shortpants romance
Gig Seeker Pro

shortpants romance


Band Rock


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



"Noise Complaint"

“Montreal audiences just suck,” proclaims Shortpants Romance guitarist Rülf (aka Ralph Elewani).

Smarter men than I have often embraced the old adage of not shitting where you eat, but the dapper young gent does raise some valid points. Montreal’s independent live music scene has got­ten decidedly more cliquish over the years, with the true rock ’n’ roll spirit being pushed further away from the downtown/Mile End/Plateau core.

“It seems like a lot of the audiences are just not sure what they’re into and are just ready to jump on any bandwagon. Montreal is turning into little Williamsburg and the audiences are getting really blasé. When you’re watching a band as mind-blowing as Zoobombs and people aren’t reacting, you have to wonder. It’s just so hard to motivate people in Montreal.”

Luckily, Rülf has the goods to back up his barbed trash-talk. The new Shortpants Romance release, Shotgun Divorce, is some seriously searing, demented punk rock that manages to name-check the genre’s hallowed past, as well as no wave and even pop, while definitely bringing something new to the table.

On stage, Shortpants Romance have curbed their maelstrom of misanthropic noise for a far more streamlined approach that should put their clever wordplay more front and centre. “I guess we’ve changed a bit over the past three years, but I think that the band live is still a clusterfuck. We really took our time for this record, and at one point, we got fed up with putting down 10 lay­ers of noise guitar and just wanted to trim off the fat. We’re trying to get a bit further away from the sheer noise we were doing when we started, but truthfully, I don’t think we really have a clue where we’re going.”

Like most bands, Shortpants Romance have sent their share of demos to labels that only fell on deaf ears. When it came time to record their new LP, Rülf had already decided to sidestep the regular postal route and started his own label, Vintage Violence, to release material from his own band and hopefully other bands that deserve more exposure and documentation.

“There is just so much more freedom when you do everything yourself, and when you’re control freaks like we are, it’s just better. I was just so tired of sending demos to trust-fund babies in Brooklyn that there was no way we were going to do that again. It’s not that hard, you just get a regular job for a while, save up your money and then just try and figure it out as you go.

“When you are spending your own money on a vinyl record, it also makes you want to do something you can really be proud of. I’m not against people that put [their music] up online, but I like the idea of releasing stuff on vinyl because it actually involves the person in the listening experience. There are just so many bands that have a lot of label money put behind them and then, a month later, their CDs are clogging up the racks in pawn shops. I don’t know why bands wouldn’t want to release their own stuff. It just seems so obvious.” ¦


- Montreal Mirror

"Les Inrockuptibles: 5 bands to look out for"

Leur propre label s’appelle Vintage Violence, et Shortpants Romance laisse effectivement quelques bleus un peu partout après écoute : deux garçons, une fille et beaucoup de sueur, des morceaux punk et sexy qui ne dépassent pas les 2 minutes, qui font honte à la mollesse, insultent la logique, détestent les lignes droites, qui sentent le stupre et la poudre (pas forcément noire), qui sont pleines d’échardes et d’électrocutions, qui foutent apparemment les scènes en flammes. Des cousins primaires des excellents Duchess Says, en plus anguleux et plus tranchant encore. C’est dire. - Les Inrockuptibles

"Pop Montreal Show Review"

It was shortly before midnight Friday at L'Abreuvoir on Ontario St. E. at St. Denis St., the kind of bar where the beer is comically watered down and the bottles of Smirnoff Ice are sold by the bucket. It's also the type of place that attracts potentially underage drinkers, so carding is rigorously enforced at the door, despite one writer's "Dude, I'm 36!" protestations to the stone-faced bouncer.

I'd come to this relatively out-of-the-way venue - by Plateau/Mile End Pop Montreal standards, anyways - to see and hear Montreal punk trio Shortpants Romance, largely because a) I'd missed my assigned review of Timber Timbre at Ukrainian Federation, and b) I'd received a nifty vintage Expo '67 postcard a few weeks ago, not sure from who, modestly inviting me to check the band out.

I knew the minute I walked in that this was not a venue for a punk-rock show. A doughy, pony-tailed singer-guitarist doing hammy covers of Sublime and Sugar Ray might have drawn a curious ear or two, but music is entirely incidental in venues such as L'Abreuvoir, serving simply as distant-background noise for kids getting their slosh on.

I suspect the group's diminutive frontwoman Catherine Vien-Labeaume could sense the indifference early on, too. "Silence, les freshmen!" she exclaimed to the student-heavy crowd as the trio was about to get going, but that did little to stem the chatter, boozing and general disrespect. So, in the spirit of "if you can't beat them, melt their faces off," the group launched into an aural assault of pure punk aggression that left the crowd dumbstruck, many with fingers jammed firmly in their ears, some giving the band the finger, and others simply turning on their heel and leaving the bar. (One couldn't help but think back to all those possibly apocryphal stories about the Sex Pistols being chased out of their earliest gigs by incensed louts.)

As an act of defiance against a crowd that most certainly deserved one, it was one of the bravest moves I've seen from a band - let alone one fronted by a woman who I would guess-timate is about 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds. You can't measure heart, the old sports cliché goes, and you also can't measure the (metaphorical) balls it must have taken for the band to continue to play in the face of such barely contained hostility.

Now, this is where things go awry. At one point, while singing with her back to the rest of the bar, Vien-Labeaume sprayed a bottle of beer (or water, I couldn't be sure which) onto the crowd behind her, a move that anyone who's been to a punk show has probably seen a dozen times. This not being a punk-rock crowd, though, caused a scene. A young woman standing at the bar who got doused became livid and decided to exact some revenge by breaking guitarist Ralph Elawani's axe at the neck, bringing the show to a screeching halt and nearly ending in a scuffle right there at the bar. (Despite the aggrieved girl having a pronounced height and reach advantage, I would not have put my money against the feisty Vien-Labeaume in this fight).

The cops were called, a report was taken, but it was unclear Friday night what the outcome of all that commotion will be. What was clear, to me anyways, is that a) Pop Montreal needs to seriously reconsider the wisdom of using L'Abreuvoir as a venue for its shows, and b) despite having only seen a fraction of the band's thrilling set before it was so rudely interrupted, I would humbly suggest Shortpants Romance is a group worth following.

– Basem Boshra
- The Montreal Gazette

"Shortpants Romance: The Yel-La Tapes EP - Review"

A distortion heavy EP by Montreal’s Shortpants Romance. Oozing and throbing guitars that borrow subtly from Sonic Youth are juxtaposed with Catherine’s sexy infectious vocals. 4-song EP includes two versions of “Glossy Pages” neither of which you’ll be able to get outta yer head after listening. You’ve been warned. (Janelle Pramberg) - Mongrel Zine (Vancouver)

"The Yel-La Tapes EP - Review"

This smokes! Three tracks (plus an alternate take) full of chilly female vocals, driving intensity, fuzzed-out guitar, organs like a drill to the brain, drums like a hunted (or hunting) animal’s heart, harsh noises... all delivered in under eight minutes! Montreal’s SHORTPANTS ROMANCE is like a punker version of THE DUKE SPIRIT. It’s like if you took a DUKE SPIRIT bath, and then someone tossed a LE SHOK toaster in there with you.
-Ben Jensen - Standard Issue Zine (Ottawa)

"The Yel-La Tapes EP - Review"

Assez complexe de commenter cette première cassette (je ne cherche pas ici un nouveau synonyme, l’album est vraiment disponible en cassette), puisque ses trois pièces plus une «version alternative» passent en moins de huit minutes. Le trio ne laisse toutefois aucun doute sur où il veut aller et comment s’y rendre. Leur rock lo-fi rappelant Sonic Youth mise sur le trio batterieguitare- distorsion pour faire une mixture on ne peut plus «dans ta face». Reste à voir s’ils pourront transposer tout ça sur un album complet. (FL) 3,5 | 5 - Nightlife Magazine (Montreal)

"Shortpants Romance: Quick and Dirty"

Spend any amount of time with one-year-old Montreal band Shortpants Romance and I dare you not to be captivated by their passion for what they do (...) Watch out for these guys, I have a strong feeling that Shortpants Romance will soon be one of the most honest, passionate and matured bands to come out of this wonderful musical oasis we know as Montreal.
-Hollie Stevens Cashion - Soundproof Magazine (Toronto)

"Shortpants Romance: Interview - The Concordian (Montreal)"

Shortpants Romance, a three-piece Montreal band, offer something a little different in the way of crafting informed art. Amid a burgeoning Montreal music scene, rife with "experimentalist" avant-garde rockers and electronic acts, very few musicians take the time to contextualize the history behind their craft. The Concordian dropped by the band's apartment for some coffee to talk about the Montreal music scene, chocolate penises, and their up-coming show on Feb. 21. The band started off with guitarist Ralph Elawani and drummer Simon Guérard making their way to Montreal from a small pastoral Quebec town, the name of which they refused to disclose. Elawani later met singer Catherine Vien-Labeaume at school, whom later became his girlfriend. As the band slowly became established, they struggled to find their place in Montreal's crowded musical landscape, where getting gigs and gaining popularity is often attributed to who you know. "As long as you have the right contacts, you can do lots of stuff with little talent," says Vien-Labeaume. But Shortpants Romance's members definitely enjoy living and playing in Montreal. They find the city to be comparatively more laid back than Toronto or other larger centres, and also say it's friendly towards musicians. "It's so easy to make a living here in Montreal when you play music, [it seems]nobody has a real job in Montreal ," said Elawani. The band has a mix of musical influences - the two dominant appropriations being Shoegaze and Garage - which are quite contrasted aesthetically and musically. "Musically, we're constantly evolving," Elawani said, despite never wanting to please anyone but themselves. "My mom always says, 'You have to write a hit song!'" Vien-Labeaume jokes, "and I'm like, it's on my to do list." Shortpants Romance embarked on a tour of the Maritimes last summer, playing an ill-fated show in Charlottetown, PEI. "We ended up playing for the bartender, the bouncer and the bus boy," Elawani said. The promoter was then reluctant to pay the band after the poor turn-out, telling them he would at least get them drunk. Elawani ended up getting so drunk that he passed out on stage in the middle of a song, waking up to Vien-Labeaume slapping him on the face. Elawani said fans should expect upcoming shows to be a little different, "It would probably be me laying on my back with a chocolate penis in my mouth," he joked. Such was the scene at a Shortpants Romance show last Valentine's day with some salacious confectionary props shocking the crowd. Playing poorly promoted shows isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. Elawani affirms: "Take a band like Sonic Youth, these guys played thousands of shows in front of almost nobody, driving 13 hours to get to the venue, to play in front of four or five disinterested people. You learn about humility that way." Catherine adds, "Every crappy show is worth it." Make sure to stop by Quai des Brumes this Saturday to see Shortpants Romance play alongside Vicious/Delicious. - The Concordian (Montreal)

"Shortpants Romance lance une cassette"

Shortpants Romance lance une cassette
le 22 juillet 2009 13:07 par Maxime Morin
Non, ce n'est pas Xavier Dolan sur la photo, mais bien Ralph Elawani du groupe Shortpants Romance qui était de passage dans nos studios.
La jeune formation vient à peine de lancer un EP intitulé The yel-la tapes. Petite particularité, cette galette est aussi disponible en cassette. Écoutez l'entrevue pour comprendre pourquoi.
Apprenez aussi d'où vient leur désir de provoquer en spectacle et de créer ce que Ralph appelle un « show ».

full interview: - CBC - Bande à Part

"Sisters EP -Review- Earshot!"

In true DIY punk spirit, Shortpants Romance, sound rough and ready to shake us out of our hellish ho-hum existence. Taking their cue from our punk grand-parents, The Slits and The Ramones, this threesome gives us the goods straight up, no apologies. Tugging at my rebel-sans-cause heart strings, the opening song, “Boys and Belles” took me back to my angry, young, black eyeliner days eliciting all the earnest, fist-pumping, moshpit surfing excitement of yesteryear. The simplistic lyrics are phonetically fun to follow along with – in a Dr. Seuss kinda way. Catherine Vien-Labeaume has just the right amount of raunchiness in her voice and Simon Guérard aggressively rips through his drum kit. Somehow the overarching sound of cymbals is incongruously frilly against Ralph Elawani’s razor raw guitar.

Impetuous and unpolished lyrics on the 5-song EP describe a line-up of tough-skinned, hard-living Sisters – from the “Last Duchess” who will “stain your soul and take control”, to a jaded hooker with “a Nobel Prize running down her thighs” worshipped by a pervert boy on “Hiroshima Skies”. My favorite track is "Lady Shakespeare" of Lesbos Island. If there’s a hit on the disc, that’s the song. The final track consists of 21 seconds of deafening aural abuse by Theremin lovingly created, no doubt, for us tortured souls. As troubled as these Montrealers sound right now, my guess is they probably clean up real well. Hopefully, not too well. Some gems should remain uncut.

By Anne-Marie Brugger
Jul 1, 2008
- Earshot!

"Halifax Pop -Soundproof Mag. -Shortpants Romance"

Halifax Pop Explosion
By: Alison Lang
October 20, 2008
Soundproof Magazine, Toronto, Canada

(…)The organizers at Pop Explosion also seem to have a knack for corralling bands that have the potential of being the "Next Big Thing" in indie-rock circles. This year the list includes Jay Reatard, the former scuzz-punker from Tennessee who clocked a guy at a Toronto show a few months back; Toronto's eclectic, thumb-piano-wielding darling Laura Barrett; and from the same city, the effervescent and poppy Woodhands. Add a clusterfuck of Montreal buzz bands like Shortpants Romance and Athens, Georgia's young and synthy the Winter Sounds, and you'll soon be the king of casual name-dropping amongst your friends (…)
- Soundproof Magazine (Toronto)

"The Yel-La Tapes EP - Review - Ici Montreal"

Somme de plusieurs parts à base de guitare, de caisse claire et de prises de son lo-fi, le trio originaire de Québec admire d'ailleurs bien d'avantage "les groupes capable d'aller au bout de certaines émotions, même dans une musicalité restreinte, que le fait de prôner des messages avec des solos de guitares qui ne veulent rien dire." Allumés, Shortpants, oui; ampoulés, non.

-Evelyne Côté, ICI/24 HEURES, Montreal, 2009 - Ici/24hrs (Montreal)

"Dans ta face/In Your Face -Shortpants Romance - Interview"

Valerie Thérien
14 juillet 2009
Si le groupe Shortpants Romance pouvait se retrouver à n’importe quelle époque, à n’importe quel endroit dans le monde, il serait à New York, dans les années 80, juste avant que Nirvana et Sonic Youth ne deviennent de grosses pointures. Rencontré au Primitive Records rue St-Denis, quelques jours avant de lancer son deuxième maxi, The Yel-La Tapes, le jeune trio punk rock originaire de Québec (maintenant bien ancré à Montréal) prouve que la marginalité n’a pas de prix.
Il fallait être là lors de leur performance au Fringe Pop il y a quelques semaines, au Parc des Amériques. Quoique captivante, la prestation était d’une telle fureur que les bouchons étaient obligatoires! Ralph Elawani (guitare), Simon Guérard (batterie), et Catherine Vien-Labeaume (voix), ne s’excusent pas de leur attitude sur scène un peu trash qui devrait plaire aux fans de Duchess Says. « C’n’est pas égocentrique, explique Ralph. C’est pour avoir une réaction. »
« Moi, j’aime les shows où tu sens qu’il y a un certain danger, pas physique, mais presque, ajoute Catherine (ou cas ou vous vous le demandiez: oui, c’est bien la fille de vous- savez-qui, passons à un autre appel). C’est ce genre de performances que je trouve intéressantes, plutôt que les artistes qui disent « Merci, on vous aime tout le monde! » ou « La prochaine chanson est pour mes parents! » Y’en a trop de ça, c’est tellement ennuyant. Le public à Montréal est un peu blasé. Y’a beaucoup de groupes qui se font et défont autour d’eux. On veut les réveiller! »
Pas d’niaisage!
Alors que le trio en était à ses premiers pas, Shortpants Romance a sorti un premier maxi, Sisters, en 2007. Ils ont participé à une tonne de festivals (OFF de Québec, Pop Montréal, Coups de coeur francophone), avant de partir en tournée dans les Maritimes sur un coup de tête, sans savoir si le public allait être au rendez-vous ou non. En plus d’être têtu, le trio abonde dans l’esprit « fais-le toi-même » en privilégiant les « flyers » étudiés et le packaging d’albums fait à la main. « Faire les choses par soi-même, c’est une grande partie des influences d’un courant musical qui est passé, explique Simon. On a adopté ça y’a pas mal longtemps. »
« Si on regarde Sonic Youth ou Black Flag, qui étaient des bêtes de tournées, ça nous influence beaucoup plus que la musique, ajoute Ralph. C’est cette idée de travailler et faire tout nous même, de booker, et de partir en tournée. Simon et moi (anciens membres de Spring the Madcap) on a grandi dans cette musique-là, on n’a pas connu autre chose par rapport à comment faire les choses que par soi-même. C’est pour ça que nos trucs ne sont pas lancés à 2000 exemplaires ou sur un label tout croche. On a un « fan base » qui n’est pas énorme, mais plus solide que les groupes qui font les Omnium du rock, Battle of the bands et des niaiseries comme ça. »
Le “DIY” vous va si bien!
Aujourd’hui encore, c’est l’attitude « DIY » qui règne. The Yel-La Tapes (« Dépêche-toi » en arabe; nommé ainsi parce qu’on les pressait à trouver un titre!) a été entièrement produit par le trio. Bien qu’ils aient très peu de moyens, Shortpants Romance a voulu offrir un produit qui résonne. En se procurant ce maxi de 4 titres, on se retrouve avec un beau paquet qui inclus le maxi autant sur disque compact que sur.. cassette. « Les gens se servent de CD comme sous-verres, dit Ralph. On n’avait pas de label pour nous backer pour sortir un 7’’. On a fait des cassettes parce que ça ne coûte pas cher. On sait que les gens qui achètent des cassettes, ce n’est pas pour les dumper dans leur ordinateur. »
5 albums importants pour Shortpants Romance :
1 – Psychocandy de The Jesus and Mary Chain (1985)
2 – Pink EP de Teenage Jesus & the Jerks (1979)
3 – Fun House de The Stooges (1970)
4 – Prayers On Fire de The Birthday Party (1981)
5 – Québec Love de Robert Charlebois (1969)
Lancement de The Yel-La Tapes au Zoobizarre (6388 St-Hubert) le 16 juillet. Avec Starvin’ Hungry, DJ Annie Q et plus. - Bangbang/Voir (Montreal)


*Shotgun Divorce LP (Winter 2011)
*The Yel-La Tapes EP (Summer '09)
*Sisters EP (Summer '08)



Shortpants Romance has been around for three years and has played shows all over Canada and in Northern parts of the US.

The band has been featured on radio stations and podcasts (in North America, UK, France and Eastern Europe) such as CHOM, CKUT, CHUO, CISM, CHYZ, CJLO, CBC Radio 3, BANDE À PART, Midnight Poutine, Dandelion Radio, Dig it! and Radio WhatWave just to name a few.

Shortpants Romance has performed at festivals such as Pop Montreal 2008-2009-2010, Fringe Pop 2009, Halifax Pop Explosion 2008, Quebec City Off Festival 2008, MEG Showcases 2010, Sperme & Bubblegum 2009 and Coup de Coeur Francophone 2009, alongside countless acts including DUCHESS SAYS, JAPANDROIDS, LOVVERS (UK), THE AVERSIONS, LITTLE GIRLS, ZOOBOMBS (Jpn) and THE AMERICAN DEVICES.

The group's first LP is scheduled for Winter 2011 and will feature 11 songs and original artwork by Encyclopedine VL and Ralph, all of which will be released on the band's own label: Vintage Violence Records, named after John Cale's seminal first album.