There is a relatively new band on the rock/funk/jazz scene that you should be aware of: The Remedies. This seven-person band hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba. On their Facebook page, they describe themselves as “party funk”, which is a good description of their sound. In short, the band takes some pointers from rock ‘n’ roll and splices in some brilliant jazz/horn action. The band’s debut album is hip-hop, blended with the delightful mix of rock and jazz. In addition to this, the album even has rapped vocals, which hoists it over the top.
With all of this in mind, I want to move on to their new EP: Not Today. This two track EP has been pitched in the spirit of an old school double-sided 45. This adds to the overall character of the EP right off the bat. The band has a theatrical side that flairs up from time to time.
When I talked to singer Matthew Hodgins about Not Today, he told me it has a “throwback rock/pop sound”. I agree, only I would add “big band” to the description. Both tracks are poppy insofar as they are decorated with upbeat rhythms and bright tones. The band uses brass instruments to accomplish this, which is something more bands should implement.
“She Swings” is very jazzy. But don’t turn away if jazz isn’t your genre of choice. This is smooth dance jazz, which is very palatable. Through out most of the song, Matthew’s voice often floats over trumpet riffs. At one point, a saxophone breaks in and trades off with a trumpet and trombone in a short solo.
“Not Today”, the title track feels more like a bright rock song. There is a bass guitar thumping along, beneath Matthew’s voice. There are guitar riffs and some very snazzy drumming. The chorus is loud and chaotic, partly because of a thick drum fill and the horn section lets lose.
…And To Conclude
Not Today is absolutely worth checking out. The Remedies have figured out a great blend of rock, pop and jazz. If you enjoy a band with a good brass section, you need to add The Remedies to your Spotify library. In addition to the instruments being solid, Matthew Hodgins is a good vocalist. He can sing different styles well (seriously, look up the band’s debut album. He raps).