By Anita Stewart, Managing Editor
Recording: “Now or Nowhere” by Spectra Musique/Sony
Release Date: May 7, 2021
This is the third album from this French Canadian band based out of Montreal. The Damn Truth is a rock and roll lover’s dream! The 60’s and 70’s rock music we wish we could hear on every album that convinces listeners that rock is far from dead. That we don’t have to pull out our old album collections to get a rock and roll fix–we can indeed, get that fix while we are listening to something brand new! They are so bad ass, they have even toured with ZZTop.
In the beginning, this band was almost all DIY. “We are fortunate enough to live in a time where knowledge is free, and you can basically learn how to do everything yourself,” says guitarist Tom Shemer. “It was instrumental for us as a young band with no budget. We had to make and shoot our own videos, produce, and record our own releases and do all the promo ourselves. The by-product of this was that, in a sense, we were the artist, record label and distributor of our art, which allowed us to have insight into what it means, what to expect from a record label, filmmakers, etc.” This new album was produced by both Bob Rock and Jean Massicotte and other Grammy award winning sound engineers.
The songwriting is spellbinding on this album and the whole band participates in crafting the songs. The album was not finished before the lock-downs began last year, so there was some maneuvering to get it completed in it’s entirety (with the 9 songs total) and released. The band is fronted by Lee-La Baum and she has the gutsiest and most gravelly, smoky voice this side of Janis Joplin! The rest of the band is PY Letellier, on vocals and bass, Tom Shemer, vocals, guitars, mandolin, keys and Dave Traina, vocals and drums.
The single “This is Who We Are Now” was the first release from the album and getting huge acclaim and airplay everywhere, definitely the most commercial sounding cut. Read Rock at Night’s previous article about this release HERE. The blues-tinged “Lonely” shows off the musicianship of the band. “Everything Fades” has some beautiful acoustic guitar sounds and is more of a rock ballad. “Full On You” has that riffy guitar hook that grabs, very retro sounds of the late 60’s, early 70’s. In some of these songs Lee-La sounds like a combo of Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship) and Ann Wilson (Heart), especially on the last song, “Shot ‘Em.” Her vocals are beyond powerful. This band serves up some incredible rock and roll and are definitely on my list to see live. The band’s future plans include touring with the band King King in 2022. You can pre-order “Now or Nowhere” HERE.
1. THIS IS WHO WE ARE NOW (4:06)
2. TOMORROW (4:27)
3. ONLY LOVE (2:46
4. LONELY (4:43)
5. EVERYTHING FADES (4:31)
6. THE FIRE (4:28)
7. LOOK INNOCENT (4:14)
8. FULL ON YOU (3:44)
9. SHOT ‘EM (4:37)