Buying Shots for Hearts&Mines at Rancho Relaxo

Hearts&Mines @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011

Date of show: January 8, 2010
Shot of choice: Burt Reynolds (spiced rum + butterscotch schnapps)

Hearts&Mines is an alternative rock band based out of Ottawa. They made the trip from the Nation’s capital and put on an impressive set, full of energy and enthusiasm. Frontman Matt Luloff has quite a powerful voice, with a certain pop-friendly sound that seems radio-ready. He’s backed by great harmonies from Jason Watts (drums), Rob Hanlon (bass) and Michaël Pineault (keys). Each member contributes to the loud, driven set. Listening carefully to the lyrics, many of the songs refer to war, as the band name may allude. Luloff doesn’t just have a good imagination when it comes to lyrics, though; he was actually in Afghanistan and writes about his own experiences. This translates well, as there is honesty in Luloff’s stage presence, seeming to sing with passion and sincere appreciation for the moment.

Hearts&Mines only formed in 2009 but had a big 2010, having released an EP, Pictures of Silence, and competed in Live 88.5’s Big Money Shot, walking away with $5,000. The band is looking to release a full-length this year and I’m looking forward to what Hearts&Mines has in store next. Luloff’s experiences may be what capture your attention, but their engaging sound is what will keep you interested.

Hearts&Mines @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Hearts&Mines @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Hearts&Mines @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Hearts&Mines @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Hearts&Mines @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011

Jay Sad

With the help of a backing band consisting of Robbie MacDonald (guitar) and Dean Pomeroy, Jay Sad(lowski) opened up the night. Sadlowski, who co-heads up Chemical Sound, showed off his own songwriting skills. Jay Sad’s indie sound is sometimes a little lo-fi, sometimes a little pop, but always highlighted by unique vocals. Sadlowski busted out the ukulele for a couple songs, which just so happened to accompany some cheesy, romantic songs, and led him to accuse the crowd of being “softies.” With his awkward charm, he drew in a great crowd, including some of the folks that have recorded at Chemical Sound (Graham Wright, The Elwins). Dean Marino, who is from Papermaps and is Sadlowski’s other half at Chemical Sound, joined Jay Sad on stage for a few tunes, providing some texture on vocals.

Unfortunately, Sadlowski was having cable troubles. Given his technical difficulties, if you didn’t know about his work at a recording studio, you might think he was an inexperienced musician. But sometimes things just don’t go your way and you persevere. Instead of calling it early, Sadlowski switched up whatever cables he could and finished off the rest of his set. And honestly, I’m glad he did.

Jay Sad @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Jay Sad @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Jay Sad @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Jay Sad @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011


By the time Zpittz, a two-piece made up of Zazoo (vocals, guitar) and Mat aka Lumberbot (drums), was on stage to close out the night, most of the crowd had cleared out and Rancho Relaxo was practically empty by the end of the set. This led to quite an awkward apology to booker/TWM promoter Dan Wolovick, saying, “Sorry that not one of our friends showed up tonight.” It’s a shame, though, as Zpittz is loud, cheeky and oh so catchy. They still put on a fun and energetic set, thankful for those who stuck around. Perhaps they’ll have better luck next time with a better turnout, or at least know better than to draw attention to the giant pink elephant in the room.

Zpittz @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Zpittz @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Zpittz @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011 Zpittz @Rancho Relaxo, 01.08.2011

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Categories: Live Music


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