The rock 'n' roll purist tramps that make up Halifax's Gloryhound have their paws full this week. A summer's hard work sweating it out in Toronto's Chemical Sound Studio lead to the creation of the band's sophomore EP, Electric Dusk, officially releasing on December 10 at The Seahorse Tavern.
Forming in their teens while living in the Halifax suburb of Fall River, Gloryhound got an unusual start for a band who would later make its mark as the east coast's answer to The Ramones.
"We had been playing together for a bit and our first real gig was at a high school variety show," says Evan Meisner, Gloryhound's lead singer and rhythm guitarist. Along with David Casey on lead guitar, Shaun Hanlon on drums and Jeremy Macpherson on bass, the quartet started slowly by playing a limited number of gigs around HRM.
"It was really hard to get shows when we were younger," says Meisner. The band began performing at venues that would allow the young rock fans to hone their craft, regularly playing at restaurant/concert hall Ship Victory in Dartmouth and other all-ages clubs.
"Once we became legal age and moved to town though," says Meisner, "we started to get gigs at Tribeca, which led to other gigs in Halifax."
But for being young in age and new to the Halifax music scene, the quartet drew many of its influences not from local acts, but from bands that hit their peaks in the 1970s.
"There is definitely a big influence from bands like The Ramones and Iggy Pop and the Stooges," says Meisner. "A lot of really barebones punk rock stuff."
Although they're in their early 20s, the band continues to draw its influence from those classic New York and Detroit punk records, turning a blind eye to the current music passing itself off as rock.
"Today's modern music doesn't really have that raw feeling to it. You know, that 'Raw Power!'" Meisner laughs, quoting the Iggy Pop classic. "The older stuff is just more stripped down and has a lot more swagger than music out there today."
Meisner is likely not referring to "swagger" in its modern usage employed by hip-hop artists like Jay-Z, who promotes the balla lifestyle, or summer tourmates Down with Webster. Instead, he is likely referring to rock gods like Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger, who gave off a potently dangerous lifestyle, or at least seemed to.
The cover of Electric Dusk has the band classic-rock posturing, with leather jackets on all four members. Besides The Ramones-like image, the exterior has a faux vinyl-record ring that gives off the image of an old seven-inch single.
With these influences in tow, the band went into the recording studio in early July to lay down the seven tracks that would make up the EP. Recorded in just two days, Electric Dusk has the driving power of The Ramones' constant tom-tom drum action and blistering power chords. Some could relate the guitar tones to modern rock bands like The Darkness or Jet, but unlike those has-beens, Gloryhound decided to record the album live off the floor, instead of track by track, to create a more immediate sonic attack.
"It's a very simple idea," says Meisner of the album and the band's premise, "but we just wanted to capture the energy of us live."