Solids are solid guys

Montreal punk duo Blame Confusion on debut LP

The music world’s equivalent to the old adage “nice guys finish last” is that they often don’t make the best music. “Good guys shitty band” was once a common saying in certain circles often referring to those acts who booked shows and sold CDs based on the quality of their social charms rather than their musical abilities.

Shattering that idiom are endlessly agreeable Montreal duo Solids. On the phone Xavier Germain-Poitras is giggly and amiable but the songs he writes with drummer Louis Guillemette are far from goofy good-guy music. In fact the duo’s recently reissued Blame Confusion LP is one of the finest Canadian college punk records to arrive in the last year.

The album a collection of life-affirming blown-out fuzz-rock jams covering similar sonic territory as Dinosaur Jr. Superchunk and contemporaries like No Age was originally self-released in a limited run last year. “We did that first pressing of the LP about 500 and we got some CDs too” Germain-Poitras recalls.

Content with selling the album on their small Canadian tours the duo put little effort into reaching out to record labels. But the labels found them — soon after its release the band caught the attention of Mississippi imprint Fat Possum which opted to give the record a proper American release. That was followed by a deal struck with Canadian label Dine Alone. The two labels co-released the album on February 18.

“We still have some of those first pressings” Germain-Poitras says with a laugh. “At first it was weird to take the album off the net and unrelease it. Right now it’s fine because it’s finally out. It’s weird for us to say it’s only been out since Tuesday. I mean it’s finally done. I guess we can enjoy the ride.”

The ride started when Germain-Poitras was working on material for his former band Montreal’s technical post-hardcore powerhouse Expectorated Sequence. “At some point I had riffs that couldn’t fit into that band” he recalls. At that point he reached out to Guillemette to test the new material. “At first we wanted to get more people involved but we thought that we could just write a few songs the two of us. Louis had that pedal that splits between a bass and a guitar amp. We used that and I guess we just ended up sticking with it.”

The next big move for Solids is their longest tour yet an enormous trek that includes stops all over Canada and the United States — including The Palomino on March 1. Though they haven’t left yet Germain-Poitras says he hasn’t grown tired of Blame Confusion ’s 10 songs which were recorded a long time ago. “I’m pretty happy with the result we got” he says of the record. “At least that’s what we think right now. Maybe in a few weeks we’ll get sick of them.”

Even if they do grow tired of their set list the duo have already started dreaming up plans for a proper followup. “So far we have a few structures of songs” Germain-Poitras says. “I guess it’s in the same vibe [as Blame Confusion ] but it’s maybe a little less strummy. We are just trying to enlarge the whole spectrum of the intensities we can get. So far it’s been always super loud and fast so we’re trying to get different vibes now.”

No matter what their future holds however Germain-Poitras says he’s already taken the project far beyond his wildest dreams. “I don’t really expect to live off of the band for years but I’m just going to try and enjoy it as much as I can and as long as I can” he says. “We just quit our jobs so that’s already a huge check on our bucket list. If we can just go without another day job this summer I’ll be happy. If I can just live off music for a couple months I’ll be the happiest man in the world.”

What a nice guy.