Ready to shift into high gear

KIERAN GRANT

, Last Updated: 2:43 AM ET

Supergarage wouldn't be the first bunch of smalltown punks to lay claim to the garage-rock title.

Fact is, the band's name is a tribute to the St. Catharines auto collision shop they called home while laying the foundations of their self-titled debut album.

"We had nowhere else to practise so we used our bass player's father's garage," explains Supergarage singer Marco DeFelice, whose band unveils the new disc with two shows at Reverb Saturday.

"The place was huge. It held tractor trailers and all that, so we always had tons of reverb, like we were playing in front of an empty stadium. It had a big feel. Then we'd go play a bar -- that would put us in our place."

Supergarage actually came together up the road from St. Catharines in Thorold, when DeFelice and his bandmates -- bassist Rob, guitarist Mike Palermo, and drummer Roger Habel Jr. -- were junior high kids with big ideas about rock stardom.

"We always believed that we were going to be huge," laughs the singer. "We knew we were going to do this, mind you, I never thought I'd be 25, and not have attained fame yet."

Still, DeFelice says that he's glad Supergarage have had a chance to pace themselves. The band got their first taste of notoriety two years ago when they won Q107's Homegrown talent search. An EP, Duct Tape, and a local radio hit, Post Teen Crisis, followed.

"That's one of those songs you write and figure there's no way it's going to get on radio," says DeFelice.

"It was written as a joke song, and the next thing we know it's four years later and we're still playing it live, and I'm saying to our drummer, 'I really don't want to be remembered for this.' "

"I think I had a little mission this time to make sure people knew I had more to say. I tried to sound less jaded. I focused more on personal stuff rather than send out too many anti-establishment messages that were kind of in jest.

"It's easier to get on stage and sing about a part of me as opposed to trying to remember, 'What was my motivation when I wrote this?' "

While Supergarage is ambitious, the band continues to call Thorold home, and happily remain under the shadow of their hometown's most famous son: 'Polka King' Walter Ostanek. The multi-Grammy winning accordion player even sat in on their song Work It In.

Says DeFelice: "Walter gets his car fixed at the garage, so Rob's dad put in a request on our behalf. His answer was, 'Yes, I have to keep my options open.' People always said our songs had that polka beat. It just clicked.

"Walter's the guy. It's unreal how rigorous his touring is. There is a polka guy, who's really working it."

TINY TALENT GEEKS: Local indie label Skullgeek records presents their three-night "Tiny Talent Fest" at the El Mocambo this weekend. Mean Red Spiders and Parts Unknown -- unveiling a new lineup that features Mattel electronic drums and a single-note guitar -- round off a highly worthwhile lineup that also includes It's Patrick, Reflectiostack, and Joy. Tomorrow's show features Starkweather Fix, Loogan Bin, Neck, and Amor De Cosmos. We Are The Meat, Secret Agent, Slowgun and Nettle play Saturday. Cover is $3 ... The New Grand and Noah's Arkweld are also on the Reverb bill Saturday night. Singer Tara McLean joins the lineup for a 2 p.m. all-ages show.

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