Sunday February 10, 2019

Ketchup Chips

Mississauga's eclectic noise-pop trio Mildew Mildew have joined forces with Toronto underground rock label Art of the Uncarved Block. On March 1 the label will release a cassette that combines songs from the band's two new EPs, Double Doors and Different Floors. Here's what the label had to say about the unpredictable group:

"Mildew Mildew fearlessly creates songs that unravel like stories; their structures being both dynamic and deeply colourful as they unfurl... These sessions were a result of work made at an unflinching speed and creative fury, leaving listeners to wonder if these songs weren’t actually summoned by some greater artistic force. Albeit drastically unique in their form, Double Doors/Different Floors is not a far cry from the spastic and borderless creativity delivered by the early releases of Modest Mouse and Built to Spill, or the trademark rhythmic tension seen in the carefree demeanour of Pavement’s percussionists. While effortlessly dusting off the cobwebs of indie-rock, Mildew Mildew have begun setting themselves apart as innovators poised to deliver songs that are both reassuringly spry and fiercely exciting to a new generation of listeners."

Mildew Mildew features vocalist/guitarist from Nolan Jakupovski, bassist Cameron Leslie, and drummer Tristan Sousa.

Here's your first taste of the new EPs with the song "Ketchup Chips" from the Different Floors set. Nolan left us a note calling the song "a panic-fuelled confession, sort of, and is about not caring what other people think." This is one of those tracks that looks wild just from the peaks and valleys of the SoundCloud waveform. With a satisfying whoop, a frantic spoken word intro turns suddenly into a groovy slacker rock number, with notes of the above-mentioned low-fi heroes Pavement and even some 90s-heydey Beck creeping through.å

The tape's release show will fittingly take place in the storefront of Toronto's Dupe Shop on March 1, with support from Pour Toi and Teenage Green Bean. It's an all-ages, pay-what-you-can affair. Art of the Uncarved Block has the limited quality, handmade cassette up for preorder now.

Listen: Mildew Mildew - "Ketchup Chips" @ Some Party

B.A. Johnston's the one artist I can think of who's mastered the most tedious aspect online music promotion: announcing the next show. The problem is that outside of the immediate local market, nobody cares. There's many a band I'm a fan of who I dare not follow online to avoid the tedious, plodding social media posts promoting their next club show, and the next, and the next, and the next. Stoked to play Albany tonight, you can buy tickets online here. Early show in Boise today, tickets available at the door.

B.A., as with all things, treats his relentless touring as just another beat in a long-running joke. The self-described "failed showman" heralds his arrival in the next bar with tongue-in-cheek disdain for either himself or the destination, often both. I never tire of reading these, regardless of their proximity to me personally.

"You know how you tell yourself I'll never play this town again, and then somehow in like two years you find yourself back there again? Barrie I'm back. Foxx lounge tonight. Doors at 9."

"It's a blur of Schooner and blood. Questioning your life's choices and then realizing free will doesn't exist. Spending your nominal cover charge on more Schooner tonight. Halifax. Gus Pub."

"Dodge Caravan loaded and headed towards Bracebridge for some reason. Kelly's Pub. Show around 10"

Johnston's Caravan figures regularly into his travelogue, and increasingly his music. Take "Jesus Take The Wheel" from his upcoming full-length The Skid Is Hot Tonight. In this track, the homely minivan nearly meets disaster, spinning out on black ice somewhere on the cruelly endless highways that connect this country. Johnston's life flashes before his eyes, his many regrets coming to the fore. In this, perhaps his final moment, he calls to a higher power for an assist.

"Jesus Take The Wheel" is one of 21 songs packed onto The Skid Is Hot Tonight, which arrives on February 22 from Winnipeg's Transistor 66. It's Johnston's 12th album. This new record, like its 2017 predecessor Gremlins 3, was produced by Mathias Kom of The Burning Hell and recorded at The Quarantine in Port Greville, Nova Scotia with Colleen Collins and Dave Trenaman of Construction & Destruction. In the studio (and on this tune), B.A.'s band featured Joel Tong on guitar and Jon McKiel on drums.

Johnston will support the new record with an extensive tour, taking the Dodge back out on Canadians roads from February through April, followed by a set of UK dates in May. Details are forthcoming on a late-May visit to Germany and a run through the Maritimes this June. The forthcoming Canuck dates will feature appearances from bands like Beef Boys, Flesh Rag, J Blissette, and Deathsticks on various dates.

Of course, the only thing better than seeing B.A. live is to watch some other band seated next to B.A. as you drink 20 dollar beers in the ACC. KISS is bringing their End of the Road world tour to the Big Smoke on March 20, and you can win a trip to see the show with Johnston. If you want in on this, you need to use the #KissBA hashtag on Instagram or Twitter to convince B.A. you wouldn't be a total drag to hang out with. Entries are also valid through the CHUD Club group on Facebook.

The contest announcement came alongside another thematically-fitting album track, "We're All Going To Jail (Except Pete, He's Gonna Die)." It's a song about seeing Van Halen on mushrooms. Be warned, eventual KISS winners.

Listen: B.A. Johnston - "Jesus Take The Wheel" @ Some Party

Speaking of Transistor 66, this week the label (along with Victoria's Toksa Tapes) will release homewrecker, a collaborative EP featuring Winnipeg indie-pop act Housepanther (née Bailee Woods) and Wrecker, the new Montreal-based solo songwriting project from Jory Strachan of R U S T O W L and 1971. Billed as "a collection of songs and stories dedicated to the theme of infidelity," the set will arrive (fittingly?) on Valentines Day. Each artist contributes a pair of new tunes on the set, with the pair teaming up for the jointly written "Learning The Rules" to close the EP.

I've got something cool from Wrecker's half of the split coming next week, but until then check out Housepanther's video the lovely "17% Wine."

The project will launch on February 14 with a release show at Winnipeg's Forth supported by Baseball Hero and Ciel. They'll then take the new songs on the road with dates scheduled in Ontario and Quebec through the 24th.

Watch: Housepanther - "17% Wine" @ YouTube

Buzz Records has signed the Toronto psych-rock group Mother Tongues, a quintet that includes members of Hooded Fang, Luna Li, and Mimico. The label announced the signing alongside the new single "She's Gone," showcased in a trippy video by Governor General's Award-winning writer and animator Trudy Erin Elmore. Speaking to Exclaim, vocalist Lukas Cheung commented:

"I wrote the main melody of this song riding my bicycle home from a rehearsal years ago. It resurfaced a year or so ago when I was listening to a lot of Prince, '80s McCartney, and the Bee Gees' real pop anthems. I was playing with the idea of trying to write something in that vein."

"She's Gone" is the second single from the band, following "Fortunes" from last year. Both tracks were released to coincide with the Chinese New Year.

Watch: Mother Tongues - "She's Gone" @ YouTube

Quebec City-based no wave / dance-punk trio VICTIME premiered a new track last week at Punknews titled "Diego." It's the second premiere we've had of the band's upcoming Michel Records / Oktober Tone EP Mi-tronc, mi-jambe. The six-song set arrives on March 8. VICTIME features bassist/vocalist Laurence Gauthier-Brown, drummer Samuel Gougoux, and guitarist Simon Provencher. The band's new stuff was engineered and mixed by Simon Provencher at Le Pantoum.

Listen: VICTIME - "Diego" @ Punknews.org

Josh Nickel at Neon Waste enthusiastically endorsed the recent full-length from frenetic Vancouver punk act Bedwetters Anonymous. The band, which features members of Industrial Priest Overcoats, Puzzlehead, and Tough Customer, released a whip-fast 12 song set titled R.U. EXPERIENCING DISCOMFORT (?) on February 1. In his review Josh commented:

"Warbly vocals sometimes convincing me of a youthful Adam Ant sit on top of lost Alternative TV compositions reworked in the garages of misspent youth in America. Speed, rejection and frustration is rarely put to better use. These are the people that grew up with cheap home recording technology, pirated it enth times over and came up with their own rules as to what punk rock was."

Listen: Bedwetters Anonymous - "Absolute Panic" @ YouTube

Ottawa's Sitting On The Outside festival announced its second round of bands last week. Local hardcore/punk/crust acts joining the event include Torpor, The Nailbiters, Liquid Assets, and Asile. Capital city black metal group Skeletal Laughter is now on the bill, along with Kitchener/Waterloo "goofball punk act" Katy Perry Double Feature. New York groups Spell Runner and Decisions have also joined the roster, which includes previously-announced appearances from The New Calling, New Vogue, and Scorpio Rising among others. Now in its third year, Sitting On The Outside will run from June 6 to 9. News on a third round of bands is expected soon.

One of the electronic/industrial acts playing SOTO, Toronto's Mykhaylo, recently released a new EP titled Black Hole Submarine. You can stream the 5-song set below.

Listen: Mykhaylo - "Black Hole Submarine" @ Bandcamp

Low-fi Ottawa indie rock act Empty Nesters have a new collection of fuzzy, blown-out gems available. Tired and Bored arrives as the band's fifth EP and follows a wealth of material released last year. 2018 featured the Jaded EP along with two sets of older demo records (Bag of Suck volumes 1 and 2). Empty Nesters is the solo project of Eric Liao.

Listen: Empty Nesters - Tired and Bored @ Bandcamp

Brandon Saucier's prolific post-punk outfit WINT continues to churn out material. The latest being a 23-song archive of 2017-era tunes titled W.I.N.T. 1: The Other Self. MoreGood Records is carrying the collection.

The Lethbridge, Alberta-based artist also shared a curious new tune from a project named DSK-JTS. The song, "Singularity 2.0," appears to feature Saucier's vocals in a cacophonous, angular freakout mixed and mastered by the Medicine Hat electronic artist Kaape. I can't say for sure what's going on here, as the online presence surrounding DSK-JTS seems purposefully bizarre. It's pretty compelling, regardless.

Listen: DSK-JTS - "Singularity 2.0" @ SoundCloud

Andrew Neville of the Halifax post-punk act Moon has released his second set of new songs for 2019. Ideal Starter Home is a two-song set and follows up the five-song Pure Comfort EP from just a few weeks ago. Moon last released the Paradise String EP in early 2017.

Listen: Andrew Neville - Ideal Starter Home @ Bandcamp

Last week at Punknews.org I cornered Matthew Ellis from Hamilton psych-punks Flesh Rag to break down some of the songs from Inside Your Mind, the trio's recent LP on Schizophrenic and Loose Lips Records. Speaking about the song "In Another Dimension," Ellis commented:

"It's about being stuck in a rut and caught in another dimension and clawing your way out. It's also totally about smoking DMT. I believe psychedelics can really help you figure some shit out. DMT is basically like going to another dimension, anyone that's tried it knows its terrifying and feels like you're a million miles away from home in some fucked up alien land with little creatures talking to you. But you also feel really happy and excited that there seems to be something there that you can talk to and it understands and tells you: 'Hey, it's ok! All that shit is no big deal!'"

It gets weirder from there. You can check out the full feature at Punknews.org.

Read: 3 songs with Flesh Rag @ Punknews.org

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