Breaking the boredom
Frank Soda and the
Imps - Riviera Rock Room Through Saturday
Out of the dull and commonplace confines of heavy rock,
blungeoned into boredom by a thousand musical and stage cliches flies
Vancouverite Frank Soda, a man for the '80s.
The twin video screens
onstage begin the proceedings with a tape of Frank watching himself on TV, to
the strains of Saturday Night Getaway, walking down the street and finally, to
the Riv stage for live action.
And live he is, as, with Imps Glen Gratto
and Peter Crolly in tow, Frank cranks up Break The Ice, the first of a dozen
opening set bonecrushers.
Covering his chrome-dome
with chapeaux ranging from your tasteful, understated, horned baseball cap to a
huge (exploding) globe, smoking pig perched on an (exploding) fireman's helmet,
not to mention the selection. of x-rated sun visors, Frank deserves an award
from the Canadian Haberdashery Association.
Jumping, bobbing, weaving,
diving and generally bouncing into his work, Frank works hard. There is rarely
an uncharged moment in this operation, and the bizarre-athletic garb the band
sports serves at least two functions.
With a comics' elastic face, Frank
rolls over a series of mugs from mock-menancing rock star to dumbfounded goof.
Getting into his solo on Fast, Fast Relief, he jumps on top of the dance floor
railing and uses a patron's drink as a slide.
The high-decibel fare is actually simple, traditional hard rock, well played by
all, with honors to Soda's guitar work. Songs like Break The Ice, Raisin Rock
& Roll Hell or High Time To Get High are mainstream radio rockers, no doubt
best enjoyed in boogie van sound systems.
Occasionally, the lyrics show
touches of Frank's stage presence. Skin Graph Baby chronicles the difficulties
encountered by a would-be disco king who gets a transfer from his posterier to
his face: You can imagine the chorus.
There is a good deal of thought,
money and hard work that goes into all of this, and it should be
For a good time, go down and hear Frank and the Imps this week.
Lots o' laffs, good rock'n'roll and plenty of visuals. Even when the band is
taking a break, the video machines entertain you. Such a deal, in these