It's odd to see a record release show also promoted as a band's last gig before "a pretty indefinite hiatus." But for Halifax's Gamma Gamma Rays, the mixed messages aren't just a marketing ploy. Friday's wet/dry show at the Bus Stop Theatre not only celebrates the completion of their first LP, Beeps, but will likely be the last hurrah for the band before it goes its separate ways.
Crissi Cochrane, who sings and plays mandolin and flute, is moving to Ontario. "This band has been around for a long time with different members, but it's time to move on," says Mark Grundy, the band's other vocalist and bassist.
"One major lineup change is enough, really," adds keyboardist Magen Hudak, eluding to the current lineup's genesis after she and Grundy met at King's College. "You don't really want to go by the same name after that. Time to change it up."
If this is the end of Gamma Gamma Rays, Beeps is an impressive farewell note. Not unlike like its arts and crafts album art---designed by Grundy---the record is colourful, messy and playful. It sounds like the missing evolutionary link between the rawness of 1990s indie rock and the genre's present-day sonic ambition.
"We played everything live, and then just did overdubs," says Grundy of the record's natural feel. "Though we did work on the songs a lot, we really tried to capture what our performances sound like, to the best of our ability."
As for the future, Grundy and his brother Scott---Gamma Gamma Rays' guitarist---are focusing on their new band, Quaker Parents; Hudak plans to keep playing piano though doubts she'll join another band any time soon, and drummer Jorin Caldwell can be found playing with Tupper Ware Remix Party. But they're all pumped to give Gamma Gamma Rays the fond farewell it deserves.
"We're pretty excited about the show," says Scott. "And I'm glad to have a record under our belt."
"For me, this experience has really been about getting to play with great people," adds Mark. "It's been such a great, collaborative experience working with this band." —Ryan McNutt