Dangerband is Dead. Little Junior Debuts at Smiling Buddha.

Date of show: August 30, 2014
Written by: Chiara DiAngelo


Toronto’s Dangerband has been pretty quiet this year. That’s because the band no longer exists. The five-piece featuring Rane Elliott-Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Lucas Meilach-Boston (vocals, guitar), Jackson Beyer (vocals, bass), Jacob Stanescu (keyboard, synthesizer), and Chai Elliott-Armstrong (drums) emerged from semi-hiatus on the last long weekend of the summer with a new name – Little Junior – and two slick new songs.

The Smiling Buddha was overflowing with the band’s friends returning to the city from summer vacation, ready for one last sweaty hurrah before heading back to the grind of reality brought on by September and school. Little Junior was happy to provide the soundtrack to the party. They got started with the first of their new songs, “Buzz Off.” With the exuberant pop-punk catchiness Dangerband was often known for taking a backseat, their lazy, slacker Weezer-esque 90’s throwback vibe was out in full force. And damn, it sounded good. Released only two days earlier, the crowd already knew the words, singing along that they too were “totally over it.”

The boys of Little Junior are a little bit older now, and the tunes a little bit more mature, but the essentials remain unchanged: Little Junior is still just as fun to watch, bassist Beyer still doesn’t wear shoes on stage, and the charge is still led by three-part yells from the frontline of Elliott-Armstrong, Meilach-Boston, and Beyer; heck they probably even still hate your stupid boyfriend (but just might be less likely to write a song about it now, or at the very least, won’t call him stupid).

They unleashed their aggression on stage with a cover of The Offspring’s “Self Esteem” and in response, the band’s new name was officially christened with sprays of beer showering down from the front row. Their set also included second new track “Yeah Oh Yeah” before closing with “Brainwashed.” Despite the crowd’s insistent cheers for one more song, the band had to turn down the request as they were quite literally out of songs that they remembered how to play – “seriously guys, we’re not being cute, we don’t have anything else.”

If you want to be a part of the Little Junior party, it’s easy – all you need to do is show up to their next show. Additional Toronto shows are in the works, so be sure to stay tuned to their Facebook for further details!


MAD ONES

I got to the Smiling Buddha in time to see Toronto duo MAD ONES warm the stage for the headliner. I’m a pretty big fan of two-pieces that manage to be larger than life, and that includes Andrew DeVillers (vocals, guitar) and Phil Wilson (drums). Their non-stop shredding and sleazed up 90’s grunge-rock was dialled up to the nth degree and punch-you-in-the-face loud, attracting more than a few headbangers to the front as the venue began to slowly fill in. Their set featured a bunch of new songs that are starting to feel familiar (the kind of familiar comfort that still jolts your senses and leaves your nerves buzzing every time) now having seen them live a few times, including at their NxNE set at The Silver Dollar.

MAD ONES’ second album Sanciety is currently in the works, but until then, you can wet your appetite with new track “Leather Rug” up for free download over on their Bandcamp. Better yet, watch the video for it. There’s an adorable puppy gone wild.

Categories: Live Music

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