Lab Coast
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Lab Coast

Calgary, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE

Calgary, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Pop Rock




"Your New Favourite Thing: Lab Coast"

[Sub-title:] Gifted bubble-gum merchants at heart, Calgary band plays Burdock Music Hall May 18.

Pop Music Critic
Sat., May 14, 2016

What’s the deal?

An offbeat object of Calgary-scenester pride for nearly a decade, Lab Coast has grown so good at making a certain species of scuffed-up, small-scale psych-pop that the rest of Canada really no longer has any excuse not to pay attention.

OK, OK. Maybe not the rest of Canada on, like, a Drake scale. But there are definitely pockets of indie-rock seekers from coast to coast previously smitten with the lovable lo-fi output of Guided by Voices, the Apples in Stereo and the whole Lou Barlow/Sebadoh/Folk Implosion/etc. diaspora — and whose ears might, perhaps, prick up as mine did at the mention of Strapping Fieldhands as an influence in the latest Lab Coast bio — who will find lives their immeasurably improved by contact with Lab Coast’s recently released fourth full-length LP, Remember the Moon.

Lab Coast’s bandleaders, vocalist David Laing and multi-instrumentalist (and sometime Chad VanGaalen sideman) Chris Dadge, are a pair of anything-goes experimentalists fond of capricious studio effects, arcane instrumentation, punny titles — “The Pointe of it All,” “Missed Ache,” “Helen Bach” — and jammy freak-out interludes, but at heart they’re gifted bubble-gum merchants who simply have a habit of occasionally distracting listeners from that gift. Fortunately, it’s an endearing habit on the Barlow/Syd Barrett/Rick White spectrum and a huge source of Lab Coast’s charm.

It doesn’t hurt, either, that the live lineup featuring Sammie Smith (Samantha Savage Smith), Henry Hsieh (Cold Water, Crack Cloud) and Darrell Hartsook (Prenup, Sissys) is adept at cutting through the vagueness of the recordings and hurtling the tunes forward with a gnawingly contagious sense of purpose.

Sum up what you do in a few simple sentences

“Lab Coast writes pop nuggets. We try to make tunes that we, as fans of the pop song, would want to hear, and then hear again and again and again. David walks around the city’s streets and parks moving melodies and words around in his head, then Chris dresses them up with chords, rhythms, and any other sounds that catch our fancy.”

What’s a song I need to hear right now?

“Bored Again.” A brisk blast of fizzy/fuzzy wonderfulness.

Where can I see them play?

At the Burdock Music Hall on Wednesday, May 18, with Century Palm and Dorothy Paas. Details here. - Toronto Star

"Album Review: Lab Coast - Remember The Moon"

Remember The Moon is the first full-length release from Calgary indie rockers Lab Coast since 2014's Walking On Ayr, and demonstrates the growth the band have undergone in the past couple of years via touring and experimentation with different recording techniques.

The band create a warm, rich, lo-fi soundscape from first track "Hanging Flowers" forward, the rhythm section driving the song while singer David Laing concedes that "You and I relate, somehow." Lead single "Bored Again" is insistent yet melancholic, as wonky guitars texture the music, while Laing's monotone delivery in "Helen Bach" is a stark contrast to his complimentary lyrics, which twist and turn over curious, melodic guitar lines and a steady beat.

There's a charm to the jangle of "Wish We Were Anywhere," on which layers of guitar intermingle over the sparse rhythm section, and it leads seamlessly into the distorted playground jam "James' Son" before the tapping rhythms of "Away From Here" take over. Strong bass and guitar riffs get playful within the verses of "Inside Aquariums," while the title track ups the pace with rapid-fire rhythms.

Remember The Moon is a varied and engaging group of songs that further solidify Lab Coast's reputation as a band who aren't afraid to experiment while retaining their characteristic sound. (7/10, Wyatt Records) - Exclaim!


Remember The Moon (album)
CD/LP/digi: Wyatt Records (Canada), 2016

Lab Coast/Diamond Mind "Split Tape" (split EP)
Cassette/digi: self-released, 2015

Walking On Ayr (album)
CD/LP/digi: Mammoth Cave Recording Co. (Canada), 2014
Cassette: Shake! Records (Canada), 2015

Editioned Houses EP
Cassette: Night People (USA), 2012

Friendo/Lab Coast (split 7”) 
Faux Discx (UK), 2011

Pictures On The Wall (album)
Eggy Records (USA), 2011
Shake! Records (Canada), 2014
Mascarpone Records (Spain), 2014

Lab Coast/Extra Happy Ghost (split 7”) 
Saved By Vinyl (Canada), 2010

Wilding (album)
Scotch Tapes (Canada), 2010
Shake! Records (Canada), 2015


Feeling a bit camera shy


Since 2008, Lab Coast has been delivering hazy bursts of hook-laden guitar pop via a string of critically-acclaimed, award-winning albums, EPs, and singles. From their basement studio in Calgary, Alberta, the songwriting team of singer David Laing & multi-instrumentalist Chris Dadge (Chad VanGaalen, Bug Incision, Samantha Savage Smith) carve out detailed analog productions; these recordings draw from the wealth of instruments that friends leave at the Lab Coast practice space, and the ever-evolving recording techniques that they've been honing since day one. Their home-brewed recordings sit in the tradition of DIY-recorders such as Strapping Fieldhands, early Guided By Voices, and R. Stevie Moore, while the songs themselves recall the likes of Teenage Fanclub, Tom Petty, and The La's. Onstage, these richly textured pieces are ably brought to life by Sammie Smith (aka Samantha Savage Smith), Henry Hsieh (Cold Water, Crack Cloud), and Darrell Hartsook (Prenup, Sissys).

Remember The Moon, the band's latest offering, picks up right where they left off on their previous release Walking On Ayr. That record – issued by the venerable and sadly-missed Mammoth Cave Records, and voted “Best Album of the Year” by FFWD Weekly – endeared itself to listeners with its compact, tightly-wound strings of melody, bustling rhythms, and Laing's understated crooning and strangely-abstract-yet-poignant lyrics. Remember The Moon ups the game on a number of levels: a studio upgrades have resulted in a new punch and clarity, while the productions themselves have become more ambitious in scope, incorporating FX-drenched guitars, rubbery bass parts, cello, violin, hybrid sampled/live drum parts, pitch-shifted percussion, sax, banjo, and organ.

And the duo's songs have never been stronger: from the breezy, melancholy-tinged standout “Bored Again” to the rollicking shorty “Remember The Moon Jr” all the way down to the synth & sax reveries of instrumental “James' Son” – boasting Laing's recorded debut on guitar – Remember The Moon is teeming with top-shelf material. The new album also features the the recorded debut of the full band lineup on live favourite “Run Out” – a track that also gets a guest engineering assist from former member (and Viet Cong guitarist) Scott Munro. With their fourth long-player, Lab Coast has taken another large step in cementing their status as one of the country's preeminent pop stylists.

Remember The Moon is available now on LP, CD, and digital formats from Wyatt Records.

Band Members