Thursday September 16, 2021

Mother Tongue

Some Party is a newsletter sharing the latest in independent Canadian rock'n'roll, curated weekly by Adam White. Each edition explores punk, garage, psych, and otherwise uncategorizable indie rock, drawing lines from proto to post and taking some weird diversions along the way.

Visibly Choked: "Mother Tongue"

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Montreal psych titans Mothland took an aggressive turn with the signing of Visibly Choked, a 5-piece hardcore/punk group who made waves with their recent appearance at FME. Described alternatively by the label as "a hardcore Kate Bush" and "five people having a panic attack," the quintet recently previewed their debut Mothland release with the track "Mother Tongue." The tightly-wound tune's one of six slated for a self-titled EP, due November 5. You can stream it everywhere now or see it featured in a new video directed by bassist Cassidy Johnson (a clip featuring what seems to be an equally unsettling callback to DEVO's Booji Boy character).

"Mother Tongue" arrives as our second glimpse into the new record, following a demo for "Uneven Keel" that surfaced in February. Visibly Choked first emerged last winter as part of the inaugural Demo Fest, an online event that's provided this newsletter with no shortage of threads to pull.

The band recorded the EP live off the floor with Steven Gibb engineering at Lite Downs Studio. Pillea's Micah Brown mixed with the prolific Will Killingsworth (Bootlicker, Antibodies, Cluttered) mastering the set. Visibly Choked features vocalist Gabrielle Domingue backed by guitarists Eddie Phouth and Wesley MacNeil, bassist Cassidy Johnson, and Yoo Doo Right's John Talbot on drums.

Ciggie & The Darts: "The Moon is High"

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High octane Ottawa garage-rock trio Ciggie & The Darts has a new video online featuring a performance of "The Moon is High," recorded as part of the Pils Sessions. The band appears in the fourth edition of the Gatineau-based series, following volumes featuring the Quebec punk/crust groups Ad Vitam, Collapsed, and Fractured. The Darts play four songs in their set, recorded off the floor of the NOMANSLAND studio with Chany Pilote engineering and Dizz Hupé capturing it all on film.

Ciggie & The Darts features members of Chloroform, Slumlord, and Alcohol Fueled, performing under the stage names Ciggie Tarbox (vocals/guitar), Rolls "Sugarlumps" Royce (drums), and Double Double (bass). The group last released the demo set Liquor, Leather, Denim & Darts in early 2020.

Jacob Barber: "April Snow"

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Sarnia singer-songwriter Jacob Barber has a new single out titled "April Snow," a relaxed yet hooky cut of 60s throwback psych-pop. It's the first single from the upcoming LP Floating Nowhere, due October 1 through Brampton's Glue Gun Records. You can stream it now at Bandcamp, or better yet, see it visualized in a playfully vintage and weirdly endearing low budget video directed by and starring Barber.

Barber wrote, recorded, and mixed the new track from his home studio with ROY's like-minded Patrick Lefler mastering. The new LP follows several pandemic-era releases, including January's Loving Friends and November 2020's Strange Time. Before the pandemic, at least, Barber fronted the dream pop group Dream Seer and the psych-rockers Bad Habit. Last spring, he released the home-recorded Living Little Room full-length.

Wine Lips: "Eyes"

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Toronto garage rockers Wine Lips have signed with Stomp Records for the release of their third full-length. Titled Mushroom Death Sex Bummer Party (aren't they all), the 11-song set lands October 29 through the long-running Montreal label. You can preview the record now through the single "Eyes," available in a new video from director Sammy J. Lewis. Vocalist/guitarist Cam Hilborn described the clip in a statement:

"Sammy had the idea of making it look like the band was playing inside a garbage bag, so we did a classic performance video but tried to make it a little more interesting with crazy fast paced cuts and some added green screen fun. It was super fun, super sweaty and we felt like trash by the end of the day."

As for the song itself, Hilborn revealed:

"Eyes is a song about feeling burnt out creatively, mentally and physically. Something so many of us can relate to, even more so over the past year and a half. It sheds light on situations where you find yourself powering through the days with different coping methods brought on by late nights, alcohol and promiscuity, and seeing how far you can push the limits of your body before you find yourself defeated and broken down."

Wine Lips features vocalist/guitarist Cam Hilborn, drummer Aurora Evans, guitarist Jordan Sosensky, and bassist Charlie Weare. The group recorded at London's Sugar Shack studio with Simon Larochette producing. The new LP follows up 2019's Stressor.

Tunic: "Apprehension"

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Winnipeg noise-punks Tunic continue to roll out previews of Quitter, their upcoming LP. In just over two minutes, "Apprehension" presents a breakneck journey through loud/quiet dynamics, snapping from grimy lows to surges of aggression. The track comes accompanied by an animated video from director Dimitris Armenakis featuring art from Sam Neal. In a statement, guitarist/vocalist David Schellenberg revealed "[the song's] about giving up, being defeated and getting bulldozed by a relationship."

"Apprehension" arrives as our third advance listen to the 11-song LP, due October 15 through Artoffact Records. The Besnard Lakes' Jace Lasek (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) recorded and mixed, with Carl Saff (Mitski, Guided By Voices, Speedy Ortiz) mastering. This new material follows April's Exhaling collection, a 23 song set that included the entirety of Tunic's 2019 LP Complexion in its runtime.

While not yet naming them, Schellenberg also recently revealed the group has a new bassist selected to replace the recently departed Roy Ellis. Drummer Dan Unger remains in the fold. David also shared that the band's hard at work formulating their third LP, with Drew Riekman of Abbotsford post-punks Blessed collaborating on the songwriting. Tunic plans to record in Rhode Island this December at the Machines With Magnets studio.

Ducks Ltd.: "Under the Rolling Moon"

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Toronto jangle-pop act Ducks Ltd. recently shared "Under the Rolling Moon," the latest preview of their fast-approaching Modern Fiction LP. The song notably features backing vocals from New Zealand indie-pop group The Beths. In a statement, Ducks' vocalist/guitarist Tom McGreevy shared:

"'Under The Rolling Moon' is about trying to be there for a friend who is in a moment of crisis... Some of the frustration maybe of witnessing someone else's extremely recognizable self-defeating behaviour, but mostly just the feeling of caring for them, knowing they can be ok and hoping that they can find their way to seeing that."

The track arrived alongside a video from directors Ambar Navarro and Max Flick. The filmmakers commented on the visual lineage of their creation:

"[the band] was kinda aiming to make something that feels like a low to mid budget video in 1985, loosely inspired by some of the Cure videos and the video for Grant McLennan's 'Easy Come Easy Go.' I feel like there is something about the awkwardness of early music videos, before people really knew what they were supposed to be or how they were supposed to act in them, that neatly dovetails with our own inherent awkwardness."

Ducks Ltd. records as a duo featuring Tom McGreevy (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards) and Evan Lewis (guitar, bass, drum programming). The new record, their first LP, arrives on October 1 through Royal Mountain and Carpark. It lands as the follow-up to their recently reissued and expanded Get Bleak EP. James Cecil (The Goon Sax, Architecture in Helsinki) produced the record remotely from their Australian studio.

Mononegatives: Brainspots split

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I can't get enough of the London synth-punk trio Mononegatives, and thankfully they have no shortage of weird little buzz-bombs up their sleeves. The band's latest arrives as part of a split cassette with the Lima, Ohio punk group Brainspots. The Monos have a pair of songs from the release available for preview now at Bandcamp, with tapes available soon.

The new songs arrive following Fascimile, an incredibly limited tape issued through Italy's Mimetics Zine. The most recent release that you could realistically get your hands on arrived in 2020 as the LP Apparatus Division, available through Big Neck Records in the US and No Front Teeth in the UK.

Mononegatives is one of several ongoing projects from the enviably prolific Robbie Brake (Isölation Party, Obsoletism, Klazo, among others). Here Brake sings and plays guitar and synth, joined by bassist Jon and drummer David.

Spectres: "Tell Me"

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Following up on last week's news, the Vancouver deathrock quintet Spectres has a video online showcasing their new single, "Tell Me." The New Order influenced track appears on the group's upcoming collection Hindsight: a retrospective 12-song set collecting out of print singles, unreleased material, and new material recorded in the wake of 2019's Nostalgia. Wayne Moreheart directed the new video.

Artoffact Records has the album on deck for a November 5 release. Originally from Coombs, British Columbia, Spectres features vocalist Brian Gustavson backed by drummer Mitch Allen, bassist Jason Renix, and guitarists Zach Batalden and Adam Mitchell.

Chastity: "Pummeling"

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Whitby alt-rockers Chastity continue their journey into suburban angst with Suffer Summer, their third LP and first for the band's new US home of Deathwish Inc. Dine Alone's carrying the album in Canada, with a release date set for January 13, 2022. The news came with the record's second preview, a buoyant pop-punk single titled "Pummeling" (we heard "Dying to Live" a few weeks back). Singer/songwriter Brandon Williams commented on the emo-flavoured track in a statement:

"'Pummeling' was a place I was afraid to go, I've been so focused on my music being challenging, technical, and correct. But on this, I wanted to allow myself to go simple, out of my comfort zone."

Chastity selected the LP's ten songs from 24 penned while on tour supporting Home Made Satan. PUP's Stefan Babcock co-wrote two tracks for the record, "When You Go Home I Withdrawal" and the album-opening "Real World." Alexisonfire and City and Colour's Dallas Green lends his distinctive vocals to the song "Vicious Circle," as well.

Chastity last released Home Made Satan in 2019, following their 2018 debut Death Lust.

Casper Skulls: "Tommy"

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Toronto indie rock group Casper Skulls have a second single online from their upcoming LP Knows No Kindness. In a statement, the band's Melanie St-Pierre spoke about the mysterious neighbour who inspired the album-opening "Tommy":

"Tommy is about a neighbour that Neil and I had when we lived on Caledonia St. in Toronto... He was an older British man and we would exchange pleasantries sometimes, but I never learned his real name

Items started mysteriously appearing in the bus shelter in front of his house. Thoughtful, curious, or useful things seemed to be planted there to bring people joy. It began happening more frequently and eventually I saw him placing something in there. I had this odd connection to him like I might be one of the only people who knew it was him doing this, which inspired me to write a song about him. Knowing next to nothing about him, I decided to make up an entire life story. Maybe he immigrated to Toronto a long time ago and perhaps met his wife here and had kids? Perhaps she passed away not long ago due to an illness? Who knows. The song is driven by mystery. The same sort of mystery he gave me."

The new record finds Casper Skulls rebuilding around St-Pierre as their sole lead vocalist, in the process trading some of their heavier aspects for a more folk-based sound. The group now consists of Melanie backed by guitarist Neil Bednis, bassist Fraser McClean, and new. drummer Aurora Bangarth. Knows No Kindness arrives November 12 from Next Door Records, following up 2018's Mercy Works.

Dooms Children: "Heavy Year"

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Alexisonfire's Wade MacNeil has another preview of his psych-rock act Dooms Children online. You can stream the sombre "Heavy Year" now. It's the third track from the project's self-titled LP to surface, following "Psyche Hospital Blues" and "Flower Moon." In a short statement, MacNeil commented:

"This song is about not running away from suffering. It's about feeling it, living it, and moving past it."

The album arrives on October 20 from Dine Alone Records. MacNeil recorded live-off-the-floor in Welland, Ontario, with Daniel Romano co-producing. Those studio sessions featured percussion from Ian Romano (Daniel Romano's Outfit, Career Suicide) and additional guitars from Patrick Bennett (Mountain Dust).

Hate It Too: "Abilene"

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Quebec City prog-punk act Hate It Too has a new single in the wild, a one-off track titled "Abilene." The release lands as the band's first new material to arrive in the wake of their 2020 Hell For Breakfast LP Lampshading, a record that saw the group grow rather dramatically from their roots in skate punk. This song again finds the quartet working with producer David Lizotte.

Hate It Too formed in 2008 in Trois-Pistoles, relocating to the capital in 2012. The band features guitarist/vocalists Marc-Antoine Dionne and Cédric Michaud, bassist Stéphane Simard, and drummer Jean-Philippe Gagnon.

The Ruddy Ruckus: Wentworth And Main

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Earlier this month, Hamilton's The Ruddy Ruckus released their debut full-length, a 12 song set of muscular garage rock titled Wentworth And Main. You can check out the album in full over at Bandcamp. The band evolved from the folk-punk solo project of frontman Rob Brown into a quartet featuring guitarist Jackson Dorie, bassist Giordano Modesto, and drummer Patrick Brown. You can get a good sense of their headspace through an in-depth feature that recently ran at In The Bucket.

The Ruddy Ruckus recorded with The Dirty Nil's Luke Bentham producing. Vince Soliveri engineered, with Dave Schiffman (PUP, The OBGMs) mixing and Harry Hess (Arkells, Monster Truck) mastering.

Part-Time Cool: No Free Rides

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Innes Wilson's pop-punk alter-ego Part-Time Cool is back with a new EP, the third in a series of pandemic-era time killers. No Free Rides lands following July's Five Four Three Two One and May's kickoff Fell In Love at The Punk Show. The Guelph-based singer-songwriter commented on this latest set, which bridges subject matter that's both nostalgic and political:

"With the release of my third EP in a series of quarantine-recorded punk songs fuelled by pandemic boredom, Part-time Cool is the not-so-secret side project that came to be realized in the first round of quarantine. There was endless amounts of time to reminisce, reflect, and be frustrated. As a result, these songs are pumped full of nostalgia and adolescent irritants that have resonated into the present.

This EP is a capsule of a quarantine state of mind. When you're missing your friends, live music, and whatever we mean when we say 'before.' I hope that these songs resonate with a world of uncertainty, frustrations, and a reliable old car with unreliable audio capabilities and stuffed to the brim with irreplaceable friends.

One of my favourite memories is of my first vehicle, an Aerostar mini van, bought in high school after months of 12 hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday. When you're in a band, you need a van to play all the garages, ballet studios, and basements. The freedom of your first car that could hold a packed crowd on drives around South Western Ontario. The world opened up. And as the world opens up and we see more, we end up with songs like 'RCMPig.' What we see isn't always what's there and the song is about the racism and brutality from the RCMP and the overwhelming dishonesty of world leaders. There's a bit of everything on this four-song record."

Where else can you hear a love song for a van just a hop, skip, and a jump away from an excerpt from Manufacturing Consent? Wilson recorded these four songs between March and May of 2020 in Guelph, with Pillea's Micah Brown mixing and editing from Montreal earlier this year.

Micah gives me a dollar for every newsletter mention, full disclosure.

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