By Jesse Jester
In the ever-changing landscape of modern music, some newer bands find it difficult to settle on a truly unique name.
This was not the case for the boys in Courtney from Work, whose name is derived from an unusual source; Courtney Brown, a McDonalds manager where two of the band members work. The obvious first question I asked the boys was, why Courtney from Work?
“You’d have to know him.” says bassist Connor Hannah. “he’s truly a larger than life, almost cartoon-like character. When we were trying to settle on a band name, he immediately came to mind”.
Not only is the name of the band unique, but their stage presence is truly something to behold. Bassist Hannah and drummer Andrew Davis keep the high-energy groove together, while rhythm guitarist Diontaye “Afro Thunder” Turner brings to mind visions of a young Lenny Kravitz; that is, if Kravitz were interested in wearing a Saiyan outfit. Rounding out the dynamic quartet is singer Jacob Fournier, whose exuberant antics are a stark contrast from the almost statue-esque presence of Turner. Fournier and Hannah agreed that it is Turner that pulls the whole thing together.
“It definitely looks a little strange, but for every bad note we play, we know he’s off to the side holding us all together”.
I had the chance to preview the band’s first EP, “Might As Well” a few days before their show at Victory’s Live. What I found was a solid garage-groove sound with bouncy melodies and catchy riffs. I had no idea how much energy the quartet would put forth in an actual live setting, but was pleasantly surprised after seeing them in person. They started off with fan-favorites “Natalie” and “Until Then”, a fun song about being a lazy bum.
“Greasy Beef” brought a heavier, more in-your-face type sound with a definite punk-rock attitude to it. “Always trying to put me on the shelf, and blame it all on someone else,” cries Fournier, “So if you need me, you know where I’ll be”. Hannah’s bass grooves kept all heads nodding throughout Victory’s while Fournier accidentally busted his lip swinging around while playing the song.
The band kept the energy level high with their newest track “Lend a Hand” before busting into a cover of the classic Violent Femme’s hit “Blister in the Sun”. “We were looking for a song that we enjoyed playing that others would enjoy hearing” said Hannah on choosing that specific track. I knew I was in for a treat when Fournier brought out a pink guitar covered in stickers and expletives, and the band did not disappoint.
The next track was the first song the band had ever written together, titled “Ecstaticized”. “We’ve been together for almost an entire year” said Fournier “so this song has a special meaning to us”. The song wouldn’t be out of place in a Foo Fighters set, and definitely kept the crowd bouncing around.
Up next was a goofy song entitled “I Love My Mom”, in which Fournier asked “I love my mom, and I love my dad; but who do I love more?”
They immediately jumped into the featured track on their Souncloud page, “Shaken”. It was a fun song that continued to ramp up the energy and featured Fournier kicking over his microphone stand, lying on the ground and shredding out a fantastic solo while Hannah and Turner kept the grooves flowing.
The boys had put on a great set so far, but they had definitely saved their best for last.
They finished with the crushing, high-energy title track from their EP, “Might As Well”, a song about having fun and living your life. “Everybody’s always wondering why, and I tell ’em, this life is short, so you might as well”.
It was on this track that Turner broke character, started jumping around and apparently cut his fingers on his strings. “I was just really feeling it at the end” he said, laughing and showing me the blood on his fingers and guitar from their slamming finale.
It was definitely a pleasure to see a band so young bring such a wonderful blend of punk energy and alternative grooves. Places like Victory’s are perfect for such a loud and spirited show, and I look forward to seeing what else they can blend together in their 2nd year together. They are currently working on a few more shows this spring, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for more details!
- Until Then
- Greasy Beef
- Lend a Hand
- Blister in the Sun
- I Love My Mom
- Might as Well