Home Read Albums Of The Week: Cleopatrick | Bummer

Albums Of The Week: Cleopatrick | Bummer

The Ontario duo's hip-hop / hard rock hybrid hits hard on their dynamite debut LP.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Two friends (guitarist/vocalist Luke Gruntz and drummer Ian Fraser) meet aged four in Hicksville, Nowheretown (real name: Cobourg, Ontario, population 19,000), grow up completely inseparable, form a band and, against numerous obstacles, blossom into a genuine, global underground sensation. There are heroes and villains, highs and lows and, crucially, some of the most poetic plot twists that could seem almost too perfect, were they not completely true.

Since breakthrough track Hometown, Cleopatrick have logged 77 million streams and counting — all from an increasingly dedicated fanbase who’ve found the duo on their own way: No major label, no big budget, just two best pals knuckling down, cementing a unique sonic alchemy and filling a space of honest, empathetic yet undeniably heavy-hitting rock music that they’d been searching for themselves for years.

Luke and Ian’s blossoming love of AC/DC’s Back In Black and hip-hop (the pair cite Drake and Kendrick Lamar as particular obsessions) quickly seeped into their songwriting. Cemented in their abilities as a duo (“I don’t know how we could find a third member it worked as well with, even if we tried”), it became as integral an element within the sonic mix as the bands they’d first fallen in love with. And so, with the MO of making rock music that hit as strongly as the hip-hop tracks they loved, but spoke honestly about the things they knew.

Cleopatrick created the loose DIY collective New Rock Mafia as a means to offer support to one another. NRM is a collection of bands and fans who share the same morals and beliefs; they are all inclusive, gender neutral, and supportive of affiliated bands and fans — with the aim to grow and cultivate a space within rock music that is open and safe for all. Cleopatrick took the ethos of the collective and imbued it with the sonic ambition and ferocity of a record designed to be played hard and loud.

Bummer, cleopatrick’s debut full-length, was written, recorded and produced by the band and their close friend Jig Dubé. “Just three kids with some fuzz pedals and a point to prove,” explains Luke. The album sees Cleopatrick harness all the magic they’ve been brewing over their two-decade friendship and funnel it into a record that aims to reinvigorate the rock landscape from the ground up. Look no further than the hard-hitting single Family Van. Says Luke: “It’s an exercise in anger, and a conscious acknowledgement of the humble beginnings, independence, and DIY mentality that makes our band what we are.”