The Winnipeg Tribune, October 29,
Imps' heavy metal music highlighted by gags, tricks - A
By Tilman Goetting
The Imps are a three piece heavy
metal outfit from Toronto. Last week they brought their musical and visual
effects - viewer discretion advised - to the Southwood. On Saturday CITI-FM
broadcast two of their 45 minute sets live to an unsuspecting
Head Imp Frank Soda
not only gives the band its name, he is the band. Small and wiry he looks like a
typical Imp, he jumps like one and has a permanent devilish grin on his face. He
plays guitar, one and two handed, jumping, standing and sitting, on stage or on
a table while downing a spectator's beer. He handles all lead vocals with a
clear fairly high pitched voice and he wears all the funny
Bassist Charles Towers and John Lechesseur complete the line
up. Both musicians are quite capable performers on their respective instruments
but both play very heavy handed. The bass is always present as a very solid but
monotonous thump. A jackhammer snare beat, regular as clockwork dominates the
drumming. Put that together with a flashy guitarist who knows every tricky lick
and then some - and you get Led Zeppelin around 1969.
To top it all off,
the band perfomed the seminal heavy metal song, the Zep's Whole Lotta Love, true
to the last note. The same late sixties touch colours the rest of the band's
material. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, the Rolling Stones'
Satisfaction for example was battered beyond recognition.
The Imps bill
themselves as a theatrical rock group and true enough, there is lots to see and
behold. Their light show includes an excellent strobe which freezes Soda's leaps
for split seconds, seemingly suspending him in midair.
Then there are the
light bulb hats, the exploding TV set, the masks and the inflatable love doll.
Frank Soda uses all of these gimmicks, one for almost every song. When his head
starts to glow like a Christmas tree, when he gets beheaded during Headless
Horseman and the head floats across the stage during a furious strobe attack,
the viewer is treated to some more or less spectacular effects.
of these gags are used over and over, maybe twenty seconds per song without any
true connection to the content of the material - hardly theatrical.
Imps do a lot of things well, they play well, they are professional. But their
music so utterly lacks anything distinguishing, their visual gags become so
redundant that they tend to be boring.