It’s been almost a year since grunge-pop trio Kestrels (Paul Brown, Chad Peck, Devin Peck) have played in Halifax. Now on summer tour, the heavens have aligned for the band's local return. Octopi Entertainment presents Kestrels with Designosaur, beauts and Teleri tonight at Menz Bar ($8, 10pm): a milky way of sparkly tones.
As the stars of Noyes Records, Chad Peck’s Truro-based imprint, Kestrels will throwback to their last release, 2014's The Moon is Shining Our Way EP, while they also anticipate a new full-length next year. So be prepared for new jams: Kestrels has refined their classic garage-rock sounds.
“Smeared-era Sloan is the closest to what we do.To take pop songs and play them heavily and dreamily," describes Peck. "But our sound has shifted a bit in the past seven years, so the new record is trying to say more with fewer words. It’s really drum heavy and super-sonic sounding. There’s a lot of beauty in the layering. We’re really excited about it.”
As the head of Noyes Records, Peck is constantly exposed to new sounds in contemporary rock and shoegaze, which has always informed Kestrels. But he’s also a big pop fan. The Beach Boys and Taylor Swift get as much play on Peck’s turntable as the label's artists, like Austin’s noise-trio Ringo Deathstarr or Halifax’s Cousins. As a result, Kestrels occupies the same scrappy galaxy as Noyes' growing and impressive roster of artists.
All these influences add up to the overall vibe of the new album. Peck says the recording experience was frantic at times, between “recording and scrapping and re-recording, devising new guitar tunings and endlessly trying new guitar pedals and amp combinations in search of the sound I wanted. But it worked.” The album was mixed by Brad Wood, whose credits include work on records for The Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair and Veruca Salt.
“There are a bunch of songs on the record that we’ve never played live,” says Peck, “We wanted to give them a road test before the record is released.” Tonight’s the night: everything’s coming up Kestrels. You can even grab the new band shirt.