Imps: High powered and bizarre

Review by James Muretich

An imp is a child of the devil or, more commonly, a mischievous little kid. The lmps at the Beacon Motor Inn this week are neither.

Frank Soda, lead Imp, is more like a rock'n'roll version of Mock from Ork with his bizarre headgear, robot walks through the audience while playing lead guitar, and high energy.

Soda is major loon on stage, an uncontrollable manic rocker whose craziness knows no bounds. Off stage, he's an intelligent, analytical musician who disects his various gimmicks and lifestyle.

The Imps are a high-powered heavy-rock trio who embellish a thundering sound with visual gimmicks that border on, and cross over into, the bizarre. A Dawn Of The Dead doing Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix no less.

To illustrate the Headless Horseman, an original tune about people who fight causes without rhyme or reason, Soda gets into an axe wieldlng fight with his bass player and - you guessed it - loses his head. A comic shock to say the least.

On other occasions, the mad man from the northern regions of B.C. runs his guitar through with a sword while it spews blood, has a television set placed over his head and blows it up.

Soda is able to do all this through quick-change artistry offstage while his two very capable band members provide a heavy-bottom bass line which literally shook the tables at the Beacon Wednesday night.

Aside from the show, The Imps displayed a heavy-metal sound which has fallen somewhat out of favor recently.

Soda uses long Jimi Hendrix-style leads to heighten the group's sound while drummer John Lechasseur flails away like drummers of old at his battery of huge tom toms and double bass drums. Bass guitarist Charles Towers tunes his instrument so low he could rival Reggae bassists for their throb.

However, while The Imps are a good heavy rock band, the group's main attraction is its tongue-in-cheek humor.

"The show is more facetious than anything else," said Soda. "When I get up there live I become more demonic, like this is aggressive, man. It's fun. People often say you're a good guitarist, why do you do this, it's degrading. But I don't care, just as long as the people know I'm good and also get into the show.

"That's entertainment." And The Imps are entertaining. Heavy-metal-rock with tongue firmly implanted in cheek all the while.