The Corks - 'Tour Dogs'

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In recent years, garage rock bands have seen a modest revival in the independent scene. Typically, though, the genre is met with a rather low-fi, nuts and bolts production. One of the newer entries into the soundscape of indie garage rock is The Corks, a band hailing from Montreal. Their new EP, ‘Tour Dogs,’ is a dynamic, well produced romp through garage musings and tinges of classic influence.


When the band introduces themselves on the album with ‘Strayed,’ they exhibit a few sonic intricacies that immediately separate them from their genre counterparts. For starters, they don’t embrace the intensely low-fi production style of garage rock. ‘Strayed’ is a superbly executed effort, and I love the attention to detail in the mix. The track is mastered particularly well, really pulling every piece of the instrumentation out of the composition and accentuating it nicely. ‘Strayed’ has hints of classic rock influence, perhaps akin to Cream or the like.

‘Letting Go’ exhibits a different side of The Corks, one with a bit more of a rocking spirit. This fuzzy, infectiously catchy effort is a fantastic segue into ‘Meryl Streep,’ the strongest endeavor of the collection. That track exudes personality, fleshing the outfit out as a bluesy, even soulful band. ‘Meryl Streep’ excels particularly in the banter between the electric lead and the vocalist. The chemistry is organic and well-suited to the piece, really creating an exciting atmosphere chock-full of potential.

‘Tour Dogs,’ the titular finale of the EP, rounds out its sonic landscape well, especially in regard to its composition. At times, however, it does sound a bit like previous efforts on the record, like ‘Letting Go,’ for example. As the band expands outside of the realm of a short-run EP, I’d love to see them explore some deeper territory that varies the instrumentation a bit more.

The Corks have produced an incredibly personable effort. It’s enjoyable and a fine exhibition of modern indie garage rock at its finest. There is plenty of room to grow, but that’s why a band like this drops an EP first. The album, I imagine, will be an effort of equal note. There are endless directions The Corks could go with this kind of raw talent.