WEDNESDAY — When you spend four straight nights trying to cram as much live music into your ears as possible, you're bound to stumble across at a least a couple of pleasant surprises. And this year's earliest unexpected awesomeness came from The Roseville Band, who happened to take the stage at Rancho Relaxo after we caught an energetic set from The Almighty Rhombus. But, while the group from the north of Wales was new to us, they're far from new to Toronto: YouTube is full of clips of their appearances from last year's North By Northeast and from SCENE Fest down the road in St. Catherine's. In fact, they've even played Rancho Relaxo before — and walked away from last summer's edition of North By Northeast being called the "Standout International Act of NXNE 2012".Now, having seen them play on Wednesday night, that's not a surprise. There was a bit of old time jukebox rock & roll in The Roseville Band; a hint of Elvis and Carl Perkins in frontman Andy Jones — in his denim jacket, in the swoop of his hair, in the curl of his lip and the way he cocked his head. And maybe too, in the band's sonic simplicity: there are no gimmicks here. No confetti guns or giant hamster balls. Just straight up rock & roll played with a relentless, driving rhythm that is very much of the 21st century — the band lists Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire among their influences — even while you're reminded of the genre's earliest roots. On record, there's quite a range to the group's sound, but in person it was all taken up a notch, an aggressive electric roar that explains why they've called their new record Shake The Walls. That's exactly what they did.
So the next time The Roseville Band play a memorable set in Toronto, we won't be surprised at all.