Brass Westward Music Festival, Vancouver BC, September 15

Brass Westward Music Festival, Vancouver BC, September 15
Photo: Sharon Steele
"Fuckin' Brass!"
The thick crowd at Vancouver's Vogue Theatre welcomed hometown favourites Brass to the Westward Music Festival stage on Friday night with big cheers and raised beers. And for good reason — the punk band's zealous combination of manic energy, charisma and musical dexterity is always captivating and last night was no exception.
The scream of frontman Devon Motz was at once hostile and ear-pleasing, and, animated as he convulsed to the music, he howled so hard his eyes swelled; he later collapsed to the floor in fervour. Nimble, squealing riffs came courtesy of guitarist Tristan Milne, who played at reaching hands on songs like "Plane's That Never," from 2015's No Soap Radio. Drummer Rory Troughton peeled off his sweat-soaked shirt and pounded the skins standing up, while bassist Twitch kept cool and grounded, later playing at Milne at centre stage.
Sonically, the band were consistently great and dynamic: aggressively thrashy in moments, more melodic in others, sometimes combining both elements on cuts like "Monolithic." And, as a testament to their growth, they've slightly scrubbed up their act — not leaving the stage bloodied like they have at shows in previous years — while the no-fucks-given scrappiness that is their signature is still firmly intact.

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