Sunday August 13, 2017

Benefits

Toronto's Twist have announced that they'll follow up their 2016 full length Spectral with an EP this September titled Benefits. Buzz Records will handle the release, which features production by Michael Butler (Beta Frontiers).

You can preview the EP's title track below. It finds the three-piece further refining their fuzzed out jangle-pop, writing together more cohesively as a band after road-testing their lineup in support of Spectral. The song finds frontwoman Laura Hermiston reflecting on the challenge of finding financial stability, as she told The FADER:

"The song is about the American Dream in a sense... It’s easy to get in a routine where you work hard and struggle to make ends meet but lose sight of what you are working towards. Have you taken a moment to look at the big picture and reassess what you are doing? Maybe the plans you had 5 or 10 years ago have been forgotten or pushed aside, or maybe things occurred in your life that forced you to change your goals.

Choosing to work in a creative field often means forfeiting stability. Working contract to contract, or being replaced, maybe by a less experienced cheaper option. Chances are the industry you work in is different from your parent's time and maybe their ideas of how to achieve stability are outdated solutions. I’m not here to complain, but I wanted to write about something that is a real life struggle."

Look for the EP on September 22nd, with supporting performances in the US and Canada scheduled for October.

Of Note

Hamilton, Ontario's Supercrawl is such a cool event. It turns the city's trendiest downtown corridors into a massive pedestrian street festival and art exhibit, all while showcasing independent artists from a swath of genres. A number of new bands, big and small, have been confirmed for this year's event, which takes place from September 8th through the 10th along James Street North in the Hammer. Toronto punk quartet PUP and platinum-selling Saskatoon rock band The Sheepdogs are the major new additions to an event that already boasted Tanya Tagaq and John K. Samson among others. On a more intimate scale local venue This Ain't Hollywood has announced their "Supercrawl Cash Grab" show on September 9th which features the legend B.A. Johnston headlining with local punks Flesh Rag, post-punk collective The Pucumber Sasssquash Family Band, psyche act The Crowleys, and Peterborough garage rock act Beef Boys. The growing list of artists joining Supercrawl in one way or another can be found at the festival's website.

Speaking of John K. Samson, the Weakerthans principal has announced a fall tour supporting Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn. Finn, with his backing band the Uptown Controllers, have shows scheduled across the US in October (with a single Canadian date at the Horseshoe in Toronto on the 25th). Samson will perform as a solo act on the tour, supporting his recent full-length Winter Wheat. You can find the dates over at Exclaim.

Also speaking of Hamilton, the revived 70s era Hamilton psych / proto-punk act Simply Saucer is recording new material. Jesse Locke, author of Heavy Metalloid Music: The Story of Simply Saucer and drummer of Tough Age and Century Palm, shared a number of Instagram updates from the studio where he's working with the band.

Here's a sentence I never thought I would write: I'm recording with Simply Saucer today!

A post shared by Jesse Locke (@wipeoutbeat) on

Toronto's Flatliners have unveiled a new video for the song "Indoors" from their latest album Inviting Light (Dine Alone / Rise). There are a few well-known Toronto scene personalities that make appearances in as karaoke singers in the clip.

This September, the band will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of their 2007 sophomore full length The Great Awake with a limited vinyl reissue on Fat Wreck Chords, limited to 500. The Californian punk label will also be issuing a 7" featuring three demos recorded for the album: live off the floor recordings of "This Is Giving Up," "Meanwhile, in Hell," and "You Guys Want One of These?"

Van City Rockers recently announced the new EP from surf/psych-influenced Vancouver punk band Dopey's Robe. Rock Steady, New Mexico is a frenetic set of songs, finding the band rapidly hopping between tempos amidst crashing drums and buzzing vocals. This follows the band's self-titled full length, which arrived just this past January.

While I was over at Van City I stumbled across another recent release you should hear. Vancouver's Hygiene put out a cassette titled "Hypocrite" this past June on Jaundice Records that finds the four-piece taking on a bit of an Adolescents-meet-Devo vibe that's a lot of fun.

Montreal's Mundy's Bay have announced a short August tour of the northeastern US in support of their recently released EP Wandering and Blue, a moody post-punk record with some tasteful new wave and goth hints that you should definitely check out. You can find the dates over at Punknews.

Fiver has unveiled a video for her haunting "Hair of the Dead," which appears on her lauded recent release Audible Songs From Rockwood. The Jeff Bierk-directed video was filmed at a showing by Toronto artist Tony Romano and his work features prominently.

Fiver's label Idée Fixe has also announced the new full length from Halifax-based four-piece indie rock act Mauno. A joint release with the UK label Tin Angel, Mauno's new LP Tuning is set for an October 13th release and will be supported by a European tour supporting Calgary's Chad VanGaalen. There's a new Tom Chick directed video for the song "Helah" to be found at YouTube, and I'd recommend giving the Dominionated write-up on the track "How Long" a read.

FME

Some Party is sponsored this month by the Festival de musique émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, or FME for short. The Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec music festival is celebrating 15 years from August 31st through September 3rd. There's over 70 acts performing in a variety of genres (and languages) and I'll be profiling a few of them here each week this month.

Montreal's rockabilly champion Bloodshot Bill is a force of nature, so it's fitting that he's playing two sets at FME this year, playing late night sets on both Saturday and Sunday evening at Au Diable Rond. Bill takes the sound and style of the 50s and plays them with abandon, bringing forth the stomping, sweaty, aggressive side of that staple sound that gets lost in old recordings. He's supporting his recent Norton Records full-length Guitar Boy at FME this year with his band the Hick-ups at his side.

One of the pleasures of delving into FME for me is uncovering how many awesome rock bands the Quebec music scene's produced that we don't hear much about in the English-language press. Take Montreal's Fuudge. The band's recent Lazy At Work released EP Man! flips gleefully between lovely 60s psychedelia and huge, crunchy stoner metal riffs. On a track like the album-opening "Satan" that happens within a single song. Fuudge will play the Cabaret de la dernière chance at FME on Thursday evening.

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