Sick of bands that only sing about love and loss? What about bands that spend more time getting dressed than writing music? Then the self-described “nerdy neo-rock band from Ottawa, ON,” Double Experience says they’re the answer you’ve been waiting for, and I’m inclined to agree! Having put in quite a bit of work over the last few years to make themselves known, this Canadian crew toured throughout six countries, performed over 500 shows, and traveled over 100,000 miles in support of their full-length album 721835. Chocked full of hard-hitting rock songs with infectious melodies, chugging basslines, and addictively fun guitar riffs, these fellows have hit a musical sweet spot for me, and I think you’ll agree.
The music found within, originally released on five collectible trading cards before finding its way to a more traditional release, is far from what you’ll find in your local bargain bin. Double Experience totes in its list of influences behemoths such as Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Queen, and Led Zeppelin, and occasionally these become apparent, such as on “Wolf In The Ewe” whose opening guitar line sounds a lot like something we’d hear from QOTSA. Yet this foursome pulls out tunes that are very much their own creation. I’m almost certain that “Horror Beyond Imagination” is about Scooby Doo…
What I like most about the music is the sheer amount of enjoyment you can tell these guys had making it. Describing themselves, they list hobbies and loves such as Dungeons & Dragons and Star Trek, noting that these passions absolutely flow over into their songs. But even though I grew up as a fellow nerd, I don’t feel that the songs are overflowing with topics that I highly identify as nerdy. Diverse, yes, and without a doubt worthy of a dozen listens, but not dripping of references to D20 die and +10 to Archery (though they do mention the Prime Directive). Far from trying to discredit their neo-nerd basement cred, I’d just like people to realize how enjoyable this music is for everyone! And for those periods when you just need to get serious, Double Experience has you covered with the song “Here’s Y,” a passionate moment on the album that reflects on Generation Y and the band’s disappointment in those people who don’t appreciate the life they have.
If there is one thing that the album overflows with, it’s passion. Ian Nichols is a fabulous singer and really puts himself into each word he passes to the microphone. Guitarist Brock Tinsley not only brings a refreshing groove to the music, but whips out licks that keep the music bubbling with interest. Bassist Tim Kealey and drummer Kenny Saunders (now David Cartwright) hold the songs down, but fellows, I heard you get funky in the bridge for “Horror Beyond Imagination.” Bravo! Needless the say, the energy found on this album is over 9000.
Double Experience is the kind of band that releases music videos showcasing Super Mario Bros. speed runs and conducts contests where you can win new games, because that’s the kind of stuff that they love and want to share with others. They’re also a band that recently released a single entitled “Goddamn Mimetic Business” featuring Fred Mascherino of Taking Back Sunday and Terrible Things. But a little while ago they put out an album entitled 721835, full of hard rocking songs that make you want to do a combination of headbanging and solving strange mysteries with talking dogs. This is an album I wish I had learned of sooner so that I could have caught the band live in concert when they came through the United States. With any luck, I’ll be free next time. In the meantime, I recommend you give them a listen. Then we’ll both be saying, “Shut up and take my money.”
PS – You may be wondering what the album title means. I, myself, was scratching my head over this peculiar choice. Knowing that these are not your run of the mill musicians, I thought that perhaps it was a code of some kind. However, nothing I tried made since. Even more annoying was how other reviews and interviews noted the title, but never delved into its meaning, leaving me to despair further. Finally, one interview braved to ask the question, and the answer puts me to shame. In a gamer-type fashion, Double Experience has written their album title in 1337 (or l33t/leet, ala Elite) Speak. Thus, the true album title could in fact be Tribes. Perhaps, however, the appeal is greater with the air of mystery. Torment your friends with the unknown.