Bacchus is a classic no-frills rock and roll trio from Toronto, Canada with an original sound based on the up-in-your-grill energy of seeing a great band up close. The tracks on the group’s new EP Be the Change are writ large in broad, distorted strokes that pull listeners into the experience of the record. The sound is raw and real, the way rock music should be, built on muscular hooks and emotional lyrics that immediately connect. The band melds rock, blues, punk, folk, and disco influences into an aggressively compelling set of music capable of moving a crowd spiritually and physically.
The title track, “Be the Change,” is a prime example of what Bacchus does well. The rhythm section of drummer Keith Babcock and bassist/vocalist Tristan Campbell lays down a throbbing, funky pocket that instantly grabs your attention and gives guitarist/vocalist Rueben O’Dell-Barkow plenty of space to add to the groove, culminating in a memorable straight-up rock chorus.
Bacchus Shares Their Energy on “Be The Change”
The band plays together with the tension of a high-wire walker, grooving so hard you think they’ve got to crash but never do. That the group was able to capture this kind of onstage energy in a recording session is an accomplishment, in and of itself. “Promises” is confrontational and bitter and builds to another strong chorus filled with attitude. Be the Change only contains five songs and they all have that huge live feel that makes you want five more as soon as possible.
Bacchus is the genuine article, a music-making machine running on sex, drugs, rock and/or roll, and pizza. It’s obvious that these three are rock fans as well as musicians and that heart-on-the-sleeve authenticity is a big part of why this record works so well. Anyone who can’t stomach one more pre-groomed, fake-ass, and plastic modern performer will find Bacchus to be an effective antidote to that sort of ever-encroaching skullduggery. Be the Change is fine work by a band you should know.
-Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com