Breakthrough Band of the Year: Mounties


Upon immediate observation, it was easy to first view Mounties as a Canadian super group when they emerged at the beginning mounties_2014_1of 2014. Made up of acclaimed singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman, former Hot Hot Heat frontman Steve Bays, and Ryan Dahle of The Age of Electric and Limblifter fame, the band appeared impressive before a note of music was even heard.

“When I think of a ‘super group,’ I think of Cream,” explained Workman in an interview with this past March. “It’s a cool term, but I think we’re just a group that’s pretty super is all.”

During our conversation, Workman was flattered to hear that we thought Mounties’ debut album, Thrash Rock Legacy, sounded futuristic, even though he thought of it as “sexy prog-rock,” or “experimental pop music.”

However it should be defined, what is for certain is that Thrash Rock Legacy is an absolute thrill to plug into: weakness is tough to find.

With Mounties, you have three Canadian artists that have risen through and been kicked by the alternative music scene, only to bravely come out on the other side with something that may very well be each member’s shining artistic moment. And they’re having fun with it – fucking with the format at every turn.

Whether you’re being kicked at the start by album-opener “Pretty Respectable,” grooving along to “Headphones,” feeling snotty during “Minimum Effort,” or wondering if “Waking Up on Time” was in fact a Beatles song at one point, it’s hard to deny the accessible weirdness, yet beauty of Thrash Rock Legacy.

Although the listener is pulled into a myriad of sonic directions and ranging storylines, Workman, Bays, and Dahle cohesively blend their talents and share the spotlight in such a way that you can’t help but be stunned that three musical alpha dogs found a way to walk together on an extremely long leash…without chasing their tails.

“It is kind of late in life to again go out on the road and play with a rock band again. I didn’t really see that in my future. It was a surprise, but I’m enjoying every second of it,” confided Dahle in a summer conversation with “This is kind of like a travelling dinner party. These are the guys I’d invite to my house for dinner, but here we are playing music and going places. We’re really lucky.”

And so are we.

-Adam Grant

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