Concert Review: Shout Out Louds, November 6,Mod Club

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One of the more well known lines of lyrics from the Shout Out Louds comes from one of their most famous singles:

“Let’s call this a come back!”

As I stood there, revisiting a band I’ve seen three previous times, I was wondering … is this a comeback?

The Swedish pop band recently released their fifth record Ease My Mind, their first in four years. In indie-music timeline that’s like 12 years. The buzz hasn’t been large even though the album is solid. This was reflected Monday night as a half packed Mod Club greeted the band. Comparing it to their last show, which was a rather packed Opera House, you had to be just slightly disappointed at the turnout. Time, however, is unforgiving.

Despite what I assumed was a disappointing crowd, the group took the stage and enthusiastically introduced the group to their new stuff with the track “Paola”. For the uninformed, this was like meeting an old friend. Warm tones, pleasant arrangements and also a dash of that undeniable Swedish pop touch. The new stuff, just like the old, is full of hooks that make you go hmm, this is good.

Obviously the older tracks were the ones that got the crowd going, with the undeniable beeps and boops of “The Comeback” signalling the start of the “hits” phase of the show. Man, that track is fucking good. “Tonight I Have to Leave it” was the epic point of the night, with lead singer Adam Olenius venturing into the crowd, urging people to “give love”. It might seem a bit pre-meditated (he did the same thing at the Opera House show) but in times like these, a positive message is always appreciated. I was particularly pleased that they played (closed) with the track “Impossible,” which has got to be one of my favorite tracks of the ’00s. Say what you want, ending the show with your best song is NEVER a bad idea.

For better or worse, Shout Out Louds have never really left the warm space they have created since 2007’s amazing record Our Ill Wills. While some can see it as a self imposed limitation, I think their music fills a particularly nice indie-pop niche. There’s always a space for nicely arranged hook filled pop music and on Monday night, the Shout Out Louds was a great example of that.

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Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.