Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.
Following the statement that was their 2009 full-length debut, Harsh Words, Toronto duo Little Foot Long Foot toured like crazy, absorbed a third member (Caitlin Dacey on organ and vocals), and returned to the studio with the king of Canrock riffage himself, Sir Ian Blurton. The combination of it all has resulted in a stellar sophomore release, Oh, Hell (out now digitally and physically next week), which keeps any trace of kitsch firmly in check to deliver a set of heavy, catchy, countrified blues rock that keeps them on the upward trajectory they’ve been cruising for some time.
Vocalist/guitarist Joan Smith is the standout here; it takes a hell of a wail to conquer the thick guitars and thundering percussion (courtesy of Isaac Klein), and she does it with ease. A strong sense of structure and a cheeky sense of humour (see: “Neko Case Hate Fucks Kurt Cobain”) make her quite the the southern swamp-rock songstress, able to command both the slow dirge of “Missing the Point” and the stomping, riff-heavy single, “Sell Out” (streaming above—check out the sick organ solo) with equal personality and impressive control.
An easy comparison for Little Foot Long Foot would be the signature alt-blues of everyone’s favourite defunct Detroit duo, the White Stripes (listen to the frantic “She Looks to You” and you’re bound to think of those old Stripes albums). They’ve definitely received that comparison before, but their expansion into a trio ends the numbers game and brings them closer to being something all their own. Blurton’s ear and understanding of the band may well have been the best thing to happen to them, and, by extension, Oh, Hell is the best thing we’ve heard from the band yet.