Concert Review: The Nicotines Rock the Winter Away

Montreal Rock Trio Bring The Energy to Reggies for Latest Concert

Montreal rock trio, The Nicotines, performed at Reggie’s last Friday. Photo Gabrielle Vendette
For the first time in a while, Reggie’s put on a concert. Photo Gabrielle Vendette

“We’re not playing until everyone here is fucking screaming!” shouted Egan Chambers, frontman of Mars on Water.

Those words kicked off Rock the Winter Away, the first rock concert Reggies has hosted in years. The crowd took the message to heart.

Friday night, Montreal-based trio, The Nicotines, offered a fresh medley of punk-rock and indie rhythms, which appealed to their diverse crowd. Davide Spinato’s classic guitar styles dominated the heavy rock verses, and Lucas Villeneuve’s strong drum beats paved the way to catchy choruses. Costin Dumitrescu brought a chill attitude on the bass guitar, swaying to the beat and balancing out the intensity of the performance.

The harsh tones of this band’s music stirred up a rambunctious attitude in the crowd at Reggies and the band thrived on the energy. Songs like “Spaced Out” and “Don’t You Know” demonstrated how raw this kind of music is; it’s loud and intense and unbelievably real. This is a band that demands to be seen live.

Each band member offered another layer of power and perfection with their harmonies. Spinato said he’s always been interested in making “music that’s catchy.” His songs are memorable and can make anyone tap their foot or flip their hair.

While the initial force of the music took a minute to adjust to, it was an amazing release of energy and endorphins to rock out in this kind of crowd.

“At some point you just go, ‘It’s badass,’” Spinato said. He explained that he’s constantly pushing the boundary of how harsh he can make their sound and how listenable it can be.

Although he admitted that their music isn’t for everyone, he still thinks that there’s a certain pride in listening to music that other people don’t like.

“It’s kind of like giving the finger,” he said with a laugh.

The Nicotines’ second album will be self-produced under their independent label, Smoke Free Records. Photo Gabrielle Vendette

The boys from Mars on Water quickly hit the dance floor for some playful shoving, drawing out the other rockers in the crowd. By the last few songs the whole front of the audience was involved in a mosh pit that was just tame enough to escape Reggies security.

Spinato governed the stage with incredible ease, his dedication to the music emanated from the stage in his guitar strumming and charisma. The trio created a big sound that would stay with their audience for days, both in memorability and the ringing in their ears.

Spinato’s voice really complimented the sound and pulled the audience deeper into the music. His voice functioned as a fourth instrument in the band, and it filled the bar with fervour.

“If I could scream in all my songs, I would,” Spinato said, “I don’t believe in being technically good I just believe in having passion.”

He explained that he wasn’t a singer before The Nicotines, and only took on the role after doing experimental vocals in the band’s early days. “I was basically tone deaf before I started singing,” he said, but the crowd at Reggies probably wouldn’t believe that.

The Nicotines are preparing for the release of their second EP, Don’t You Know, this spring.

While their first album Spaced Out was written entirely by Spinato, this time the writing was more of a collaborative process. It represents more of what the group has to offer.

“I think it’s going to be a really fun album for me, because I really like the songs,” Spinato said, “It’s more Nicotines.”

The 6-track album will be self-produced under their independent label, Smoke Free Records. The group will partake on a trans-Canada tour to promote the album this summer. If you’re looking for an excuse to let loose, keep an eye out for these talented boys. They have a lot to offer and they’re only going up from here.