WHEN IT CAME TIME for Solids to record its proper full-length album, guitarist Xavier Germain-Poitras and drummer Louis Guillemette had little interest in cleaning up the grimy sound of their debut EP and their first couple of 7-inches. In fact, the Montreal-based duo wanted just the opposite: to use its money and studio time to further submerge its new songs in fuzzy noise and slather them with squalls of guitar.
"We wanted to keep it as dense as possible, even [the] quieter moments on the album," Germain-Poitras says, days before leaving on Solids' first extensive North American tour. "I guess you could say we really (wanted to) get the final mix a bit dirtier than what it was originally and how it was sounding in the studio.
"We spent, like, afternoons on just recording feedback and stuff. It was pretty fun."
Solids started a few years ago when Germain-Poitras and Guillemette, both in a hardcore band, realized they shared a common interest in the classic indie-rock sound of the 1990s, à la Dinosaur Jr. or the less experimental side of Sonic Youth. Between their other band's practices, they'd work on riffs that were "poppier... but still kind of aggressive," says Germain-Poitras. "We knew we wanted to play less screamy stuff."
Within a few jams, they had a couple songs, and in 2010, they released the Generic Dogs EP, a five-song collection of lo-fi fuzz-rock. The debut album, Blame Confusion, was released last month by Fat Possum Records, home to like-minded '90s revivalists Yuck.
Yuck's sweet 'n' serrated debut is a good analog for Blame Confusion, but it's not the closest. That might be the unbridled noise-pop of fellow Canadian duo Japandroids, a band Solids may love, but will no doubt tire of hearing compared to their own. It's unavoidable, however, given the unruly and unrestrained melodies of Confusion, which consistently punch their way through studio muck no matter how thickly it's applied. But where Japandroids' charm lies in its pop heart and wild eyes, Solids relies on punk muscle and a bit of the thousand-yard stare, at least so far.
They're already looking ahead, too. The duo has a few songs coming together for its next record, with no plans to shelve the distortion pedals.
"It's not exactly the same, but it's not that different than Blame Confusion. It's gonna be, yeah, at least as noisy," Germain-Poitras says. "Coming from the more hardcore and metal scene we just always loved how noisy the shows were and when it actually gets kind of physical with the sound. That's really a great part of what we're trying to do."