Poor Young Things
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Poor Young Things

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
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I’m going out a limb with this one.

POOR YOUNG THINGS might be the next big mainstream rock band out of Canada.

I had it right a year ago with The Sheepdogs, before they won that contest in Rolling Stone and I'm placing my bets on these guys.

A publicist hounded me for weeks to go out and see this new band that were playing at a club around the corner from the radio station. I only had one song to go on but I liked it and it intriguing enough to give up a Saturday night and check them out.

Glad I did. Sometimes the best things come along when you least expect them.

It didn’t hurt that I saw them at the Mansion House in St. Kitts where it feels like bands are playing in your living room. It's cramped and volume too loud but the vibe is unforgettable.

There are a lot of mainstream rock bands emerging these days but I like these guys because they make rock music for the soul. .I love the three guitar attack that combine to make one big glorious noise. Poor Young Things are 5 guys from Thunder Bay who’ve moved to Toronto to get closer to the action.

Their first single is “Blame It On The Good Times”, a song about Toronto’s Dakota Tavern hideaway (who serve the best mac-n-cheese I’ve ever had), hanging out til last call and is “about going out on the town, having fun and getting swept away in all the downtown rukus”. I can relate.

So here they are, POOR YOUNG THINGS. Look for them onstage opening up for THE TREWS at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto on March 23rd & 24th and around southern Ontario later this spring.
- HTZ FM


Young small-town band members move to the big city. Leave behind their roots/country sound for aspirational rock and roll. Live together in a big house. Practise around the clock. Record with dream producer.

That’s Poor Young Things’ story in a nutshell, and their glossy five-song EP, produced by Jon Drew, does its best to convey that sense of uprooting, angst and excitement. Striving comes through in their driving rhythms, hooky guitars and well-rehearsed chops. They left Thunder Bay for Toronto, and they’re here to make it.

Singer/guitarist Matt Fratpietro has a good voice for radio rock: full and emotive but free of affected grit. The lyrics, though: on Let It Sleep, the city will eat you up and spit you out; on Americanist, it’s all-night riots while the city sleeps. (“The city” is the main subject on offer.)

No doubt the melodrama is sincere. They just need more time to find their own unique way of translating it.

Top track: The Low Road
- NOW Magazine


Most successful bands eventually find themselves wanting to get back to the feeling of what it was like to make music as a new band, when the only thing that mattered was making music. Ironically, it’s the fame and success that musicians seek that often times becomes their musical crutch. Some of the best music out there, is by those bands who are new, and are not so far away from their beginnings to remember why they started making music in the first place. That being said let me please introduce you to: Poor Young Things. This is a great tune. - Much Music


Poor Young Things need no sympathy. The rock ‘n’ roll band, made up of five resourceful focused musicians, gave up a contented life in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and headed for Toronto without knowing a soul. Within a year, the band had recorded with their dream producer Jon Drew (Arkells) and signed a deal with Bumstead Records. Poor them, indeed.

Their debut EP, Let It Sleep, a precursor to a full-length album was released on January 24th 2012, is an emotive working-class rock record with songs primarily about the culture shock of a big city and surviving there.

“Let It Sleep” is about the things you have to do to subsist in a big city when you’re trying not to get spat out. “We’re one step ahead of dying/ We fight the war on the weekend,” is one of the lyrics. “…maybe one day you get where you want to be.” “None of us have jobs. You have to scrape by as much as you can. You have to eat noodles only,” Matt laughs. “But it’s good; it shapes your personality.”

When Matt, guitarists Michael Kondakow and Dave Grant, bassist Scott Burke and drummer Konrad Commisso first formed a band after high school, the early incarnation had strains of roots and country. They adopted a rawer, rougher, rock ‘n’ roll sound once they relocated to the rawer rougher Toronto, at the behest of The Trews keyboardist Jeff Heisholt (also of Thunder Bay).

In May of 2011, the five cut a demo in Hamilton, ON, which got the attention of The Trews management and label. They began working together on a handshake when a fortuitous encounter led Poor Young Things to their fave producer. “We had a chance meeting with his business partner,” Matt recounts. “He said, ‘I have a studio behind the Horseshoe, why don’t you come and check it out.’ And brought us there and Jon Drew was sitting in the room. We were like, ‘Holy shit.’”

Poor Young Things are on tour now playing live. “Our goal is to be able to make a living doing this — doing music, touring, seeing the country and seeing other countries,” says Matt. “We don’t want to make millions of dollars. It would be nice, but it would also be nice to do what you’re passionate about for a living and be comfortable doing that.”
Upcoming Tour Dates:

February 23rd | Toronto, ON | Horseshoe Tavern
February 24th | Ottawa, ON | Zaphod’s
February 25th | Sault Ste Marie, ON | Loplops
February 28th | Regina, SK | The Exchange
February 29th | Lethbridge, AB | The Slice
March 2nd | Victoria, BC | 9one9 – w/ The Trews
March 3rd | Vancouver, BC | Vogue Theatre – w/ The Trews
March 5th | Calgary, AB | Flames Central – w/ The Trews
March 6th | Lethbridge, AB | Average Joe’s – w/ The Trews
March 7th | Edmonton, AB | Edmonton Events Centre – w/ The Trews
March 9th | Fort McMurray, AB | Nexen Fieldhouse – w/ The Trews
March 10th | Saskatoon, SK | Odeon – w/ The Trews
March 12th | Winnipeg, MB | Essence Nightclub – w/ The Trews
March 14th | Yorkton, SK | Gallagher Convention Centre – w/ The Trews
March 15th | North Battleford, SK | Gold Eagle Casino – w/ The Trews
March 16th | Regina, SK | Regina Casino – w/ The Trews
March 17th | Winnipeg, MB | The Oak – w/ The Trews
March 19th | Thunder Bay, ON | Crocks – w/ The Trews
March 21st | London, ON | London Music Hall – w/ The Trews
March 22nd | London, ON | London Music Hall – w/ The Trews
March 23rd | Toronto, ON | Queen Elizabeth Theatre (CMW) – w/ The Trews
March 24th | Toronto, ON | Queen Elizabeth Theatre (CMW) – w/ The Trews
March 24th | Toronto, ON | Horseshoe Tavern – CMW Showcase
March 28th | Moncton, NB | Plan B
March 29th | Charlottetown, PEI | Hunters Ale House
March 30th | Halifax, NS | The Seahorse Tavern
March 31st | Fredericton, NB | The Capital Bar
- Vancouver Music


Don’t worry- you won’t need to feel any pity for this band for very long. Let It Sleep, the debut EP from this Toronto (formerly Thunder Bay) band is the embodiment of the song that you can’t get out of your head. No matter how much you try, once you listen to this recording for the first time its catchiness is inescapable.

Poor Young Things describe themselves as a “working-class rock” band which seems to be an apt description. The EP’s songs seem to have the theme of struggle and longing but ultimately transcendence.

Right from the get-go this EP will have you caught in its grip. “The Low Road” is an upbeat rocker with a memorable guitar riff and even has the benefit of handclaps. The struggle theme is evident in this song in the chorus: “How long will we pay for this?/ How long will we face the fists?/Yeah we’re on the town makin’ memories but we still got concrete stuck in our teeth.”

“Blame It On The Good Times” deserves a special mention because it’s about going to Toronto’s Dakota Tavern and staying until the last call. A song that references the Dakota is totally fine by me. It’s also another unbelievably catchy song.

“Hearts and Minds” has probably the best lyric of the whole EP, right at the beginning. “I know you want to be me but don’t aim so low, you’ll hurt yourself.” The song “Reckless Young” is the EP’s strongest and catchiest tune with plenty of group vocals that probably go over doubly as well during a show.

“Americanist” is a song that reminded me, both in vocal style and melodic style, of The Stills. Finally, the EP ends with another song about struggle, “Let It Sleep.” “We fight the war on the weekend,” the band chants over and over again.

Let It Sleep may not be bringing anything new or innovative but they certainly know how to write a song that will stick in your head.

The EP is available on iTunes and through the band’s website.

Top Track: “Reckless Young”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good) +*swoop*
- Glass Paper Weight


Toronto-via-Thunder Bay rock band Poor Young Things doesn’t need your sympathy. In fact, their story is one of figurative rags to riches. More than a year ago, the group left behind the relatively cozy confines of their hometown of Thunder Bay, Ont. for the bright lights of Toronto. Their intuition paid off; the group ended up securing themselves a recording deal within the first year of calling Toronto home.

Hard to feel sorry for them, isn’t it?

Poor Young Things will be performing at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge on Sunday evening starting at 9 p.m.

While countless bands before them have sought the opportunity to have their music careers take off by making the move to Toronto, the figurative epicenter for the Canadian music business, not all bands before them have been so successful in their efforts. The fortune that has greeted Poor Young Things has not been lost on vocalist Matt Fratpietro.

“It really is surreal to think about how fast everything came together for us once we moved to Toronto. It is almost too good to be true,” he starts. “We had been playing together for approximately three years before we made the move to Toronto. It was a decision made as a band, that if we were going to be serious about trying to make music for a living, Toronto was the place to be in Canada.”

Fratpietro says that despite being a smaller fish in the big pond of Toronto, the group knew the potential for opportunities was far greater than if they had chosen to stay in Thunder Bay. Before long, the group had made friends with many, playing as often as they could. Eventually, they attracted the attention of Bumstead Records, label home of successful east coast rock band The Trews.

“For us, being with a label the size of Bumstead is rather appealing to us. Essentially, they are a major indie label, the perfect mix of grassroots belief in the band and the dedication to stand by us while our fan base builds from constant touring.”

Poor Young Things debut EP Let It Sleep (released nationally earlier this week) was recorded in the relatively quick span of two and a half weeks. The decision to not over think things was a wise one on the part of the band and producer Jon Drew as the EP captures the band’s energy and melody while not compromising on enthusiasm in the least.

“We got into the studio and didn’t want to over think the songs or pick things apart too much. Keeping the integrity of the songs was important to us.”

- MusicNerd.ca


If life got any better for Poor Young Things, they might have to start thinking about a name change.

Poor Young Things' upcoming EP, Let it Sleep, was recorded by award-winning producer Jon Drew, and is inspired by the band's recent move from their parents' homes in Thunder Bay to the concrete jungle that is Toronto.

It seems the Thunder Bay band could be starting to write the first few chapters of their own Cinderella story, having recently penned their first record deal after packing up and moving to the big city.

"We came down here with the idea of playing as many shows and meeting as many people as we can," the rock band's singer/guitar player Mike Kondakow said, recounting the band's decision to move to Toronto. "So far, we're having a great time."

Poor Young Things - a band made up of five 25-year-old friends - relocated to the T Dot last year, moving from their parents' homes into one big North York house together.

"When we first got down here, we ended up playing this pool hall. There was no stage and we ended up playing behind a pool table. It was like, 'Oh no, we came to Toronto to play the same places we've been playing in Thunder Bay.' It really picked up, though. The first time we played the Horseshoe, we were like, 'We have to do this more," Kondakow said.

Determined to make a name for themselves in the Canadian music scene, the band started hopping on bills and playing watering holes around the city, until they were noticed by The Trews' record company, Bumstead Records.

"They came to a couple shows and I guess they liked what they saw," Kondakow said. "We totally didn't expect it to happen."

Recorded by award-winning Canadian producer Jon Drew (F*cked Up, Tokyo Police Club, Stars, Attack in Black), the band's forthcoming six-track EP Let it Sleep is jam-packed with sounds and stories inspired by navigating a concrete jungle.

In March, the band will jump on a national tour with The Trews, and will travel coast-to-coast opening for the band. The trip and upcoming Maritime dates will be firsts for the band, who have never played past Ontario.

"It's going to be super exciting for us," Kondakow said.
- HERE Magazine


Thunder Bay's Poor Young Things were gathered back stage prior to the show, practically huddled in camaraderie. It was obvious that they were enjoying this latest trek with Bumstead label mates, The Trews, and were equally excited to be stepping in front of a few hundred faces on a Saturday night in Fredericton.

"This is the last night of this stretch with The Trews, and it's a Saturday Night, so you know what the musicians will be doing later," confessed a party minded Konrad Commisso, PYT's drummer, and it was with that kind of spirit that they took to the stage, and made their impression very quickly. They shot from the hip with a style of rock n' roll that compliments a Trews show really well. My knowledge of the band was limited to their brand new single, Blame It On The Good Times, but as a live act, they serve it up with a lot more grit and edge than I was expecting. They obviously wanted to make a strong debut here and, no doubt fueled by the packed house, their 45 minute set didn't let up in either intensity or energy. For an opening - FOX FM (Fredericton, NB)


Another page turns in the book of Thunder Bay rock as MoneyHoney migrates to Southern Ontario, with a new name, in search of new experiences. On October 8th, Money Honey played their first show as “Poor Young Things” and, ironically, their last show in Thunder Bay for some time. Reaching maximum capacity, with nothing but great tunes and good vibes in the air, Poor Young Things teamed up with other local bands (The Other Color, and, The Goods), to rock Black Pirates Pub to its’ foundation.
However nothing less can be expected from the band, as they have had no trouble making their mark on the local, and now national, rock scene! Their crunchy riffs and angel like harmonies caught the ear of Award Winning Music Producer, Dale Penner (Nickelback, Matt Good), who has opened many doors for the band. After recording their self titled album, Poor Young Things toured across Canada performing with popular names including: The Trews, The Arkells, Kim Mitchell, Trooper, Nazareth , and Matt Mays & El Torpedo.
After building up quite an impressive rock portfolio, band members Matt Fratpietro, Michael Kondakow, Dave Grant, Scott Burke, and Konrad Commisso feel the sky’s the limit, and a change of scenery is just the avenue to get there. Thunder Bay sends “Poor Young Things” on their journey with the best of wishes, knowing that the party will only be bigger when they come back and play in front of their home town fans - The Walleye Newspaper - Storm Carroll


Three Bands you dare not miss: I am partial to these bands. I have seen them live and you should too. There are sooo many good bands playing NXNE this year, I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but I trust you will track down the bands mentioned here and give them a listen. Now then, my personal picks….

Poor Young Things: Newly arrived in Toronto from Thunder Bay and about to go into the studio to be produced by a member of the Trews. This is fine pop/rock music, Beatle-y, yet modern. Saw these guys at Cherry’s and can hardly wait to see them again. Date: Thursday, June 16th Time: 12:00 am Venue: The Supermarket. - CashboxCanada - Bob Segarini


July 14

Salty Radio with Poor Young Things and Attagirl

The Hideout, 9:30 pm

Free | 19+

Three young bands play The Hideout. Best of all, it’s free! I don’t know if you need more incentive to leave your house on a Thursday night... If anything, check out Poor Young Things who will most certainly bring a healthy dose of rock ‘n’ roll.
- Pressplus1 - Sarah Rix


Thursday, June 16
Fucked Up 8:00 PM-8:40 PM @ Yonge Dundas Square
Evening Hymns 8PM @ The Music Gallery
Forest City Lovers 9PM @ The Music Gallery
Peter Elkas 9PM @ Rivoli
The Dodos 9PM @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
Deerhoof 10PM @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
Descendents 10:00 PM-10:40 PM @ Yonge Dundas Square
Imaginary Cities 11PM @ Rivoli
Shawn Clarke 11PM @ Free Times Cafe
Poor Young Things 12AM @ Supermarket
PS I Love You 2AM @ El Mocambo (Main Floor)
Chains of Love 2AM @ Sneaky Dee’s
- Turn the Record Over


Also, I feel I have to make a quick shout out to an up-and-coming band named Poor
Young Things who started off the day right. They had a good sound, good songs, and a
polished performance, and I think we should look out for these guys in the near future.
Man I can’t wait until next year. - mboyentertainment


It has been a while but we are back with the Recommendations from the Celebrity Mind. A weekly blog post with a somewhat prominent indie artist making some indie recommendations for you.
This week we bring you some recommendations from Canada’s The Trews. Specifically, Colin MacDonald. Without further adieu, here are Colin’s indie recommendations:
Poor Young Things are a great rootsy rock band from Thunder Bay Ontario for a bunch of young guys they got a grown up sound. Really love the guitar tones and the singer is great.
- Music Emmissions


Poor Young Things opened for TNG (formerly Tongue and Groove) at Lee’s Palace, their first show on that stage. It was an interesting night right off the bat, as the first band that was scheduled to play was actually kicked out of the venue before they had the chance. Poor Young Things stepped up to the plate to set the tone for the night. The 5-piece originally hails from Thunder Bay but has now relocated to Toronto and is comprised of Matt Fratpietro (vocals, guitar), Michael Kondakow (guitar, vocals), Dave Grant (guitar, vocals), Scott Burke (bass), and Konrad Commisso (drums).

The band has a great rock and roll sound that hints at the 90s, which is to say that it’s very accessible. More importantly, the band does have something up their sleeves that makes them stand out: Fratpietro’s soulful voice. His vocals instantly roped me in, with harmonies from Grant and Kondakow that highlight their best asset. There are no bells and whistles in their performance, just a rock solid performance with great energy. One of the highlights of the set was Poor Young Things’ cover of “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine, a cover which, as I understand it, has become a bit of a crowd favourite.

Catch Poor Young Things if you get the chance, whenever you get the chance. I assure you that they’re worth your time. - Buying Shots For Bands


Toronto rockers Poor Young Things will be stopping by CHRY tomorrow, June 3, for an exclusive interview and performance with Minus the Stains host Justine Thompson-Fisher. Be sure to tune in tomorrow at 1pm for all the good stuff. - CHRY105.5


Wednesday was a rough day for me. The weather in Toronto had been that snow sludgy rain that absolutely makes me hate being outside at all. The TTC was having a meltdown (because apparently it is even more useless when it rains) when an electrical line busted at Spadina and King making me very late for work that morning and come 5pm the problem still hadn’t been solved. I spent over an hour after work on a detouring streetcar that decided to head into rush hour commuter traffic towards the Expressway instead of diverting north to Queen Street like it should have – trying to get to the Royal York hotel to pick up my CMW pass. Pick up closed at 6pm and my streetcar ride finally reached my destination at 6:20pm instead of 5:40pm like it should have. The media girl said she couldn’t give me my pass and I’d have to come back tomorrow.

At this point I was frozen from waiting in the rain for the streetcar in the first place and sitting in my wet clothes on the car for so long, and ready to give up on the night. I thought fuck it, I’m just gonna go home, curl up in a ball in bed and curse the the TTC, Rob Ford, the shitty weather and all the little things that can make a city like Toronto frustrating. But I was really looking forward to the Cadillac Lounge Rock Series show so I sucked it up and headed back into the rain.

If there is anything that can cure an absolutely shitty day, it is seeing a great band do what they do best. My day from hell turned into an awesome night as soon as Poor Young Things took the stage.

These guys have yet to release a full length album but they definitely have enough solid material to record one very soon. They opened with Get Right, a song recorded with the help of Trews member Jeff Hiesholt whom they met while opening a Thunder Bay show for the band a few years back.

I think everyone in the room realized what a well oiled machine Poor Young Things are early on with this song because people immediately pulled away from their little bubble of private conversations and started to pay attention. Playing to a crowd of people sitting at tables and eating has to be a little disheartening for any band, but you wouldn’t notice when you watch Poor Young Things perform, which is why they were able to grab the audiences attention so easily. The same energy they brought to the small crowd at the Horseshoe in February was back for this Canadian Music Festival performance. I suspect they could play alone in their basement and have just as much fun as they do on stage.

I was happy to hear Easy soon into the set as well. A song that sounds like something Bruce Springsteen could have wrote in his early days were he from the South rather than Jersey, I can’t help but wonder if the line “she ain’t got empty days to sit around listening to poor young things reminisce and get their story straight” came before or after they chose the name. Previously recording under the name Money Honey, they ditched it for something more SEO friendly, which was a smart move since rhyme names can get a little cheesy.

Chicago Road also received a positive crowd reaction, it being the only song they still play from their days under the Money Honey name. I can see why they have kept it around. The super catchy chorus is made for singing along and getting people on their feet. But the best part of the night came when they played Trophy Kids, a radio worthy 20something anthem in the making. I want to blast it from my car speakers and shout along while taking an inevitable road trip to escape the routine, because like most people my age just beginning to grasp the weight of the real world, growing up has indeed been getting me down.

Poor Young Things could easily be compared to Kings Of Leon and they obviously recognize this fact, playing a cover of California Waiting, a classic from before KOL was singing about burning genitals and statutory rape to make it into the mainstream fold, towards the end of their set. Matt Fratpietro’s vocals will no doubt be compared to Caleb Followill for a long time to come, but I think PYT has a little more substance to offer in both their sound and lyrics, which will help set them apart.

All in all it was a great set and they were easily my favorite band of the night. The only thing that could have made it better would have been the addition of Heavy Sound to the setlist, which has been on repeat in my apartment for weeks now. Lyrically it far exceeds my expectations for musicians so early into their career and there is a soul to its sound that most musicians strive for, but rarely achieve. Also, I’m a sucker for Dylan references and “when I write my masterpiece, this whole room will weep” has to be the best I’ve come across yet.

I’m eagerly awaiting the masterpiece album they have in them.
- Lisa - Turn The Record Over


Discography

Let It Sleep - 2012
The Heart. The Head. The End. - May 2013

Photos

Bio

You can try and find a gutsier, harder working, more determined bunch than Toronto’s Poor Young Things. But even if you succeed, it’s doubtful you’ll also find one as clearly positioned for greatness.