There’s no escaping the evil powers of rock ‘n’ roll.
Pleasure Shop is a testament to such influence. Amalgamating decades of
experience as learned and accomplished musicians, Pleasure Shop mark their
second year as a unified and imposing front; a band ready to dominate the music
industry thanks to creativity, integrity and a whole lotta gutsy rock. Their debut
independent LP Fantastic Life displays a band that has not only embraced but
excelled at the dominance and ferocity of unadulterated rock.
Yet rock ‘n’ roll wasn’t the first genre this London/Toronto, Ontario-based band
initially adopted. Singer, guitarist and principal songwriter Chris Chown divulges:
“I had been playing blues professionally since I was 15, touring around Canada and
down to Mexico. I literally hadn’t even listened to the radio before, wrapping myself
up in my mother’s blues records. Guitarist Adam Thibert took me to a rock show
one night and while I wasn’t a huge proponent for rock music at that time, I was
blown away. The energy and volume left a major impression on me. I was changed
The results of that epiphany are evident on Fantastic Life, an effort which finds
Chown’s songwriting capabilities perfectly documented via the technical prowess
of fellow musicians Chuck D. Keeping, Ryan Spong and Adam Thibert, three minstrels
with a long list of personal musical achievements as well. Coupling up with renowned
producer Dan Brodbeck (Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, Landon Pigg, Head Strong)
to realize Fantastic Life, the band are extremely proud of its potency.
“We've all been friends in some capacity for years, jamming and playing music,” says
Chown. “Dan had actually already recorded this band…but it was in a blues format.
Once we started to shift towards rock, it was obvious that we would continue to work
with him. We’ve been together as a band for so long that we have an inherent
anticipation of what each other can and will do musically, and Dan really taps into
Mastered by Grammy-award winner Ted Jenson (Dave Matthews Band, Green Day,
Norah Jones), tracks such as “Flawed By Design” and “Fall” are rich, textured shots
of dynamics, expertise and practical confidence that impel listeners into foot-stomping
disposition. Uniting volume with perfection, the band maximizes their sonic thrust,
surpassing the low-fidelity trapping that haunts most independent bands. However,
taking no less than two years to perfect Fantastic Life, Pleasure Shop ensured the final
results would be no less than stunning.
“We took our time writing and recording Fantastic Life,” notes Chown. "We wanted to
make sure our work was presented in a way we'd be proud of long-term. I feel as though
we’ve certainly achieved that.”
The release of Fantastic Life proves that Pleasure Shop is well on its way to attaining
the same degree of domination over rock as they demonstrate with their
well-documented blues might. Noting that they would never turn their backs on such a
vital genre—itself a direct ancestor of rock—Pleasure Shop feel that Fantastic Life pulls
from the band’s blues roots but conveys a new musical voice.
“We’ve all been playing music our whole lives. It’s our obsession. We want to be
successful yet continue our artistry," Chown states. "Blues is an expressive type of
music, but writing in the confines of the 1-4-5 progression had left me feeling somewhat
unsatisfied. I love playing blues but I needed to find my own voice. With rock, I've been
able to do that, and as a band we've developed our sound. I think Fantastic Life is proof