London, Ontario’s WHOOP-Szo is a blazing force of DIY rock. Fronted by Anishinaabe-Canadian community leader Adam Sturgeon, the band has spent nearly a decade carving out a reputation for themselves in Canada’s crowded DIY scene, rising on the strength of their musicianship, songwriting, and tireless touring.
A WHOOP-Szo show is a heavy and meditative experience that tends to leave audiences reeling — and raving. The opposite of a buzz band, WHOOP-Szo have played over 500 shows together, which gives their performances a cohesion that borders on the telepathic. With thick, sludgy guitar fills, drum solos that actually make you wish they were longer, and vocals that range from sweet to unhinged, audiences will recall 90’s grunge, rock, and psychedelia. Sturgeon’s onstage banter, however, is decidedly 21st-century: employing caustic humour while addressing the poisonous legacies of colonialism, he is a truth-teller using his platform to effect change in the wider Canadian music and arts community.