When it comes to Pearls & Bones, they’re all over the place, but in the best way possible. Mish mashing together hip-hop, metalcore, backpack rap, and pop-punk, this is a trio that couldn’t care less about musical classifications or expectations. In the near-decade they have been together, the group has produced five EPs and two full-lengths, with their third, Cool Uncles, coming later this year.
Cool Uncles has been two years in the making, a period of great technical and aesthetic progress, with the band casting their musical inspirations even wider to include artists like Enter Shikari, Gorillaz, Don Broco, and EarthGang. A good instance of Pearls & Bones’ originality and musical unpredictability is “Sawed in Half,” from the new album. The song was inspired by the film Kill Bill and Uma Thurman’s character wreaking literal havoc. The band has conjoined some quite gruesome lyrics with a power-pop melody, perfect for radio.
Pearls & Bones have been so kind to join us for our latest Stereo Six, and this time, we did things a little bit differently. The band has put together a list of six of their favourite albums inspired by six of their favourite sandwiches from six of their favourite restaurants and delis. There’s certainly a lot to chew on here so we think it’s about time to dig in!
1. Kamasi Washington – The Epic (2015, Brainfeeder)
The Sandwich: El Cubano from Ave Maria Latin Café
“Listen, the Cuban from Ave Maria (in Toronto) has it all: ham, genoa salami, porchetta, guac, cheese, and a spicy pickle with jalapeno on the side to top it all off. A melting pot with simple ingredients to create complex flavour. Kamasi Washington’s almost 180-minute The Epic takes your ears for a similar ride as the Cuban does for your taste buds: a total rollercoaster from beginning to end with so many different textures and levels of complexity. Kamasi can take a simple motif and expand upon it within a twelve minute song or burst your ears with an unrelenting assault of jazz in an instant.” -Jake
2. The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003, Universal)
The Sandwich: Shawarma from Yimee’s
“Just like a shawarma sandwich with extra garlic and hot sauce from Yimee’s (in Hamilton, Ontario), The Mars Volta’s De Loused in the Comatorium is an absolute behemoth to devour yet it is one of the most satisfying experiences from beginning to end. The consistency and quality of songs is jaw-dropping and Omar Rodriguez Lopez is at the top of his game with his guitar work and ability to craft atmospherics. You can hear the Robert Fripp/King Crimson influence on a lot of the tracks, but Omar does an incredible job of truly finding his own voice. This album would lay the groundwork for how I’d write music in later years: with excessive amounts of reverb, delay, and layers which are a producer’s nightmare. Sorry not sorry.” -Keenan
3. Papillon – Deepak Looper (2018, Sente Isto)
The Sandwich: Bifana Sandwich (add fried egg & grilled onion) from Nova Era
“What’s a Bifana sandwich? It’s a traditional sandwich made with thin slices of pork simmered in a delicious sauce only your Portuguese grandmother will understand. It isn’t chewy with excess fat and it’s served with next to no condiments on a papo secos bun. Portugal native Papillon delivers on the aural flavour front by offering up bare-bones beats on his album that showed me you don’t need to overcrowd the mix with instruments and different parts to write an impactful song. Simple without any excess fat: like the perfect bifana.” -Jake
4. Son Lux – Brighter Wounds (2018, City Slang)
The Sandwich: Club Sandwich from Patate de la Rouge
“If you know, you know. the club sandwich from Patate de la Rouge in L’Annonciation (a neighbourhood in Rivière-Rouge, Quebec), just like Brighter Wounds by Son Lux, is layered and inaccessible. How so much delicious beauty was created is unknown but the experience is always worth it. Son Lux demonstrates a proclivity for dense layers that truly enhance every track. And the variety on the record is outstanding. I would recommend listening to this album while the mayo of your club sandwich drips onto your favourite shirt, because at this point your head is already spinning from the complexity of what’s going through your ears.” -Jake
5. Destrage – Are You Kidding Me? No. (2014, Metal Blade Records)
The Sandwich: Meatball Sub from Bronzie’s Place
“If you think you know tech-metal and haven’t listened to Destrage then get the spaghetti out of your ears and listen to Italy’s best music since that guy who sang an aria 300 years ago. Their album Are You Kidding Me? No. is the sandwich equivalent of throwing a delicious meatball sub from Bronzie’s Place (in Hamilton) off the roof of a skyscraper. The amount of sheer talent and musicianship makes you want to practice your instrument for hours in hopes of achieving even 10 percent of the skill on display. This album was eye-opening for me because it shows what happens when you strike the perfect balance of technical prowess and catchy songwriting.” -Keenan
6. Curveball: My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade (2006, Reprise)
The Sandwich: Smoked Meat Sandwich from Schwartz’s Deli
“This album has all the nostalgia and brings me back to when I ate my lunch in a toilet stall during high school. It tells an amazing story and defined an entire generation of listeners, myself included. Similarly, Schwartz’s (famous deli in Montreal) smoked meat sandwich provides the same feeling of nostalgia while growing up in Montreal and moving 26 times around Quebec. Whether we’re talking about the beauty of smoked meat or the Black Parade, they’re unforgettable experiences from start to finish.” -Harry