Toronto Blessings – Asleep (2019)

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Who exactly are Toronto Blessings, you might ask.  The answer is quite simple – they are a three piece rock band from Barnsley, South York’s.  Their new EP, Asleep, will tell you all you need to know, in one 22 minute listening session.

Of course, 22 minutes may not be enough, so you can always go back and listen again when it’s over.  I did, four times.

Hopes/Dreams opens proceedings, and it’s a fast paced, catchy track driven by hooks and slick guitar work.  The vocals are very punk rock styled in their delivery, and the whole things comes together exceptionally well.  When the track evens out and settles into its groove, it’s perfect.

Uvu is infectious and cool.  The drumming compliments the track very well, and the guitars add accents and flourished that work in unison with the vocals.  The vocals actually put me in mind of Robert Smith from the cure at times, if Smith put a bit more of a hardcore style cadence to his delivery.

Short and punchy songs that don’t overstay their welcome, but succinctly get their point across are the key to this EP.  Good News Everybody is the perfect example of this.  Clocking in at a touch under three minutes, it charges forth, says what it wants to say, and fades into the next track.

Survival Techniques and Invasions both offer up similarly short and  punchy numbers, with the later leaning further into pop rock territory.  That Robert Smith influence is felt here more than ever, and it’s kind of great.

No Falling is an echoey, electronic interlude – the only track that seems a little out of place here, but when it runs into the explosive opening of the title track, it does end up working in context.  Asleep is the highlight of the EP.  At nearly six minutes, it’s Toronto Blessings epic, and makes use of some great airy atmospherics, that go hand in hand with slightly unhinged punk rock attitudes elsewhere in the track.

This is great stuff, and the relatively short run time makes it a super easy listen.  Check it out, and turn it up.

7/10

Shayne McGowan.

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