REVIEW: Handsome Distraction

Handsome Distraction turns up the charm at Lucky bar. Played with Pardon My Striptease and The June Fiasco Saturday, May 12.

Handsome Distraction released thier new EP Fight or Flight at Lucky Bar Saturday, May 12.

If you’re a 20-something guy and found yourself fortunate enough to attend the Handsome Distraction EP release party at Lucky Bar last Saturday night, May 12, chances are you went home happy.

The concert was everything young rock fans could ask for: mildly entertaining opening acts paving the way for a group that has impressed Victoria audiences for a while now, oh yeah, and sexy burlesque performances between every act. If you don’t fit that demographic, however — if Limp Bizkit, Weezer, Nickelback and quasi-pop-rock boy bands aren’t really your go-to music — be glad you stayed home.

Handsome Distraction has been touring the local circuit for three years now, but teamed with Higher Ground Productions this year and hit up Lucky for the first time to release their new EP, Fight or Flight. The band itself straddles the fine line of trying to make popular-rock sound new (representing the next “IT” sound, they boast on their website), and for many songs they do succeed. But although their quirky plaid shirts and innocent good looks had plenty of ladies looking, the handsomeness of the four band members wasn’t nearly as distracting as the handful of fans near the front of the stage who were still learning how to dance, or jive, or mosh — it was hard to tell.

To the band’s credit, opening acts The June Fiasco and Pardon My Striptease made Handsome Distraction look devilishly so. But just as the previews of a movie are meant to intrigue interest for like-minded fans, the preliminary sets gave a less-than-crowded Lucky bar that ominous feeling that we were still watching a high school talent show, with the amateur burlesque acts blowing everyone else out of the water.

Thankfully, Handsome Distraction pulled the evening back into top showgear when the band walked on stage, with talented drumming by Kyle White, Chris Weaver on the bass, Devin Perfect rocking rhythm guitar and Joey Arthur taking lead guitar. Their songs sound akin to those that stuck in your head through The Zone, and the team offered plenty of kitschy swag to impress hungry fans.

And fans be aware: the band is looking at plans for a Western Canadian tour this year, with a follow up Cross-Canadian tour for August are already in the works — if you can handle that much handsome. M

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