.

Dog Tooth Violet plays Moon Over Marin, 194 Dundas St., Friday at 9 p.m. Also on the bill are the Toronto-area’s Courtesy Blush and London musician Michael Ramey’s Golden Death Music project.

Tickets are $5. Visit or or e-mail or call 416-200-9244. - London Free Press

I was recently contacted by this band and asked to do a review. At the time, I was pretty busy, so it got put off until now. I’m glad I waited because, had I just done a “quickie” and listened to a couple of songs, I would have been pretty critical of this band. Instead, I’ve spent the last week or so absorbing their self-titled album and have a better perspective on them.

Their music is rock and roll, but definitely not heavy metal nor is it Elvis or The Cranberries. The closest I can compare it to is Nirvana, though they’re much more progressive than the 1990s Cobain band we all love (to hate?).

Bryce Jardine, who does the vocals, is very grunge in both subject matter and singing style. There is a small wave of current bands and up-and-comers who have the sound that Dog Tooth Violet uses, but this band is one of the few that actually pulls it off well. Most sound too sugar-poppy or a little too on the edge. Not these guys.

The guitars would have been my biggest complaint had I just given the band a once-over. They aren’t flashy at all and solos are few and far between. Given that, I can say that after a few listens, you begin to understand the nuances going on carefully in the twining of the three guitarists (guitars are Will Dean, Gaelen Olinski, and Kyle Banasiak is bass). There is more going on here than you might think and one big step away from Nirvana that this superior band makes is to clean up their sound rather than using distortion to cover up the mess.

Finally, the backdrop for all of this is Phil Chalk on drums. He uses his influence to ad or subtract sound sparingly and when the flares do come through, they’re just at the right point to emphasize either music or vocals. I would be willing to say, unequivocally, that much of this band’s talent and sound centers on that drum kit. Any band member can make or break a band, but no band can do well without a solid rhythm man and Dog Tooth Violet definitely has that.

Overall, I was impressed with this band. They aren’t playing my personal preference in music, but they are no slouches and have won me over despite that roadblock. This is a great band with a lot of potential to go far. I think they will. You can listen to their songs on Myspace and there are some (roughly done) videos on YouTube as well. Their album (self-titled) is available through most online venues including iTunes. - Militant Libertarioa

“Give me a rhythm and a heartbeat to follow, and I’ll be there with you making music.”

From London to Toronto, from Synaesthetic to Dog Tooth Violet, this band has put the effort into doing what they think is necessary to guarantee a lengthy future in music. When listening to Dog Tooth Violet for the first time, you are hit with a burst of energy that screams confidence and assurance. A grunge-like tenacity and progressive rhythm, their sound is not regurgitated or far-fetched. Instead, they sweeten a familiar sound with a refreshing twist.

Changing their name from Synaesthetic to Dog Tooth Violet was announced the same week that the band played a Bring Back the BoomBox showcase at Sneaky Dee’s. Though hailing from London, Ontario, the band has gathered a decent following in Toronto, owing it all to the power of their music and word of mouth. Members include Bryce Jardine (vocals), Will Dean and Gaelen Olinski (guitars), Phil Chalk (drums), and Kyle Banasiak (bass).

In February of this year, the band released their self-titled LP, which can be purchased on iTunes. The new album was recorded in Goderich, Ontario by Siegfried Meier (Kittie, The Salads, Thine Eyes Bleed) at Meier’s own Beach Road Studios. “We went up there for two weeks and it was like summer camp. Recording every day and getting drunk by the fire,” says Bryce Jardine on recording in the secluded facility. Taking full advantage of the environment, closing track ‘On The Rocks’ was recorded outside. “You can even hear the crickets in the background. There were mics set up in the trees to capture the ambient sounds and I laying on my back doing the vocals,” Bryce details. Watch the video below to get in the scene.

When speaking about the name change and its meaning Will said, “I think The Synaesthetic was a difficult name for a lot of people to spell and say – and it was a little pretentious sounding.” “We had to think of something simple and obvious”, Bryce adds. “I was looking through the dictionary, as I often do, and I came across that [Dog Tooth Violet]. What I like about it was that it had three elements: dog, tooth, violet. Dog being the animal nature of our tunes, because we very much work off that ‘id’ in all of us. The tooth is between the two, human and animal. Violet is something organic and natural. When you put it together, we like to say it’s beautiful with a vicious bite. That’s what we try to do. It’s heavy music but it’s very much about the melody. I’m screaming but I’m still singing a melody.”

Originating in London, the band mates have known each other since their high school days where they realized their musical connection. “It’s cool because we learned how to play our instruments together, so if one person leaves this band, it’s not going to be the same, and it’s done,” says Bryce on the conception of the band. “We are reaffirmed by how it continues to grow.” Bryce goes on to explain that moving to Toronto has direct ties to the song ‘Big City Bound’, where Bryce expresses the frustration of living in London. “It wasn’t just about the music scene, but also how young I am. I want to experience things, rather than have the band be something that anchors us, we should be where it IS happening. Like I say, ‘my hometown is the middle of the road’, it does very much feel like the middle of the road. People in London seem to define the city on not being Toronto. When you tell people you’re moving to Toronto, they say, ‘oh you fuckers!’ When really they should be saying, ‘Get the hell out of here! Do it! If you believe in something and you’re passionate about it, go and do it.’ We’re scratching and clawing for that.”

Toronto can be very intimidating to any newcomer, especially one leaving a town where they had developed a following and were doing well. The challenge is something the band relates to a Grade 9 student first arriving in High School, having to build your reputation from the ground up while everyone is against you. When performing, the band shows no signs of timidness. They play with conviction, feeding off the reaction of the audience – whether it be shock, awe or chaos.

With a guerilla mindset, Dog Tooth Violet markets themselves on the streets, in constant communication with the public. Awaiting some financial backing to release a physical LP, they realize that they can’t wait for something to come to them. Rather, they understand the nature of the new music industry, where a band must chase the deal and work harder than ever before being signed.

We discussed the future of the band and where they plan on going as the new half of 2010 is ahead. New songs have been coming along that the band states is an evolution from the LP, yet staying true to the DTV sound. “Some bands have so much room to grow. Look at Radiohead, I am not a fan of Pablo Honey or The Bends, but when I heard OK Computer, it was absolutely mind blowing. I think if we keep going this way, we can look forward to more articulated works down the road,” says Will.

Catch Dog Tooth Violet at the El Mocambo W/ Black Napalese, Macula, Robotic Lunch – July 2nd, 2010. - Bring Back The Boombox

June 4th Show Review by CHRW's Jeff Korsmeier
Last Saturday May 29 2010 Dog Tooth Violet dropped by the broadcast studio at CHRW 94.9FM for a live to air interview. This unassuming, very modest and polite group of young musicians told me that their music is emotional, honest and from the heart. ***WOW*** I was not prepared for what was witnessed in their live performance. While their debut full length LP is beautifully crafted, it doesn't come close to how their performance comes off live.

Bryce Jardine's supporting band lovingly bleeds every note perfectly to accompany the exorcism of demons that Bryce screams perfectly in such a sexy and disturbing way that we find ourselves completely captivated from open to end.

This band cannot continue without one another. Period. The chemistry is pure.

I cannot imagine any performer being able to give more that what DTV put out last night. This band is an ABSOLUTE MUST SEE LIVE.

Original and precious as a live act.

Do not miss Jardine and DTV at Call The Office in early July or any gig you get a chance to check out. Canada is very privileged to have what these guys are giving. Indeed hard rock they are....indeed they rock hard....


Jeff Korsmeier - Jeff Korsmeier of CHRW 94.9


Distractions EP (2006)
Locomotive EP (2008)
Self Titled LP (2010)



It’s all in the name; beautiful with a vicious bite we are Dog Tooth Violet. Toronto is our playground, Bright Side Records is our home and we’re ready to hit the ground running. This self-titled debut is loud, honest, vulnerable at times and yet unapologetic. Rock n’ roll has become somewhat of a dirty word among music peddlers as of late, but we take pleasure in perverting the genre. These are songs for the underdog, the rebellious young and the old spitfires. If you’re listening lets make a deal… “Give me a rhythm and a heartbeat to follow, and I’ll be there with you making music.” Sincerely, DTV