Barrasso to bring pace & energy to the Kingston scene

The punk rock band will perform at The Mansion on Sunday

Barrasso will play at The Mansion on Jan. 12.
Credit: 
Photo by Jimmi Francoeur

Montreal-based punk rock band Barrasso will stop into Kingston this weekend as part of their Ontario tour.

On Sunday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m., Barrasso will play The Mansion alongside other musical acts Pacific Estate and Pkew Pkew Pkew.

Barrasso was formed in 2011 by drummer Francis Paquette and guitarists Étienne Beaupré and Thierry Bourgault D’Amico as a garage band. Soon, they found singer Jonathan Beauregard and bassist Louis-Simon Bastien to complete the group. At the time, Paquette, Beaupré and D’Amico played in a recreational hockey league, where they found a mutual appreciation for the American post-hardcore rock group Hot Snakes. They wanted to pay homage to them—but in French.

“We liked the pace of their songs, and we liked their use of [guitar] downstrokes to shape our sound,” Paquette said. The band’s heavy use of downstrokes creates a harsh, driving sound reminiscent of The Ramones and other trailblazing rock groups.

The musicians use three electric guitars to create a harder, fast-paced sound while maintaining a high energy level throughout their shows. Paquette said, laughing, that cardio workouts help them maintain that energy on stage.

This tour follows the release of their latest album, Colada, in 2018, three years after their debut album Des X, des croix, des pointillés. Their sound evolved drastically between the two records, after Barrasso signed with the label Music Mansion Records and received substantial funding and ample time at a recording studio to produce these new tracks.

Their first self-recorded album was produced as a rush release—meaning the project was recorded and produced in just three days. Though this is an exceptionally short time to complete a 10-track album, it still found acclaim among the band’s dedicated fans.

“It sounded pretty rough, but many people loved it […] On this album, we were given more time, and were able to add keyboards and back vocals. Our first album was too harsh for radio play, but the Colada songs are always playing on the radio,” Paquette said.  

The result is a rich, complex, and layered series of tracks, which introduce interesting variation to their sound. Having more time to produce this album gave the group some room to experiment, and it paid off. Hardcore fans expressed concern about their new music sounding “too soft,” but they had no reason to worry. The band maintained the same raw grit in Colada that defined their first release.

Now, Barrasso has their sights set on playing venues across Canada, and are touring alongside Ontario-based punk group Pkew Pkew Pkew, who are also playing The Mansion on Jan. 12.

“They gave us a call, asking us to join them to play and we were like, ‘Oh my god,’ because a few of us had their first album on our iPods years ago, and we know these guys well,” Paquette said.

Always striving to evolve their sound, Barrasso introduces a fresh and energetic take on punk rock. Audiences can see—and hear—this for themselves at The Mansion this weekend.

 

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