Laginsky Reunion album causes mayhem

The album cover of Retrosexual, created by Emilie Deblois-McElrea, ArtSci ’06.
The album cover of Retrosexual, created by Emilie Deblois-McElrea, ArtSci ’06.
Credit: 
Photo courtesy of the Laginsky Reunion

Music Interview: The Laginsky Reunion, CD Release of Retrosexual

“I want to rock,” the great Dee Snider of Twisted Sister fame once proclaimed from on high. Queen’s own The Laginsky Reunion’s debut album, the cleverly titled Retrosexual, makes it clear they want to do the same.

But that’s not all they’re here for—they also want to make you groove, shake your ass and maybe, just maybe, open up your heart a little bit. The five-piece band, consisting of Josh Kohler on bass, Dashiani Retnasothie holding down keyboards and the guitar tandem of Mike McCreary and Alex Denike—all ArtSci ’06—have been diligently plying their craft on campus and in local Kingston watering holes since 2003. Denike doubles as the vocalist, and recently-added Dave Melvin, a resident of Belleville, rounds out the quintet on drums. Starting strictly as a cover band under the moniker of The Electric Mayhem, the band has gone through a number of line-up changes, a name change and many fine-tunings of its sound before arriving as full-fledged rock outfit. The band has its fingers in a number of genre-pies, including grunge, blues, prog-rock and metal.

Retrosexual represents the culmination of these influences, plus a manifestation of their exemplary work ethic and maturation as both people and a band. The tracks on Retrosexual are a varied assemblage of low-down rockers like “Watch Your Step,” groovy blues-tinged head-bobbers like “Leaving You” and emulations of good-time radio like the album’s closer, “Sometimes.” Every band member gives an impressive performance, highlighted by Denike’s vocals and Kohler’s strong bass work, and the result is a slickly produced and accessible rock album. The cover art, an original painting by Emilie Deblois-McElrea, ArtSci ’06, depicts a sunglasses-sporting McCreary smoking a cigarette. Finally releasing an album after so many years of hard work, the band is obviously excited.

“This album represents everything for us,” Denike said in a recent interview with the Journal. “A lot of people in bands are just content with playing shows and that’s cool for them, but when you really, really want to play music and you do it all yourself—when we started we had to truck our amps to shows in a shopping cart, to finally have something like this finished, something we said we would do and got it done, it’s very inspiring and very cool.” Raising the capital to fund the album was another hurdle the band had to overcome. “We funded this by doing a lot of hard work, playing a lot of gigs, like Sci Formal,” McCreary said. “It was a ton of work, but it’s nice to see it work out for us.”

So what’s in store for these earnest rockers?

“The album’s out and we’re just gonna do like we always do: play shows,” McCreary said.

“We’ll be selling the album at shows for $10, so come out and dance a little,” Denike added.

As for the future beyond Queen’s, Denike and McCreary have got it all mapped out.

“We’re gonna move somewhere, likely in the GTA, find a spot for us to live altogether and start playing shows ’til someone notices us,” Denike said.

McCreary echoed Denike’s sentiments. “It’s what we’ve always done.”

With talent and a proven willingness to work, here’s hoping The Laginsky Reunion will keep on rocking Kingston—at least until their June graduation. Catch them in action on Mar. 30 at Clark Hall Pub with fellow Queen’s band Whiskey Steve and The Steves.

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