Slam Dunk the funk

A wild mix of BC fun, garage, love and propeller hats crashes the stage at Gus’ Pub on Wednesday for the Halifax Pop Explosion

With influences from everywhere, Slam Dunk challenges descriptors with upbeat in-between rock that makes them one of the coolest bands in Canada. From ska-punk to garage-punk to total love party to West Coast surf funneled through rusty cheese graters, it's all there and it's all not there, too. The Victoria, BC fun factory plays Gus' Pub on Wednesday with The Blind Shake, Ponctuation and Bloodhouse, after a free show at CKDU with Long Weekends.

On an eastern tour, Slam Dunk has been double-dribbling at festivals since the super-slamming LP The Shivers came out last June. Known for insane stage energy, sexy sax solos, and wild BC backyard shows, Slam Dunk releases Welcome to Miami on November 13. At the very least, we'll probably all agree that it's ballin'.

"Welcome to Miami is a lot denser and perfectly titled," says guitarist/vocalist Jordan Minkoff. Studio recording for the first time, Slam Dunk accumulated enough material for half the record, Minkoff says, "and then we made up the rest of the stuff on the spot. So there's some improvising and some last-minute ding-dongs but it ain't free-jazz. And not that many ding-dongs." This second record is simultaneously somehow sillier and yet much more serious.

"The Shivers was about having fun and living it up with only a couple of songs about dying. This one has a lot more songs about dying but we're having a way better time doing it!" he says, adding that the band writes about their shared experiences, "Like driving for hours, eating Davids (American Spitz) and there's even one song about riding a horse into space."

Tons of character is wrapped up in Slam Dunk, coming from years of friendship on and off the courts. "Luke, the drummer, and I used to play basketball but everyone kept telling me to stop goofing around, that I couldn't wear my propeller hat to games so I quit," Minkoff says. "But Luke also wore a propeller hat so we started our first band." Adria Young

Slam Dunk w/The Blind Shake, Ponctuation, Bloodhouse, Wednesday, October 17 at Gus‘ Pub, 2605 Agricola Street, 10pm, $10 | 5pm in the CKDU lobby w/Long Weekends, Free

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