KEN Mode Sherbrook Inn, Big Fun Festival, Winnipeg MB, January 30

KEN Mode Sherbrook Inn, Big Fun Festival, Winnipeg MB, January 30
Photo: Kaitlyn Emslie Farrell
Despite being known for its punk scene, Winnipeg also has been home to its fair share of ultra-heavy bands. From groups like Kittens, Meatrack and Stagmummer, the torch has been passed to KEN Mode to carry on the tradition. Fresh from their recent recording with the legendary producer Steve Albini, KEN Mode's new material seems to bridge the weighty metal and hardcore sound of the trio's early work, with a more angular, aggressive noise-rock approach that you might have found on Chicago's Touch and Go or Minneapolis' AmRep in the '90s.
Debuting new songs like "These Tight Jeans," Blessed" and "Dead Actor," it's easy to hear why the group wanted Albini involved with recording the album. Already a well-oiled machine from the seemingly endless amount of touring they do, the trio moved effortlessly between slowed down, near spoken word breakdowns to throwing themselves back into a menacing groove with reckless abandon. The group finished the night with "Never Was" off of Venerable, with singer/guitarist Jesse Matthewson ending up on top of the crowd, while somehow still managing to keep playing.
While KEN Mode have been around since 1999 and already picked up a Juno Award in 2012, it seems clear that 2015 is already shaping up to a monumental year for the group.