erasing clouds

Volumizer, Gaga for Gigi

reviewed by Jonathan Dirksen

Rating: 8 out of 10

When I say Canadian, you say punk. Canadian! Punk! Canadian! Punk! Confused yet? Well, after listening to Gaga for Gigi, you shouldn't be. Vancouver-based Mint Records got the idea to orchestrate a talented, well-traveled cast, name it Volumizer, and let the chemistry do the talking. And boy, will it talk your ear off.

Coming together are five members gathered from a Canadian punk flea market of sorts: U-J3RK5, The Pointed Sticks, Dishrags and Victoria. Gaga for Gigi is their first collaboration. They've put together an excellent album full of new wave punk hooks and poppy guitar licks that would sound pretty comfortable on any decent radio dial.

The front runner for a single would be their opening song, "I Promise You, Thomas." This two and a half minute gem begins with a simple bass riff then busts out with a wicked guitar echo, hallow pointed drum shots and, finally, Shannon Oksanen's paint-pealing vocals; that is gnarled, high-pitched and bursting with energy. By the time the chorus comes around and songwriter Jade Blade adds a second layer of vocals, you're hooked. And then it's over. In under three minutes, they punch you in the face, kick you while you were down, then jet before the cops could come.

As Gaga for Gigi progresses, Shannon's vocals evolve. "Solo" proves that she could hang with any current guitar toting pop singer. Meanwhile, she teaches dual lessons of "Fronting Punk 101" and "Goddesses With Microphones 256" in the bi-polar "Why Not Today?"

The rest of Volumizer is nothing to scoff at, either. Rodney Graham's guitar is right on on every song, Bill Napier-Hemy has a knack for bringing his bass to the forefront of a number of songs and John Cody's drums gives them a clean palate to perform on.

You might not hear them outside the land of hockey pucks and back bacon, but Volumizer gots what it takes to rock the mic right. If quality, poppy punk with a female twist is up your alley, check out for more information.

Issue 10, July 2002 | next article

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