2005 may well be a year of reckoning for Toronto wank-infused foursome Showroom. This criminally-unappreciated unit's debut long player will hit shelves by mid-annum and if there's any justice left on this mortal coil, the album will propel Showroom unto bigger and bouncier things.
"Ideally, this summerÖ get signedÖ go to Europe," says genial frontman Ben Hutchinson with a blend of cheek and candor.
Showroom's 2004 EP, "Still Escalator", was a poignant seven-song snapshot of upper Canadian angst and a directive of something down belowóechoes of The Smiths, The Housemartins and late period Manic Street Preachers abound but all filtered through a uniquely Westernized lense. "The New Samaritans" is the working title of their looming full-length and guitarist Rory Lindsay, along with Hutchinson, Tristan Samuk (bass) and Tyler Dokis (drums), knows the band needs to approach with caution if it's to ensnare that brass ring.
"Showroom isn't a band that's romantic about the record industry. We recognize that it's pretty dog-eat-dog. In theory, our music is pretty much in-line with a lot of what's popular these days but that does mean anything until you get something tangible. We're definitely not looking for major label successówe're just looking for that support to help us keep going."
Showroom began work on the album last summer and in the interim, enjoyed periods of champagne heights (both Chart and Exclaim! have championed the bands work) and slosh bucket gutters.
"The highs and lows can be really frustrating," says Hutchinson. "Every time we'd get some momentum going, it would followed by these long periods of silence. If music was the only thing I was doing, I think I'd be a nervous wreck."
Besides the attention at home, Showroom has taken advantage of this internet thing I keep hearing about. Lindsay uploaded their track "The Residence of Ben" from "Still Escalator" to leading MP3 purveyor Download.com and within weeks, Showroom has become a one of the site's marquee acts.
"The song had 2,000 downloads in no time and was an editor's pick," he confirms "They eventually wrote a huge feature about us called 'This Band Should Be Huge' and by year's end, two of the editors named us amongst their favourite bands of 2004. The site's based in San Francisco so that was cool. Plus we've gotten play on National Public Radio in the States and e-mails from Europe; we've sold CDs to people in Sweden and Spain and Ireland. There have been these pockets of encouragement so hopefully, the full-length will take things to the next level."
Showroom has been invited to play alongside Turn Off The Stars, Afflatus and Leviride at SoulShine.ca's All-4-Indie night, February 18th, 2005 at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern. They will also be appearing on the following dates:
February 26: Toronto, ON Cameron House (w/ The Airfield)
March 24: Toronto, ON El Mocambo
For more information on Showroom, please visit their official website at: www.showroommusic.com
Writer: Cameron Gordon