At SXSW I was told The Unicorns were the “hot ticket” show to see. Unfortunately, our border dudes didn’t share in my friend’s enthusiasm and the group’s appearance was just a fantasy.
It has appeared that more and more Canadian hot ticket items are making their way across our borders, and we couldn’t be happier because they each have their own unique qualities –- and the Unicorns are definitely in the “broke the mold” category. When one does actually get to see their live show, they’re met with a barrage of quirky synth pop personalities, Casio tones, a homeless person hired to impersonate the band, frothy frosting vocals, plucks of gee-tar, and tales of “Ghost Mountain” climbs.
The Unicorns is as sunny and bright as a rainbow sticker on the backpack of a boy yet to discover his penchant for belly shirts, and is felt down to your tighty-whities on the Freddie Flute H & R Puff-N-Stuff intro to “Sea Ghost.” While you’re watching the pretty trails and tripping along the daisy chain path, get that hipster leg/head jerk ready to go on the infectious track “The Clap,” raise your PBRs to “Let’s Get Known”, and break out the Irish jig shoes to “I Was Born (A Unicorn).”
So who this three-headed mythical creature anyway? Singing of pension plans may not be for everybody, but as with their music and their bio, which includes pig riding instead of barefoot snow walking to school, pursuing a career in homology as it pertains to animal husbandry in Montréal – The Unicorns are not everybody, thank God. Having actually been to Regina and survived the snicker from the travel agent and the most bitter cold ever, I felt a kindred connection with Alden Ginger (singer/songwriter for the band, along with Nicholas “Neil” Diamonds and J’aime Tambeur), who was retained in that hell whole of a city, except I didn’t shoplift anything or impersonate an officer. Maybe if I had I would have had more fun.
As the last gasp is taken on the last track “Ready To Die,” the grin sets in and it’s obvious that not only does this trio not take themselves too seriously; they’re an outright kick in the flairs.