That's some smart songwriting

Toronto-trio, Communism, was one of the best unexpected performances at this year’s Fuji Rock Festival. Lead by multi-instrumentalist, Don Kerr, who sets his drum kit directly in the middle of the stage, and taps out a rhythm as well as laying on the crooning vocals.

Few foreign acts perform at the Gypsy Avalon, which is mainly the province of skilled Japanese musicians. With this in mind, I was quite shocked by the programming so I dug a little deeper and it appears that Kerr frequently joins fellow Canadian Ron Sexsmith who was also scheduled to perform the following day on the Green Stage. Two bands for the price of one? Perhaps that was the logic.

That said, Kerr delved in tasty territory, mainly drawing from the band’s sole release, Get Down, Get Together. The album is complete with great riffs and lyrics that will make you chuckle and laugh. Writing wise, the band take a cue from the brother rock outfit, Sparks, who enjoy riffing over the same refrain again and again.

As for the quirky name for the band, Kerr explained that the band liked “everyone working together.” Makes sense to me, I guess. This type of compassion for others is manifested in the song “Take Care of Each Other”. As Kerr sings this touching line, he is also juggling some pretty powerful drum beats which makes the song sort of hilarious and potentially, tongue firmly in cheek.

To give you an example of the band’s lyrical wit, the track “Forgiveness” contains the gem “If hate is a shovel, forgiveness is a broom, what’s done is done, got to clear the air.” Communism is definitely a band which deserves more attention and a larger audience.

 Photo by Sayaka Yuki  Text by Sean Scanlan Posted on 2017.7.30 20:25