by Annie Webber

You know those guys in high school – the ones who became best friends when they were all really cool kindergartners and grew up together getting funnier and cooler every year? The ones who sat in the back of concert band with their ties hanging loose and all the girls in the clarinet section wanting to kill/date them? Yeah, those guys, with the hilarious one-liners, countless stories of reckless fun, with effortless style and hearts of gold. That’s Sandman Viper Command.

Self-described, SVC is “really more of a cult, with bitchin’ tunes” – truer words have never been spoken. The boys (that is, Rob Janson, Aaron Harvey, Dan Reardon and Matt Meyer) have played venues far and wide – all over the city, and in little pockets of the golden horseshoe (Hamilton, Burlington… you get it). From playing Danny Zuko in grade eleven (that’s Rob) to a string of Toronto venues, including the last Wavelength in the hallowed halls of Sneaky Dee’s and several throwdowns at Rancho Relaxo, to intimate nights of music at their St. Catherine’s-area recording studio (The Barn – check it out if you love good music, good friends and great apple crisp – Sandman has been delivering a seriously groove-able buffet of rock-n-roll tunes for quite a while, to absolutely ravenous crowds. There’s something magic in the air when the set starts – something that makes you get up and move, something that makes you think of summer car rides to house parties, windows down, 140 km/h. Something to do with being passionately in love with music and all your best friends. Something definitely worth experiencing firsthand. Their music is rock at its roots, with addictive beats, plenty-o-shoutin’, some serious guitar riffs and chant-worthy lyrics. Witness a bit of magic for yourself on their Myspace page ( or check ’em out in good company as featured on – a collection of performances by Ontario artists (

Or hey, if you’re more for live music (good choice,) Sandman’s next show happens to be this Saturday at Lee’s Palace, along with the Arkells. If you must miss it, shame on you, but they’ll be back. Get to a show soon, though – these guys are on their way to the top.