By: Gemma Mastroianni
Cigar Club is a Newmarket-based alternative rock band that has been shaking up the scene over the past couple of years with their high-end production and apocalyptic twist to their sound. Today, the band debuted their highly anticipated debut LP, ‘Day Now.’
The album opens up with ‘.VESSEL.’’ with ambient sounds and a distorted mystery voice, sounding quite similar to TOOL. Things speed up instantly following into “Aliens.” The psychedelic intro and hard-hitting upbeat second track set the tone of how diverse and alluring the album is.
“Aliens” features precise and upbeat percussion, dirty guitars with a ton of impressive licks, and a build-up to the chorus with a big sound. Soundwise, this track is relatable to Alexisonfire in terms of progression, structure (backup vocals, solos), and heaviness.
Things move on smoother as ever to the even heavier track, “Swimmin' in Gold” which almost sounds like a continuation of ”Aliens.” The song starts heavy and maintains this throughout, and ties in the listener with Zeppelin-like guitars, smooth vocals, and spot-on drums. Thematically it represents how we as humans are tied to money, and I think the intensiveness of the vocals and instrumentals highly represent this. The band and producers made a large effort to make this album sound whole. Each song blends into one another perfectly and is strategically organized to sound cohesive and take you on a rock and roll-psychedelic trip.
The next track “Like White Flats in Winter” starts to slow things down a little bit for a dark-alternative anthem. It gives listeners a chance to listen closely to the beauty of Trevor Coughlin's vocal delivery and once again, very dynamic instrumentation. See our full thoughts on the track here.
“COLD” has a similar vibe to the previous track with an angsty feel with an impressive phased-out ending before leading into “Conversation” which serves as an ambiance build up into the passionate track, “From a South East Asian Two Bedroom Condo.”
This single released in April has to be one of my favourite singles released this year by far. It’s incredibly catchy, emotional, with glimmering guitars and a spacey sound. The vocals remind me of a City and Colour song but with more of an alternative edge. You can read my in-depth thoughts on this stunning track here.
We get some final tastes of their harder rock sound in “Parable of the Sea Dogs” which is essentially the band's take on the classic sea shanty. The song progresses at a medium pace but ends unexpectedly upbeat and intense with what sounds like a Tom Morello-inspired guitar lick and strong drums.
The album has an epic ending with the eleven-minute blues-inspired track, “Turned Black//A-loan.” It’s always so fascinating and impressive to see bands tackle long-form tracks and see how they can make it work, and Cigar Club certainly did that by making an effort to showcase all of their talents. Halfway through the track, we see the album come full circle as they bring back sound from the introduction track “.VESSEL.” in which things get a more simplistic and intimate vibe with slow strumming guitar and vocals.
Overall, I’m incredibly impressed with this project from Cigar Club. For a debut LP, it’s incredible and makes me excited to hear how much better it could get as they continue to craft more albums. The instrumentation is dynamic and heard crisp through the excellent production. This album is such an excellent example of showing the importance of flawless production. The band have so much to showcase and because of the production, everything came through strongly. I was able to appreciate each player for what they could offer and very much admired the detail and craft that went into this project. I recommend listening through multiple times and focusing on the elements of each instrument, and the sound each track has to offer.
The attention to detail and beauty of this album is something all should appreciate, and local bands should certainly take inspiration. Listen below:
All songs written by: Cigar Club (Daniel Amato-Gauci, Tyler Booth, Trevor Coughlin, Jeff LeFort)
Produced by: Cigar Club and Matthew John
Mixed by: Matthew John (all tracks except COLD – Anton Delost, and Turned Black// A-loan – Tristan Plumb + Matthew John)
Mastered by: Noah Mintz
Performed by: Cigar Club
Featuring: Liam Slingerland – Organ (Turned Black// A-loan)
Mateen Mehri – Conga, Claves, Bongo (Like White Flats In Winer)
Recorded by: Darren McGill + Matthew John