Backseat Dragon has a love/hate relationship with the capital city on their rambunctious EP, kick rocks.
From the first energetic guitar chord of kick rocks to its final laughter-filled moments, you feel like part of Backseat Dragon’s friend group. This embrace is a bit unexpected given the old-timey burn referenced in the title of the Ottawa trio’s EP, but these pop-punkish indie-rock tracks are crafted with so many honest details that a bond forms immediately.
In EP opener “sudoku,” you are plopped in the backseat of a van while Backseat Dragon lead singer Carrie Blair has their feet up on the dashboard and the driver smokes a cigarette. From there, memories flicker like a spinning carousel slide projector: somebody cartwheels by, Flynn watches the Leafs game, Brad sleeps on the couch, and friends hang out on porches and in parks and on tiled floors.
The most significant relationship in kick rocks, though, is between the band and Ottawa. Like John K. Samson’s ode to Winnipeg in “One Great City!,” Backseat Dragon has a love/hate relationship with the capital city. The streets are overrun with bad memories, the Byward Market sucks, and Blair dreams of moving away. And yet, it’s home.
After six comparatively rocky and rambunctious tracks, Backseat Dragon ends kick rocks with an acoustic song called “170 pretoria ave.” You get the feeling that 170 Pretoria Ave, the house pictured on the EP’s cover, is the place where everybody always ends up. “170 pretoria ave” sounds like it was recorded at a house show and matches the spirit of the house itself: slightly chaotic and filled with laughter. These are the people that make living in whatever city or town you live in worth it.
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