I never got into Caribou prior to Andorra, mainly because of a natural aversion to animal-named bands. Yeah, yeah, I like the Wolf Parade and I’d probably give the Panda Bear record 8.6 bamboo shoots, but as a general rule, naming oneself after a furry four-legged creature usually means that you’ll end up as a bad indie-rock punchline faster than you can say AIDS Wolf.

Of course, Caribou actually used to be called Manitoba. A slightly better moniker but one unfortunately claimed by the former lead singer of the Dictators, Handsome Dick Manitoba, who presumably won the rights solely based off the fact that Handsome Dick Manitoba is the second greatest name in the history of the world (behind Handsome Dan).

On wax, Caribou is Daniel Snaith, an unassuming curly haired Canadian with a receding hairline and a Math PHD, who reportedly thought of the name Caribou while tripping on acid in the Canadian wilderness (I imagine this was right before purchasing the god-awful shirt he’s wearing in the above photo). But for his live set, the band is a four-piece with two drummers (including Snaith) and two guitarists capable of producing furious eardrum popping walls of sound.

Dan Snaith Taking It Back to His Roots, And Eating Them


Backed by a large LCD screen flashing colorful splinters of light, Caribou’s live show is pretty much what you’d expect from a bunch of guys who like to take acid and stare for hours at esoteric Canadian wildlife: psychedelic and pretty damned awesome. Their latest effort, Andorra is a deceptively sad record once you peel away all the layered guitars and electronic wizardry, but live, the band was locked in with a sweat-dripping intensity, all violent drums, serrated guitars and eerie psychedelic vocals.

It was one of the better shows I’ve been to this year and I know I say that like four times a week but really, it was. If you’ve never listened to Caribou, because you mistakenly conflated them with We Are Wolves, or Frog Eyes or Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (they’re like Broken Social Scene meets The Annuals Meets Afro-Pop) then you should definitely check them out. I’d give them at least 8.6 bamboo shoots.


From Andorra
MP3: Caribou-“Melody Day”
MP3: Caribou-“Irene”

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