The Luna Riot
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The Luna Riot

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"The Luna Riot"

Step aside, Green Hour Band, you're not alone any more. Last year, GHB released one of the best B.C.-produced albums of the year. The accent was on psychedelic hard rock that was singularly good. At this early date in 2009, local trio The Luna Riot has made one of the best records of the year and it, too, is psychedelic. The songs of Travis Smyth swirl like good psychedelia is supposed to, but have a garage-rock aggression that keeps them from turning fey and affected. It's kind of like The Coral (a modern English group) merging with Shadows of Knight (a Chicago '60s group). Grade: B+

— Tom Harrison - The Province - Night Steals The Light (Independent)


"Might as well be ex-pats"

This Vancouver trio calls their sound “fuzzgaze”, and that’s a pretty apt label: the hypnotic dreaminess of shoegaze with the snarl and immediacy of garage rock. There’s a very British vibe overall to the CD, with psychedelic spaciness (echoey, backward guitars, droning Hammond organs, and on one track, even sitars) meeting the hooky, sing-along stomp of glam rock on songs that range from poppy to menacing and back again. Reminds me a lot of Love and Rockets’ - especially in the songwriting and predominantly double tracked vocals - but with the heaviness and drone factor of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Or imagine the Stone Roses lost inside The Stooges “Funhouse” on a heavy dose of mind-altering substances (which is not to imply that The Luna Riot partake in or endorse such pursuits but that this is a very trippy record indeed, along the same vein as Primal Scream’s “Screamadelica” or Spiritualized’s “Phase Shifter”). I highly recommend this album: the production is first rate there’s a thickness and power that most indie records can’t even approach and the performances are tight and confident but still loose enough to rock with a certain “don’t give a shit” swagger.

> Kevin Kane - B.C. Musician

- B.C. Musician Magazine


"The Luna Riot in Vancouver with Stereobuss and Marble Rye."

...at this point in the night, another show was just getting into high gear. A couple who had been sitting at a table at the back with a bottle of champagne on ice, who had been pretty touchy feely there, had stood up and moved to the back of the room, where there were viciously, grossly, and drunkenly making out and groping each other. Much hilarity ensued. The enormous Luna Riot contingent, who were hanging out in the back of the room like the cool kids in high school, had no end of witty banter and antics about this revolting pair.
To end the night... The Luna Riot. A dazzling, somewhat-new band to the Vancouver(ish - also Victoria. They manage this city-adultery somehow) scene, these guys absolutely rock the fucking marvelous oldschool sound. Dirty, sexy, thick grrrrrrr guitars. How else can I explain that? It sounds like danger. Like danger! Good, enticing, orgasmic danger. That sort of adrenaline rush, drug-haze danger. Sadly, it was to be Luke Renshaw's last show drumming with the band. His duties with Victoria favourites Jets Overhead were getting to be too much to keep with these guys. We wish him well (and we'll of course see lots more of him with JO), and on we go to a new chapter in the Luna Riot's brief history.
Sweet 60's-style harmonies going on here too. There's a lot of energy on the stage. Lead dude Jamison Prystay is one ferocious clapper/tambourinerer, let me tell you... and jumper. I mean, really, can you shake the tambourine any harder? Can you? I don't think you're trying hard enough. Travis Smyth works the guitar in this measured cool kind of way. Up, down, up, down, guitar up, head down, head left, guitar down, head way down, up, over... Like Britain just walked into the room. The manly-cool is tempered by soft and pretty Louise Burns on bass. Yeah, this is a great band. You know what makes them extra-great? They all snootily kind of trashed the stage after the set. But it was this great chaotic event, with lots of noise and a random deconstruction of limited parts of the stage. Just careful enough to know that they can't really afford to go buy new instruments after every show, but bonkers enough to ... just to be cool.

- Cordmag


"Lucky Bar, Victoria B.C., January 12th, 2007"

"Its all coming back...psychedelic shit with all the paisley...I've
seen it man..." Frontman Jamison Prystay is standing front and centre,
arms in the air, rock n' roll is alive and well. The Luna Riot is the
name they go by. Their dark psychedelic sound is like a lush wave of
ambient chaos, with vocals breaking through like sun beams out of a
black sky. Travis Smythe, of former rock n' rollers Grace Nocturnal,
is playing a white strat, every note is unleashed with intense emotion
and swirling movement. His soaring leads reminiscent of the blues
greats, with his own electric gypsy sound. Louise Burns on bass, is
carrying the rhythm with a distorted tone through a purple amp,
dressed in black, boots up to her knees. Colin Band, standing further
back, seems bashful at first glance, the calm before the storm. As
the music plays, Smythe and Band switch off between lead and rhythm
creating a brilliant wall of sound unlike any other. Drummer Luke
Renshaw (Jets Overhead, Lion Thief, Grace Nocturnal) has his head
down, nodding in time, bringing the hypnotic rhythm in with the
opening song of the evening: Song of Rising. Unlike many bands with an
aggressive drive to get noticed, The Luna Riot does not trade honesty,
style, image, or anything else for a shiny coin or a hit radio single.
Throughout Friday's sold out epic performance at Victoria's Lucky Bar,
their music only echoed the truth louder and louder about the genuine
quality of these musicians. It can be very difficult to describe the
sound of a band in a live setting. However, "close your eyes, and
sink into the walls" is a good way of describing the thickness of the
ins and outs of many of The Luna Riot's songs. Although this was
their first show as a group, make no mistake in perceiving them as a
band of rookies. Their black leather jacket, scarf wearing, stripes
and boots, messy hair, kind of rock and roll is no fashion scheme or
poor attempt at being hip. This is the real thing, from the beginning
of the show to very end. The Luna Riot delivered what seems to be
lacking in so many live concerts these days; a true musical experience
filled with burning energy being shared between five people who love
what they do; music. - Metropolitian Magazine, Victoria B.C.


Discography

"Night Steals The Light" (2009) mixed by Steven Drake (Odds, The Tragically Hip, 54-40) and mastered by Sensei. Ten song full-length debut album.

"The Luna Riot E.P." (2006) featuring "If It Turns You On" as heard on Victoria B.C.'s The Zone @ 91.3fm

Photos

Bio

The Luna Riot has high expectations, and why not? The band has epitomized the “do-it-yourself” work ethic by building their own recording studio and producing their own album. Band members Travis Smyth, Mark Crickmay and Colin Band have finely crafted their own musical genre (which they affectionately call “Fuzzgaze”) by fusing thunderous tribal rhythms with thick, fuzzy bass and “machine-gun” lead guitar work and then colouring outside the lines with sitar, Tablas, tambourine, keyboards, shakers and whatever else could be found in the studio.

The Luna Riot was conceptualized by Travis Smyth in Victoria, BC following the demise of his successful previous band, Grace Nocturnal (which shared stages with Soundtrack of Our Lives, Sam Roberts, Metric, and Tegan & Sara to name a few). Smyth moved to Vancouver where he met Colin Band and Mark Crickmay. Band had been playing drums with a local group called Vitus and Crickmay had been Travis' workmate. Together, the trio spent the bulk of 2008 touring western Canada and writing dozens of songs before recording their debut album, "Night Steals The Light", at their own Deep Cove recording studio in North Vancouver, BC. Steven Drake (notable for co-fronting Vancouver’s Odds in the 90s and mixing The Tragically Hip’s Juno award winning album, “Trouble At The Henhouse”) mixed the songs at Profile Studios in Vancouver, BC.

The Luna Riot celebrated the release of its debut album with a two-week western Canadian tour that kicked off at Vancouver's The Media Club on January 29th, 2009.