Loi Do fits nicely into Toronto's long tradition of noisy two-person rock acts.
Sure, this country is well known for pumping out lumber, dirty oil, maple syrup, and hockey players, but very few people acknowledge that Canada is also really good at exporting surprisingly loud two-person bands. We’ve produced plenty of them, notable examples being Death from Above 1979, Lullabye Arkestra, and Catl. While every country has at least one super-noisy duo, it sometimes feels like Canada has a factory that produces them.
Loi Do is part of that proud tradition. Its guitar-and-drum music is equal parts surf rock, psych pop, and proto punk. The pair more than manages to make up for its lack of technical mastery with its raw enthusiasm.
“Samsonite” is a brilliant piece of stomping, sneering aggression. The drums are a violent pounding, with guitars crashing around them. Vocals are delivered with an appropriate degree of malice. “Well-Said Nonsense” is a lo-fi aggro-blues assault of the sort The Black Keys used to make before they got soft. “Around the Block” starts at an oddly rockabilly-like gallop before getting into a heavy, sludgy breakdown.
The absolute highlight of the album, though, is “So Very Long.” It is high-energy pop punk in the tradition of The Ramones and The Buzzcocks—adorable bubble-gum music with the volume turned up to 10 and the knob ripped off. (You can listen to “So Very Long” by clicking on the sample above.)
The downside of Canada—and more specifically, Toronto—establishing itself as the two-person-band capital of the world is that the standards are now pretty high. If you’re a guitarist and you want to make a record that’s just you and your drummer buddy, you need to understand that you have some pretty big shoes to fill. Thankfully, Loi Do manages to rise to the challenge.