Vancouver, Canada based Instrumental Experimental Rock/Chamber-Jazz band Sick Boss released the first single “Useless Genious 2” taken from upcoming new album “Businessless” November 3rd, 2023 on Drip Audio. Purchase and Stream the track on Bandcamp:
Sick Boss assembles some of Vancouver’s finest improvising musicians under the bold leadership of guitarist and composer Cole Schmidt. The band’s hefty, episodic compositions are mostly built upon sturdy Instrumental Rock foundations but will colourfully explode into detailed, vigorous arrangements. These expansive pieces inevitably unfurl into passages of improvisatory interplay, textural drift, and even diaphanous chamber-music-like junctures, revealing the vast and imaginative collective capacity of this brilliant group.
In 2017, the band released their self-titled debut album on DripAudio. It was named among the top albums of 2017 in Vancouver’s The Georgia Straight and was warmly received in other media. The band performed in support of this record at festivals across Canada and Europe including Suoni Per Il Popolo (Montreal), JazzTopad (Poland), and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
Their forthcoming follow-up effort, Businessless, their first on vinyl, is in many ways more immediate and boisterous than its predecessor. It’s also more strange and volatile. Opener “Useless Genius 1” announces the album with gnarly propulsion, only to drop down to a single sustained sine bleep some two minutes later. The tone dissolves into a slowly evolving, drumless swarm that balloons gradually, bursting into a frantic reprise of the track’s opening. “When Buzzards Leave The Bones” takes an even less predictable route. Initially it spotlights the bowed strings of Josh Zubot, Peggy Lee and James Meger but things start to unravel as Schmidt lays down a loping groove. Zubot hacks away at his violin, strumming like an unplugged No Wave guitarist, ushering the piece toward a full-band climax. The violinist and Lee are the only ones to emerge from the wreckage and chatter amongst themselves—first cautiously, and later restlessly—as the track comes to a close.
These contrasting, but equally action-packed pieces provide a clear indication of the remaining music’s trajectory. Even the relatively continuous path of their majestic jaimie branch tribute “Doctor Dawn” is subject to eccentric formal kinks amidst its elegiac swell. It’s a record that teems with charisma and nervy energy, swerving impulsively between contrasting arrangements, musical styles and even methodology. Though wildly erratic in certain ways, each cut unleashes at least one big, downright singable melody, and this fact allows Sick Boss to bound across these seemingly vast sonic and aesthetic chasms without exhausting themselves or listeners.
Sick Boss encompasses a wealth of experience that spans many dimensions of Vancouver’s music scene from alternative pop to far-out experimentation. Appearing in their full line-up, the band performs the unique amalgam of composition and improvised music showcased here; in smaller or collaboration-oriented incarnations, the group primarily improvises. Sick Boss‘ constituent members have received or been nominated for prestigious awards while collaborating with the likes of Mary Margaret O’Hara, Destroyer, Dan Mangan, Gordon Grdina, Jesse Zubot, Marin Patenaude, Pugs & Crows, Dave Douglas, Sam Shalabi, Ingrid Jensen, Mats Gustafsson, Lisa Cay Miller’s NOW Orchestra, Tony Wilson, Chad VanGaalen, and have many more.
Pre-Order the album on Bandcamp: https://sickboss.bandcamp.com/album/businessless
- Useless Genius 1
- When The Buzzards Leave The Bones
- Useless Genius 2
- Doctor Dawn
- Useless Genius 3
- CJ Blues
All songs by Cole Schmidt & Sick Boss
Peggy Lee / Cello; Josh Zubot / Violin; JP Carter / Trumpet; Dan Gaucher / Drums; James Meger / Bass and Synths; Cole Schmidt / Guitar
Recorded by John Raham at Afterlife Studios. Edited, Mixed and Mastered by James Meger
Album art by Bianca Fields. Design by Lee Hutzulak