by Jim Di Gioia

March 5, 2018

Vancouver trio DEALS exude an effortless cool that never breaks a sweat.


I keep forgetting to buy deodorant. Now, before you start giving me side-eye, let me explain: I’m not out of deodorant yet, but it’s getting close. I set a reminder on my phone, but it always alerts me at the most inopportune time. Like right now, while I’m listening to Vancouver trio DEALS and their EP, Johnny. The Georgia Straight nailed it when they called DEAL’s sound “surf-and-turf twang”. Brent Glasgow-Brown (drums, vocals), Dave Warne (guitar, vocals), and Jaroslav Welz (bass, vocals) exude an effortless cool, the kind that never breaks a sweat.

There’s a strong gust of melody blowing through stomper “Bathrobe”, “Ravens”, and the opening title track, but DEALS stay firmly planted in the rhythm. Stalwart garage rock is the pillar of DEALS’s sound, but they do wear their love of sun-kissed harmonies on their flanneled sleeves. The product sounds simple, but there’s real craft in the execution. Welz’s bass bounces at odd angles but always stays in its lane; Warne’s guitar work is prominent without being pompous; the band’s seamless three-part harmonies float through the EP’s twenty minutes and ties it all together with a sweet-sounding bow.

Forget your troubles, forget your cares, forget to buy toiletries: just don’t forget to give DEALS’s Johnny its due.

Jim Di Gioia

Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.
Jim Di Gioia