Sports – Drumheller

Triple Crown Audio

With its debut album Drumheller Vancouver’s Sports offers a strong addition to the Canadian canon of psychedelic hard rock. Amongst its ranks as a sticker on the CD’s cover proudly boasts are two members of Ladyhawk Ryan Peters and Darcy Hancock whose contributions will be immediately obvious to any fan of that band. While Drumheller certainly cribs some of its big brother band’s best moves — addictive riff after addictive riff seldom coming up for air gruff and dissonant but never unbearably so — the absence of Duffy Driediger’s booze-soaked swagger lets an even grittier flavour of rock ’n’ roll shine through.

While the eight-track album does clock in on the short side of 40 minutes it manages to assemble an extremely satisfying collection of songs. From unrelenting scorchers like “Can’t Hear Anymore” or “Out of Bounds” to drawn-out epics like “Van Pire Blues” or “Back in the Summer” a sludgy dirge that builds patiently towards a payoff of unabashed guitar porno this record delivers melodies that will echo in your ear-holes for weeks. At face value the lyrics may seem blasé — Peters’s bike ownership situation the cost of pizza and so on — but they flirt with the sort of autobiographical sincerity that often emerges when a career drummer gets out from behind the kit and pens his own songs.