Steady, Garcia
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Steady, Garcia


Band Rock Punk


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"A refreshing and energetic album"

Over the years we Brits have got used to quirky Canadian bands such as Max Webster or The Critters. This refreshing and energetic album from Steady Garcia builds on that tradition while almost single-handedly marks the start of the second New Wave.

As a band, Steady Garcia do, and don’t, exist. Built around the guitar and vocals of prolific songwriter Luis Cardoso, aided and abetted by bassist and vocalist Carman LeBel, this album was put together in Luis’ studio near Collingwood, Ontario. When the time came Paul Jones came in to add drums and, on some songs, Geordie Haley added extra guitar. And, for once, it’s nice to hear an album that was designed to be one and that isn’t just a hotch-potch of a band’s most popular onstage pieces.

There’s some slick production techniques at work, notably the slow middle-eight on ‘Pretend Girlfriend’ and the key change in the solo of ‘Something New’. The record has a genuine New Wave feel, with a few telephone voice effects and plenty of either three chord trick songs or songs with a VI:IV:I:V progression (you know the one, it’s on every song from Mr Jones to With Or Without You) broken up by the odd guitar etude.

To specifics – after the warm-up exercise of Blues#1, first song Big Light is an obvious single with its three chords and backing vocals. Something New is a prime example of the wry lyrics Luis writes; “sing a song of cliches, maybe stumble on to something new” is the refrain. Panic Attacks is the album in a nutshell, and I had a couple during the chaotic lead work that defines ‘Dial Tone’. ‘Old & Grey’ has a very Rush feel (I know, it’s a cheap Canadian reference but the hook is a son of Red Barchetta) and I’m Not Afraid is the quirkiest track that a Rush support act could wish to perform. Country Light is a strong three chord close to the album too.

So, a good record, well worth several listens and only stopped from hitting the jackpot by a lack of discipline that would be easily remedied by working with an external producer from outside the band.

Best Track(s)
Big Light – if this isn’t on your radio station it should be;
Panic Attack – if you like this you’ll like the whole album
Old & Grey – a great guitar line that the great Alex Lifeson would be proud of. - CD reviews by you

"Triple Triple Triple"

With the rhythm guitar panned left and the lead panned right come on and go right now with STEADY, GARCIA! They are more an agreement than a band Luis Cardoso and Carman Lebel live north east of Maine. How can that be you say? Well, it’s Canada. This self-released debut album is packaged as slick as any major. - The Fevered Brain of Radio Mike


Bring me the head of Steady, Garcia (2007). Tracks available from RadioDirectX, CD Baby,,, Apple iTunes store, AudioLunchbox, weedshare.



Luis Cardoso has been writing songs and playing in punk and dub reggae bands since the mid-80's. He began his musical career in a number of east coast punk bands, then moved into dub reggae with groundbreaking east-coast reggae band Ujamaa. Cardoso wrote songs and played guitar with Ujamaa for 5 years before up and packing for Toronto in 1992. There, he played and wrote for a number of rock, punk and reggae bands, including "Steady, Garcia" prototype "Superball". Superball became "Steady, Garcia" in the early 2000's and a debut record was finally released in 2006. Also in 2006, Cardoso moved back to the east coast where "Steady, Garcia" has evolved into a sonically daring trio propelled by Cardoso's powerful songwriting. The Steadies merge the punk trashiness of the Replacements with the fuzz guitar onslaught of Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth, while managing to evoke the spirit, if not the sound, of dub reggae and pure pop songwriting. A second album is scheduled for release in Autumn 2009.