The Top Drawers
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The Top Drawers

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2007

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Pop




"West Coast Best 2008"

I have tried to use care in making this list. As I was making it, more and more titles came to me, encompassing a wide variety of styles. For instance there is credible reggae by the Daniel Wesley Band and Empire Alley, bluegrass by Shearwater, singer songwriter material by Christa Couture and Rodney Decroo, worldmusic by Tambura Rasa and Five Alarm Funk, rowdy country by Big Joe Burke and his rousing Love Or Money. Then there is Steve Dawson who not only released two fine albums but made his presence felt as a session guitarist and producer.
In the end, I just named records that made a good first impression and continued to grow.

1. Wyckham Porteous: 3am

The first word that came to mind when I fondly thought of this album was "solitude." That might not be Porteous's intention but this folk-rock is reflective and quietly evocative of a dark but warm night.

2.Green Hour Band: Green Hour Band

Sure, 60s psychedelia apparently exerts a strong influence on the sound of this band, but the Green Hour Band does this so well that the results are more authentic than a slavish retroactive copy. It's following in the spirit of invention, not a blueprint.

3. Top Drawers: You're So Fine

Both delightful and a guilty pleasure, Top Drawers' album finds the narrow period just after Merseybeat and before freakbeat, when innocence gave way to curiosity. Just after rock left home and supposedly came of age. The band sounds authentic without a trace of irony.

4. Veda Hille: This Riot Life

Listening to a Veda Hille album is like accepting a challenge. This album's lyrics are derived from biblical tracts and drawn from personal grief, but the difference is that this time Hille makes it easier to take the test by providing her most lush and elegant music.

5. Orchid Highway: Orchid Highway

Yet another band that takes from the past but uses it as a resource. Melodic power-pop of unusually broad scope and awareness.

6. Sumner Brothers: Sumner Brothers

The sepia tone of the album graphic recalls another time, and the Sumners' brand of roots rock seems to come from the era of not only Hank Williams but Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie. There is a sense of morality that resonates through their spare take on folk, country and rock.

7. Black Mountain: In The Future

It's hard to be both heavy and eclectic. If you're heavy, that implies metal, and if you're metal, you aren't allowed to be eclectic (that is experimental, or employing a variety of styles). Black Mountain manages to be both.

8. Cinderpop: A Lesson In Science

Power-pop has a bad name in that it implies a certain softness. So, it is with some hesitation that Cinderpop's music is described as power-pop. It's really in praise of the band's awareness and gift for melody that might be construed as soft.

9. The Vincent Black Shadow: El Monstro

No doubt having its Bodog label fold prior to the release of the sophomore album was a setback, which somehow makes this rebound on the band's retroactively created Beef label more impressive. It exudes a confident progression and is aggressive but not at the cost of songwriting.

10. I was holding this position open for a great record that might appear before the year's out, and beginning to consider Fito Garcia's Mi Bajo Rumbero when I remembered Herald Nix's Everybody Loves You. It's a blues based album that cuts deep and has a pre rock ambiance that is spooky. - Tom Harrison, The Vancouver Province

"Ultra Sound: CD Reviews This Week"


You're So Fine (Independent)

The obvious clue to what this band is about is its cover of The Zombies' "Just Out of Reach." As well as being an astute choice of song, the upfront harmonies and the beat form a signpost to the era The Top Drawers effortlessly recapture. This is the sound of British Invasion rock a few years after Merseybeat but before all the bands consumed too many drugs, went psychedelic and the term freakbeat was coined. There are traces of both the early Beatles and The Rolling Stones with just a bit of American garage rock thrown in. Even if you didn't experience 1964 you'll be nostalgic.

Grade: B+

- Tom Harrison (July 22, 2008) - Tom Harrison, The Vancouver Province

"You're So Fine"

Sometimes it's good to state the obvious. From the first notes of "Crazy Day" you know these Top Drawers want to dish out some top-shelf material: no frills, four-on-floor garage rock is this foursome's call to arms. Whether it's the Beatles-esque charm of the title track, "You're So Fine", the chippy handclaps and even chippier guitar melodies of "How Can It Be?", or the Smithereens-style stomp and shout of "Out Of Town", this act has some talent and probably a decent amount of record-collecting experience as well.

A definitive slant toward the swingin' '60s dominates on other tracks, like "Locked Door", which showcases Del Cowsill's danceable Dave Clark Five drumbeat. "Baby I Feel Had", meanwhile, demonstrates you can't go wrong turning to the Kinks for inspiration. Nay, all this sounds just as it was intended-straight-ahead, fun-as-hell, and without compromise.

- Bryce Dunn (November 13, 2008) - Bryce Dunn, The Georgia Straight

"You're So Fine - The Top Drawers"

If you're a fan of British Invasion bands with a more aggressive edge - the bluesy, garage rock along the lines of The Yardbirds, Pretty Things, Rolling Stones, Them - then Vancouver's The Top Drawers are going to be right up your alley. I'm not saying that they draw their inspiration from the music of that era, I'm saying that they ACTUALLY SOUND LIKE some long-lost band that would have been tearing up London clubs in the summer of 1966, from the hand claps and "ooo yea!" call/response harmonies to guitarist Phil Bell's authentic Beano-era Clapton tone. This is largely due to the fact that, just like back in the day, the album was recorded live off the floor, mixed (by ex-Odds singer/guitarist Steven Drake) and mastered in just 7 days. No edits, auto-tuning or digital trickery to be found here, just energy and good old-fashioned musicianship. Perhaps if they had mixed the record in mono, pressed it onto vinyl, and pre-scuffed and scratched the records, the could have passed "You're So Fine" off as a super-rare, obscure treasure of the mid-60s (and at collector prices!). They'd no doubt fool a lot of people. - Kevin Kane, BC Musician Magazine


* The Top Drawers (2007), 4-song CD
* You're So Fine (2008), 12-song CD
* Another Time, Another Place (2020), 8-song CD



Everybody knows that the top drawer is where all the best secrets are kept safe. Perhaps Vancouver’s best kept secret is a band called The Top Drawers. Richly steeped in 1960s Brit-rock flavour, The Top Drawers are intent on reviving the joy, the energy, and the fun of rock ‘n’ roll.  

The Top Drawers have collected the adoration of music-scenesters and would-be sock-hoppers everywhere they’ve played. Perhaps it’s because their obvious homage to 1960s rock music comes very naturally. The band’s lead singer, Eric Lefebvre, has toured as the drummer for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Terry Sylvester of The Hollies. It also doesn’t hurt that their first CD was mixed by Canadian audio-guru/Odds-alumnus, Steven Drake. The resulting vibe is so sincere that it prompted The Grapes of Wrath's Kevin Kane to say, "If they had mixed the record in mono, pressed it onto vinyl, and pre-scuffed and scratched the records, they could have passed 'You're So Fine' off as a super-rare, obscure treasure of the mid-60s (and at collector prices!). They'd no doubt fool a lot of people."

The Top Drawers have toured all over Western Canada, performed at festivals, and had their song "Crazy Day" featured in the Haylie Duff movie, "Fear Island." The band’s live shows have become exuberant events characterized by call-and-answer choruses, handclaps, dancing, and barrages of lead guitar. It is unapologetically rock ‘n’ roll in its truest form.

After a lengthy hiatus, the band has just finished recording its new album, "Another Time, Another Place." Three exclusive 'rough mix' tracks are included here to preview what's to come. The album will be available by early 2020 and extensively promoted in the new year. 

Band Members