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Kitchener, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band Rock Punk


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



"CMW 2009 Review"

Spirits @ CMW 2009
The Mod Club
Toronto, ON
on Mar 14 2009
Sheena Lyonnais (CHARTattack)
full review available at:

Spirits were a last minute addition slotted to replace Hot Tub. I wasn't familiar with the Ontario indie dance rock trio, but man was I blown away! They have a caliber of talent that transcends various genres with elegance. For a trio, they produce big sound — think stadium.

Grade: 88

Normally when watching a new band, I like to feel out the first few songs, but Spirits pulled me in right away. They had a huge presence that powerfully carried through the entire room. I was surprised I didn't know them before because this could have been their show. I almost forgot I was there to see The Ting Tings — that's how good this set was.

Achievement of Rock 'n' Roll Expectations

80-100: Exceeds skill and knowledge expectations, i.e. rocked us so hard we peed our pants.
70-79: Achieves required skills and knowledge. Meets rock 'n' roll standard.
60-69: Demonstrates some skills. Approaches rock 'n' roll standard.
50-59: Demonstrates some required skills and knowledge in a limited way.
00-50: Has not demonstrated required skills or knowledge.

Oral And Visual Communication:
Sandwiched between two large drumkits, Spirits made excellent use of the fraction of the stage allotted for them.
Frontman Brad Germain really knew how to work the stage and the crowd, benefiting from the freedom of having just a mic. He understands that his voice is also an instrument, and he used it to its full potential. I wish I had picked up a CD.

Musical Analysis:
Though Spirits don't have a human bassist, their MacBook busted out some pretty industrial lines that sounded rather genuine. Guitarist/vocalist Ian Smith had a voice that really complimented Germain's. It would have been
nice if he was a little more charismatic though. Their songs were solid and catchy, with easy-to-grasp choruses that were a joy to sing along to. Songs like "Forbidden Flame" boast echoes of a young U2 and have the power behind them to back that claim. They were just as bad-ass as Germain's whiskey swagger.

Other Skills And Areas Of Interest:
One of the highlights was when Germain said, "We have one last thing we want you to do with us... dance with us!" He put it out there and the crowd responded so well that he even jumped off the stage to sing and dance amongst the audience. It was an act of true showmanship. These guys play the kind of songs that represent "good" rock radio — the kind you crank on your car stereo when they come on. Keep them on your radar because their live shows are just as awesome and as solid as their tracks. -

"NXNE 2009 Review/Interview"

No seance just badass pop for Spirits
By: Sheena Lyonnais
July 7, 2009

Toronto’s Spirits first caught my attention during Canadian Music Week when they were added last minute to the opening slot of the sold-out Ting Tings show. Instantly I was captivated by their charismatic energy, not to mention the caliber of their musicianship. Having recently been signed to Sonic Unyon, the band is eager to talk about their excitement, their upcoming album and how shamelessly awesome they think they are.

“We believe in our band, we really believe in this band. We love playing in it. We love the songs. You shouldn’t be in a band if you don’t think you’re better than everyone else or you don’t think you can do better than everyone else. That’s what we honestly think,” vocalist Brad Germain said after their North By Northeast gig at the Reverb.

“We think that we actually have something to contribute. I think why we’re so good is because we play a show like we’re actually trying to connect. We’re not worried about it or nervous because we don’t think we’re very good. We know we have something and we’re just trying to get people to pay attention to it. It’s hard to get people to pay attention to music because there are so many bands, but we believe in our music, we believe in our band. I’ll be damned if someone fuckin’ told us we’re not good, because I think we are.” Germain and guitarist/mac operator/vocalist Ian Smith have been writing together for a couple of years and were later joined by drummer Nick Skalkos. Spirits' unabashed love of a good pop hook combined with their desire to have fun is partially responsible for the great response they have received thus far. While they may appear cocky, they have the talent and ambition to back it up. They are not ashamed to write what they call potentially ‘fluffy’ songs because these are tracks they believe in.

“At the end of the day, we’re not into music to make music that people like necessarily, but we think it’s music people will like that’s why we’re behind it. It’s really accessible, but we’re not making it just to make it because we decided we wanted to make money. It’s for the sheer love,” Germain said. “Pop music is underrated. It’s underrated that someone can write a really cool hook that you will remember forever. You don’t have to hide behind anything; you can just put it out there. So hopefully it will do well, but the idea for us is playing. We want to play. If people get it they get it, if they don’t they don’t. It’s not really up to us.” “We’re not writing songs that match up, we’re writing songs because we want the songs to sound like that. It’s what we enjoy,” Smith added.

The pop brand that Spirits have become synonymous with possesses a very European vibe. With only three members, the band manages to produce a largely professional sound that would be at home with bands like Friendly Fires and Glasvegas. While this foreign sound is unintentional, it shows the potential this music has to translate. It could be heard and accepted everywhere from the Mod Club to Dance Cave. “Playing on stage with this band is the raddest thing ever. It’s fun. We dance around. We laugh. We smile. Bands don’t smile enough. Bands hate each other. They hate it because they’re so frustrated at the fact they’re not successes, like ultra success. We just wanna be buds. We wanna hang around, love music and play good music. If you can live off it, that’s a bonus,” Germain said.

Their self-produced debut album is set for release on September 29. They will be playing several CD release dates including one at the Hideout on September 18. To see if they’re hitting you’re city and to check out their music visit

" feature"

By Cam Lindsay
After years of giving it their best in the Marble Index and the Miniatures, two of Southern Ontario's more successful front-men over the last few years have joined forces to make the smallest semi-supergroup this country has perhaps ever produced.
Meeting through a number of gigs together over the years, the Marble Index's Brad Germain (of Hamilton) and the Miniatures' Ian Smith (of Kitchener) joined forces, along with drummer Nick Skalkos, at first for "shits and giggles," only to discover their panache for combining the expansive rock of U2 with the immediate pop hooks of Hall & Oates (perhaps that explains Germain's fancy "Oates-like" moustache).
With the Miniatures currently on hiatus and the Marble Index currently eyeing a U.S. fall tour, the duo have already found some sweet in-roads in a support slot on Melanie C's Canadian tour. Yep, Sporty Spice.

Here are the dates:
4/25 Hamilton ON, Pepper Jack Cafe
4/26 Waterloo ON, Wilfrid Laurier University
5/8 Toronto ON, Phoenix Concert Theatre*
5/9 London ON, The Music Hall*
5/11 Winnipeg MB, Garrick Centre*
5/12 Saskatoon SK, The Odeon*
5/14 Edmonton AB, Starlite Room*
5/15 Calgary AB, MacEwan Ballroom*
5/17 Vancouver BC, The Plaza Club*
5/19 Kelowna BC, Doc Willoughby's*
6/19 Guelph ON, E-bar
6/21 London ON, Call The Office

*with Melanie C*
- Exclaim

" - Pixies/Spirits - August 28, 2009"

Pixies / Spirits
The Casbah, Hamilton, ON August 28
By Jason Schneider

When Spirits singer Brad Germain couldn't help but blurt out early in his band's set, "Did that just really fucking happen?" he was only echoing the thoughts of the other 250 fans who got to witness a surprise club performance by the Pixies. Ostensibly a warm-up for their Virgin Fest set the following day, as well as their upcoming Doolittle tour, the night managed to be a well-kept secret, even though it was intended to mark the launch of the self-titled debut album by hometown favourites Spirits.

Composed of former Marble Index front-man Germain, along with ex-Miniatures Ian Smith on guitar and Nick Skalkos on drums, the trio did an admirable job following their heroes, with a tight and animated run-through of the album's ten tracks. Straddling the line between dance pop and stadium rock, tracks like "Controlled Wildfires" and "When the Sun Gets in My Eyes" are can't-miss hits, and the band showed that they can be just as potent on stage.

Still, few artists would want to put that to the test following a 25-song set by the Pixies. At first, the quartet looked as shocked as the crowd to be there, opening with "Something Against You" and "Dead" without any fanfare from Black Francis, dressed — appropriately — all in black. But once Kim Deal's infectious personality starting revealing itself a few songs later, she asked, "You knew it was going to be us, right?" and the night finally took on some much-needed house party elements.

It was nothing but classics from then on, with only songs from Bossanova being omitted. As "Wave of Mutilation" marked the halfway point, even lead guitarist Joey Santiago seemed eager to step out of the shadows on stage left, laying down his trademark solos with more wild abandon than earlier in the show. By the final third, it had fully become a fan's wet dream as the band hit their stride with "Here Comes Your Man," "Debaser," "Monkey Gone to Heaven, "Where Is My Mind" and "Gigantic." Deal was nearly jumping out of her shoes herself on closer "Into the White," and at its conclusion, drummer David Lovering warmly acknowledged the audience.

While the never-ending Pixies reunion rolls on without any sign of new material, there are surprisingly no traces of self-parody, even if recent tours have at times been business-like. On this night, the Pixies proved that, when lured into a small club, their shared experiences over the past two decades have only strengthened the legend. -

"TV Album Review"

Spirits – Spirits (Sonic Unyon)
Keep an ear open for recent Sonic Unyon signing Spirits, which drops its first album later in September. This Hamilton-based trio (singer Brad Germain hails from rock group Marble Index) has a sound that could only come from musicians who are no doubt music nerds themselves. Spirits fuses a whole slew of influences that will thrill anyone who noticed a lack of pop hooks and melody in today’s indie music scene. Overall, the record leans towards the poppy lost new wave sound of Echo & The Bunnymen, Spoons, or New Order. Songs like “Pencil Neck” wouldn’t be out of place on one of David Bowie’s ‘80s records. However, the whole thing feels very contemporary when compared to this year’s hot group Phoenix, which Spirits might be Ontario’s answer to. Loose and lots of fun. I hope to hear more from this exciting new group.
Recommended if you dig ... Phoenix, The Cure or Echo & The Bunnymen.

- Jessica Russell -

" Album Review"

By Jessica Lewis

This Southern Ontario band have finally released their debut album after starting up in 2006 as a side-project super-group. The trio of Ian Smith, Brad Germain and Nick Skalkos bring the pop dance moves out of the dark, mixing in electronic keyboard or drum beats that practically stare you down until you dance with the rock lying in the guitars and vocals that almost shimmy up to Bono. All of these components mimic one another ? the instruments follow the vocals or vice versa; it's obvious but intriguing, establishing a swirling effect. Smith and Germain's vocals bring the individuality of different pitches working together. The infectious '80s movie soundtrack-like, finger-snapping guitar riff in "Into Gentle Arms," the chanting in "Open the Door" and sex-dripping drone in "For the Love of Money" show how this self-produced album definitely gives itself away as must-see live. Who wouldn't want to bring the sweat they work up from dancing to this in their room to a live venue? (Sonic Unyon) -

" Album Review"

Fans of pure-of-purpose British pop will want to bend a head in the direction of Spirits, the most fantastic and fey U.K. fop-rock band I've heard in years. The best, and most hilarious, part though is that they aren't from the U.K. at all, but rather from Kitchener, Ontario. And this rich debut wasn't produced by Eno or some shit, but rather by themselves, and it still sounds huge. For fans of Cast, Delays, Ultravox and Echo & The Bunnymen. Now some free career advice for Spirits: Grow your bangs down to your chin, learn to fake a British accent, move to England now and be famous forever and ever, amen. Oh, and remember to thank me later.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

- Jamie O'Meara

" - Pixies/Spirits - August 28, 2009"

"...The Pixies' appearance was a closely guarded secret right up until the moment they hit the stage. In the weeks prior to the event local music industry insiders were invited to what was alternately being billed as an album release showcase for Spirits, the new '80s-tastic sounding band fronted by Brad Germain of The Marble Index, and/or as a launch party for the International Tour & Tech Academy..."

"For their part, Spirits seemed less intimidated than excited at the daunting prospect of following the Pixies. Even the lengthy almost hour-long changeover required to remove the Pixies stadium show-worthy stacks of Marshall amps and other gear didn't dampen the band's enthusiasm as they flung themselves into songs from their self-titled debut which is set for a Sept. 29 release..."

-Aaron Brophy

Read the full review here: -


Jan/2012 Frames - E.P



Frames is Sasha Chornyy (Life in Vacuum) and Nick Skalkos (Spirits, The Miniatures, City and Colour, The Coppertone).