Solids began as a duo from Montreal that unabashedly used 1990s alternative and indie-rock as a stimulus for their music.
Their 2014 debut album, Blame Confusion, was a flurry of earsplitting fuzz guitar and crashing drums that – according to the founding band members, drummer Louis Guillemette and singer/guitarist Xavier Germain-Poitras – channeled the likes of Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, and Superchunk. Because of the band’s size and driving anthems, however, Solids were more often compared to fellow duos like No Age and Japandroids, instead of the classic alt-rockers that deserved the credit.
Things have changed though on the band’s recent EP, Else. Solids have taken their foot off the pedal a bit and eased up on the fast guitar jams for something far grungier and even more indebted to the ’90s. According to the band, “the EP reflects that road weariness within a group of songs that vibrate at a lower frequency, documenting the waiting, the bleary-eyed confusion and the blur of days that come with life on the road.” It should be noted that standout “Blurs” is an absolute ripper that sounds like Hum re-interpreting Daydream Nation.
In February, the band announced the addition of third member Guillaume Chiasson, who also serves as the guitarist and vocalist of Quebec City’s psyched-out garage rockers Ponctuation. Check out the live video for “Wait It Out” below, filmed in a Montreal church basement and offering up the first recorded evidence of their new three-piece set-up.
Nowadays, every musician and his/her mom are citing the music of 20 years ago as an influence, so we felt it necessary to give Germain-Poitras a ’90s band quiz to determine if his answers were legit. Turns out he knows his shit. Except for Sloan, which is pretty reprehensible for a Canadian boy. Read his answers to the quiz below and catch Solids live Friday, May 13th at Toronto’s Smiling Buddha or Saturday, May 14th at Montreal’s Le Ritz PDB.
AUX: Sonic Youth or Nirvana?
Xavier Germain-Poitras: Talk about a heart-breaking first question. I would probably choose Sonic Youth but Louis and Guillaume both say Nirvana without too much hesitation. I have to admit that Kurt probably came up with the most memorable hooks. Riff-wise it would be a whole different story though.
Smashing Pumpkins or Hole?
Smashing Pumpkins, even though Billy seems to have lost his way in the last couple years (or decades?).
Alice In Chains or Soundgarden?
Louis says Soundgarden, I don’t really care about either.
Green Day or Offspring?
Green Day. The first two cassettes I ever bought with my own money were Dookie and Insomniac, so it’s kind of a no-brainer. Plus I’ve always hated Offspring. I personally find Dexter Holland’s voice to be one of the most annoying voices in the history of rock.
Faith No More or Rage Against the Machine?
Rage for sure. I had a brief Mike Patton phase when I was younger but it really didn’t last that long. Rage still slays.
Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson?
Meh. NIN I guess?
Presidents of the United States of America or Cake?
Presidents of the USA. I kinda dig that stripped down, three-stringed guitar and two-stringed bass vibe. And pretty much all their songs were instant earworms.
Superchunk or Dinosaur Jr?
Dino. I like Superchunk but I mean come on, Dino!
Pixies or Breeders?
Tough one but I’m gonna go with Pixies, just because I have a thing for boy/girl vocal harmonies. I’m really glad Kim Deal wins either way.
Bush (X) or Foo Fighters?
Foo Fighters. Do you really expect some people to choose Bush over them?
Yes, I actually do. Red Hot Chili Peppers or Primus?
Aha good one. I’m gonna say Primus just because I don’t wanna choose RHCP over anything.
Rocket From The Crypt or Drive Like Jehu?
Drive Like Jehu. I can’t fucking wait to see them live at Wrecking Ball later this summer.
Hot Water Music or Against Me!?
Hot Water Music are one of Louis’ all-time favourites.
Refused or At The Drive-In?
Both bands were really important to me at a certain age but I’m gonna go with At The Drive-In because I think they influenced me the most in the end.
Rollins Band or Helmet?
Helmet because riffs.
Pavement or Built To Spill?
Pavement. I do love Built To Spill but when it comes to songwriting Malkmus is king.
Guided By Voices or Sebadoh?
Guided By Voices wrote some of the most infectious melodies of that era, so I’ve gotta give it to them. Plus I already gave Barlow my vote in the Dino vs Superchunk question, I’m sure he would forgive me.
Unwound or Unsane?
Unwound. They’re a crucial band.
My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive?
MBV. It probably sounds clichéd but to me there’s no doubt that they are the ultimate shoegaze band.
Ride or Lush?
Ride. I just like ’em better.
The Jesus Lizard or Melvins?
Tough one, but Melvins. The Jesus Lizard remains one of the best live band I’ve seen though.
Sloan or The Tragically Hip?
Aha, well, Louis loves the Hip and I don’t know my Sloan enough to fight him on this one. So there goes our Canadian punk cred I guess.
The Weakerthans or Propagandhi?
The Weakerthans, just because it’s a regular in the van. But they really are two totally different beasts.
Yeah, but they both featured John K. Samson, so that’s how they’re comparable. How about Moist or Our Lady Peace?
Our Lady Peace.
Thrush Hermit or Super Friendz?
Two great bands that I only found out about recently, so I don’t really know any of them enough to make a decision.
I know how you got the comparisons to these two bands early on, so Japandroids or No Age?
Aren’t they the same band? I don’t know, all duos sound alike to me.