by Charissa Reeves
In April Smothered in Hugs played a fundraiser for the photography class of Holland College at Hunter’s Ale House. Ryan Crane, vocals, guitar and hair—as the other members say—said the band was pleased to play a fundraiser supporting another creative venture.
Smothered in Hugs are Josh Byrne on bass, Aaron Crane on drums, Todd MacLean on keyboard and guitar and Ryan Crane. The two Cranes are brothers, MacLean is their cousin and Byrne a long time friend is a distant cousin. The group started playing about two years ago with MacLean joining about a year ago.
“So we’ve only been a real band for a year,” said Ryan. Before joining the group Todd was a member of other bands. “I was in this terrible band called The Rude Mechanicals, before that I was in an awesome band called Monolith.” “Shut up man, you’re so self-deprecating,” laughs Ryan. The band laughs and pokes fun at each other; the three love to make fun of Ryan’s hair. “He’s just cute that’s why we keep him around. He’s the hair,” Aaron said.
The group plays fast-paced, tight, melodic rock, with what I would call a definite Brit rock influence. The bass lines Byrne plays are faster than the ones you hear in many other local groups, helping to make the over-all sound add to the variety in our local music scene.
“The main aspect of a good show to the group is when all four band members are happy with it,” said Aaron. “We’ve played shows before where we hated it and everybody else liked it.” “The band likes good sound; a good night is when we feel like it sounds good,” said Ryan.
The band’s main goal is keeping their number one fan happy. Mother Crane. “We just hope to keep pleasing our Mom basically. All our moms,” Ryan said. Ryan and Aaron’s mother attends all the shows and often she wears a black t-shirt created for her by one of her sons friends reading Mother of Hugs in gold glitter.
Smothered in Hugs will release a six song EP entitled Fancy Demo at Hunter’s on May 6. The album will be available at Back Alley Discs. The band is writing songs for an album and will be playing around town this summer with plans to go back to Halifax and a few other places as well. For show dates and other information visit www.smotheredinhugs.com.