Winnipeg isn’t all bad

From a land of seemingly endless winter and not a hill to be seen comes some of Canada’s best music. Winnipeg has given bands like Propagandhi and The Guess Who a chance to show the world what Manitoba is made of. Since the fall of 1999, the trio of Jo Snyder, Paul Furgale, and most recently Sarah Sangster has been labouring over their guitars and computers producing their own brand of self described “Hard Pop.”

Sixty Stories’ first L.P., Anthem Red, represents an interesting change to the now burgeoning genre of power-pop with many of the tracks assisted by a computer driven synth.

“We like to use the computer to make a lot of keyboard melodies,” says Snyder. “It creates a bit of an ’80s synth feel, but more modern. It is a really fun part of the band.”

This touch allows the music to break free of a lot of the limitations many of the band’s genre mates are facing. The extra touch of the sequencing would be useless if it didn’t have a strong foundation to sit upon. Every track on the disc boasts unusual attention to detail through catchy guitar melodies, and thoughtfully rough vocals. When this is all put together, it equates to a refreshing if not small break from the power-pop norm.

Recently returning from a very successful European tour with Propagandhi, and Atom and his package, Sixty Stories just began a cross-Canada tour in support of their album.

“Europe is always amazing,” says Snyder. “This year we did the tour by ourselves but the shows were always really full and every night was really, really fun. We know more people there now too, so it is always good to see our friends.”

The current tour has the band running through 15 western Canadian dates in 17 days. If the band can keep their energy up and transfer even a fraction of the energy shown on their album into a live show, their upcoming Calgary date will be something worth taking a look at.

“So far the tour is going pretty well. The shows have been kind of small, but we are having a good time hanging out with our friends.”

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