My Dad vs Yours
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My Dad vs Yours

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Pop Rock

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"Kids On Psych Drugs (AWMCS Review)"

What’s that you say? You like that dense, beautifully chiming instrumental post-rock sound but you’re a busy person and don’t necessarily have the time for epic-length songs? Well fear not, for I present to you Ottawa’s rather unfortunately-named My Dad Vs Yours. This five-piece outfit craft beautifully dense and melodic instrumental pieces in pop-sized pieces that somehow still sound fully-realized. Their interest in the song rather than orchestral dynamics, visceral impact or sheer sonic terrorism (though those are all there in appropriate amounts) set them apart from a lot of other bands who don’t need no stinking singer. There’s a place in this world for the Mogwais, the Godspeeds and the Explosions In The Skies and there’s definitely a place for My Dad Vs Yours.

Here are a couple tracks from their debut Winning Hearts & Minds EP – pretty, but kind of restrained and a bit the sound of a band feeling itself out. It looks like the whole of the EP is available to hear on New Music Canada. You can also watch a Hearts & Minds-era television session they did for CBC’s ZedTV. But in addition to these, be sure to click through to their MySpace page and check out the two tracks from their new full-length, After Winter Must Come Spring. They’re superb. The album is due to come out this week and the band are currently travelling all around Southern Ontario to get the word out. Tonght they play Pitter Patter Nights at The Session on Queen W in Toronto, admission free. Free! - Chromewaves


"Album Review: After Winter Must Come Spring"

After Winter Must Come Spring was recorded early in the year by Efrim of Godspeed You Black Emperor! and A Silver Mt. Zion, and this tidbit of secondary information lets slip more about the band’s influences and desired direction than perhaps even they had intended. While not straightjacketing the listener into the intentionally challenging (and sometimes grating) elements found on much of Constellation Records’ output, the album’s opening tracks do their best to fit the band for a dreamy, post-rock outfit more suitable to the blustery streets of Montreal in the dead of winter than to…well,the blustery streets of Ottawa in the dead of winter. Opening the album with these tracks is an interesting but effective first motion, establishing a style relative to the band’s mother genre before building to album centerpiece(s) “The Harder We Work…” and “…The Behinder We Get,” and the clap-along “Tanz Mit Uns,” which feel more definitively theirs.

It can be difficult to quantify the successes and failures of instrumental music (especially post-rock, with much of its stylistic seriousness) as a vehicle for ideas. It’s unclear what the band hopes to signify, if they indeed hope to convey anything. After all, to want to “just” play pretty music, especially music as pretty as this, is certainly no failure. But the inside cover quotes Camus and romantic poetry, and the song title “No Farms No Food No Future” imply that perhaps the band has something it wants to say. And then there’s the title, assuming After Winter Must Come Spring entails less a knack for meteorological predictions than for the elusively metaphorical. Thankfully, the album never overreaches for space outside the limitations of its genre, never stands in the way of its simple loveliness, and is full from beginning to end with pretty music done well, keyboard atmospherics and rock-solid bass entwined with a few samples of faraway children eerily echoing insinuations of the band’s potential. My Dad Vs. Yours may be capable of something epic.

This album’s level of success can be pinned on Tom Herbert’s lead guitar, which paints the album’s duration with Explosions in the Sky textures while perhaps implying an unhealthy fascination with chorus. As the loudest, most consistent and distinctive sound on the album, Herbert’s guitar work is backed solidly, yet dictates the direction of the contributions of rhythm guitarist Jose Palacios and keyboardist Kelsey McNulty, who play around more than with the worming signatures of Herbert’s leads. The effect is more fortuitous than it may sound: where instrumental post-rock has a tendency to favor rhythm over melody, My Dad Vs. Yours has a leading voice and melodic centrality their peers often lack, and this melodic center is a winding path that leads from the album’s opening to its closing moments.

Though the CD does have the feel of a self-released / self-financed record, After Winter Must Come Spring does not suffer for its ragged edges so much as imply that the song’s flourishes and crescendos are natural, the very real product of a band’s very real performance. “Bellicose” both rises dynamically while descending melodically, each band member’s respective part locking from disparate paths into one but reined in by Brisindi’s steady accentuation. The majestic “In My Arms We Shall Begin” chimes unapologetically into “Spinners,” and the closing duo reconciles the album openers’ genre referencing with what is more confidently the band’s voice.

My Dad Vs. Yours make refreshingly clear and straightforward music that is sound in structure and effortlessly performed while staying faithful to a genre that is often wrong-headedly mired in its own conventions (and I say this as a fan of it). The band has moved beyond the state of finding its sound, the state during which most bands incubate permanently and die a premature death. They’ve released their first fully formed statement. - Coke Machine Glow


"My Dad VS Yours Fox Out Super Bowl Music Misuse"

Well it seems those football-loving yankees at Fox just can't get their fill of unauthorised Canadian independent music. After the kafuffle over the Arcade Fire's "No Cars Go" being used in an NFL highlight reel during Super Bowl Sunday, word has emerged that Fox has inflicted similar song thievery upon Ottawa instrumental post-rockers My Dad VS Yours.

Band members were flooded with emails and phone calls from fans and friends following television's most expensive ad-time event, who swore they heard the band's song "Habla Palsano" played in the background during a pre-game interview. Not having seen the broadcast, the band contacted Fox to verify the song's use. It turns out My Dad fans have sharp ears. According to band member Jose Palacios, the VP of Fox Sports confirmed that "Habla Palsano" was indeed played in the background during a pre-recorded interview between Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady around 5:34 p.m. EST on Superbowl Sunday.

Palacios explains, "The song was not looped and played for one minute and 25 seconds. According to Fox Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, Robert Hacker and the manager of Fox Sports Net Music, Barbara Isley, their use of the song without our permission was allowed due to the "ephemeral recording" provision of the U.S. copyright act."

Palacios wraps up his report, saying "That's all the info I have right now as we need to talk to SOCAN, ASCAP and the Guild of Canadian Film Composers about what happens next."

As Palacios noted in a previous statement, the band don't expect any significantly increased exposure from the incident, but that it "feels cools" that almost 100 million viewers may have heard the instrumental group's music, and the internet buzz the controversy has generated can't hurt visibility for the Ontario natives.

In the meantime, it's probably wise for any other artists who've recorded at Hotel2Tango (Wolf Parade, GY!BE) to keep a close eye on Fox's wily use of that "ephemeral recording" provision during football season. - Exclaim!


"Album Review: My Dad vs Yours - Little Symphonies"

Now I have to tell you, I’m a little biased going into this review. I’ve been a fan of my dad vs yours ever since they came through the Maritimes roughly four years ago when they released After Winter Must Come Spring and played at Gus’ Pub. They have been long at work on their follow-up album, Little Symphonies, and when the 180-gram vinyl showed up in my mail yesterday I knew I was going to like it, I just knew it.


Now I know that once all you stuffy music elitists get wind of some band that is just a whole step above the rest you take them and hide them under your pillow or in your sock drawer like your favorite toys and only take them out when no one else is around to take part, but you need to stop. This kind of behavior is the only reason I can think of for how criminally overlooked my dad vs yours are. I put Little Symphonies on and when it finished I actually felt smarter, no joke. I went into it thinking Napoleon was a kind of ice cream and I came out with some interesting ideas on the potential of solar flares. I’m telling you, this shit is legit.

Seriously though, whether it’s guitar tones, cool percussion arrangements or perfectly dynamic playing, Little Symphonies stands up to repeated listens better than mostly anything. The first track, En Plein Soleil is a peppy little number to start the record off; you can dance to it or even just stand aloft, cross your arms and bob your head like you’re too cool to dance, but you recognize that the potential is there. For the rest of the record you’ll get glimpses of Tortoise-style patterns but with a much more kraut-rock and post rock feel. Great art inspires even greater art, and this album is just bursting with inspiration.


Everything on this album is so methodical it’s no wonder it took 3 years to complete; nothing has been overlooked. It’s recorded well, it’s played well and the artwork is fabulous. Lets hope this isn’t one of those records that wind up in piles of a hundred in the bass players attic, this record needs to be heard. Great music needs to be shared with anyone who will appreciate it, so this is me sharing it with you, puny music fan. Now get off your ass and spread the word.
- Noisegraphy


"Review: After Winter Must Come Spring"

I don’t know when it happened, although I think it might have been around the time the movie Friday Night Lights came out and word got out that Explosions in the Sky was doing the soundtrack. That may have been the point but I’m not really sure. Anyways, at one time or another post-rock got popular. Now, after kids everywhere have heard Explosions in the Sky and the whole Constellation catalog, post-rock seems to be the big sub-genre in rock that is sprouting up bands everywhere. However, with all these new post-rock bands coming up, 80% of them are missing the key ingredient: originality.

My Dad Vs. Yours offers up this originality. Their new album, After Winter Must Come Spring, takes an approach of taking a simple hook, and going with it for five minutes and seeing where it takes them. The method is shown flawlessly in my personal favorite track “Bellicose,” where the song begins with one chord, and is instantly draped with more guitar layering until the song is like a weaving snake of melody. I also have to mention that the chorus in this song is one of my favorite moments in music right now as well. All of the tracks use this formula, and although most of the songs are excellently composed and engrossing, there are a couple on here that lack ideas and could lose the listeners interest. However when My Dad Vs. Yours is on, then it is a great thing to hear.

If I had a dime for how many CDs I have of post-rock bands that sounded identical to Explosions in the Sky, I would easily have $5 right now. Ok, that’s not a ton of money, but the point is that there is a serious lack of variety in a genre that is defined by build-ups and crescendos. It’s about time bands like My Dad vs. Yours get more popularity and credit for pushing post-rock in a whole new direction and give it some much needed originality in the process. Pick up After Winter Must Come Spring and be enlightened.

7.8 / 10 - Scene Point Blank


Discography

Winning Hearts and Minds (EP: 2003)
After Winter Must Come Spring (LP: 2006)
Little Symphonies (LP: 2011)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Little Symphonies

After three years of building songs up, then carving them back down to their essentials, My Dad vs Yours has broken the post-rock mould into sparkling gems. Their second full-length album, Little Symphonies, is built around philosophies of pop music by balancing aesthetic and practical landscapes influenced by Phil Spector’s “wall of sound”. And they’ve done it with style, using delicious layers of melody and samples that include analog synths, beat-boxing, local church bells (backed by road construction), family recordings and lush string arrangements. The album is more upbeat than its predecessor, with a pop-inspired intensity varnishing the band’s careful instrumentation. This positive energy supports the album’s overall message: that the small things matter, and that our everyday battles will ready us for whatever life throws our way.

My Dad vs Yours

Considered to be Ottawa’s own, My Dad vs Yours has achieved more success than was expected and feel humbled to be together in the present day. Formed in 2000, the band have gone through some personnel change but always re-emerge with a new, musical endeavour. MDVY have released 2 previous critically acclaimed works (Winning Hearts and Minds EP & After Winter Must Come Spring LP) to a very receptive audience worldwide. Most notably, their song “Habla Paisano” was used during a pre-game interview in Superbowl 2008.

MDVY continue to receive accolades for their work, allowing for various tours at great venues throughout Eastern Canada and special performances at Ottawa’s Bluesfest and Toronto’s International Film Festival. The band has had pleasure playing alongside local treasures, Saint Bernard of Love, The Empiricals, J’envoie, The Acorn and also with Apostle of Hustle, Miracle Fortress, Think About Life, Scratch Bastid, The Clientele and Beach House.

The first My Dads EP, Winning Hearts and Minds, earned the group sound indie credibility: They taped two songs for Canada’s underground art program, ZedTV; the album was released through Duotone Records in Japan; and it received regular airplay by American radio guru, Nic Harcourt.

After Winter Must Come Spring was recorded and mixed by Howard Bilerman & Efrim Menuck at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango (Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor).