Sunday May 20, 2018

Space Junk

Sometimes, my friends, your Sunday newsletter arrives on Tuesday. I'd blame Queen Victoria, if anyone.

You may recall a few months back I shared some unfinished new recordings from Chance Hutchison and Max Desharnais of Montreal's Sonic Avenues. Their newly formed band didn't have a name at the time, but it does now. Meet New Vogue.

The band's debut is a self-titled cassette, available now at Bandcamp. The popular YouTube punk channel run by the enigmatic "Anti" (formerly "Jimmy") commented on the release in spectacularly hyperbolic fashion:

"New Vogue is sheer chaos contained in a compact cassette, a duplicitous undertaking that regularly falters between ethereal, summery vibes and a new-wave punk intensity wreathed by whirling noisemakers, both preyed upon by deeply-distorted guitar tones of assorted flavors. For a sixteen minute tape, my first listen certainly felt a lot longer than that, and I'd credit it to the motley of textures that make up this truly psychotic EP..."

Sonic Avenues last released Disconnector in 2016. Since then members of that band have played and recorded as PRIORS (their collaboration with the Famines). If you're into any of those bands, this is absolutely a branch in that same tree.

Listen: New Vogue - New Vogue @ Bandcamp

Mint Records has announced that they'll be co-releasing the next LP from Vancouver's self-described cold-punk group Lié. Hounds is due from Mint and Monofonus Press on July 6. The band, a three-piece that features guitarist Ashlee Lúk, bassist Brittany West, and drummer Kati J, recorded in Austin, Texas with Ian Rundell (Spray Paint, The Rebel). Total Control’s Mikey Young mastered the recordings. The label claims that the resulting collection sounds like "a hardcore tinged Wipers with no-wave tendencies and a love for some deeply dismal post-punk." The first single, "Country Boys," seems to bear that out.

Mint re-released Lié's 2014 debut Consent on cassette a few months ago. Hounds will be the band's third full-length after 2016's Truth or Consequences LP. Expect the Canadian version of Hounds on red vinyl, with a supporting tour that includes a Mint party at Calgary's Sled Island festival on the 22nd of June.

Listen: Lié - "Country Boys" @ Bandcamp

I have no idea what Dreamsday is, but according to Toronto's lauded hardcore adventurers Fucked Up and the Tankcrimes label, it falls on June 15. That also the date that the band's new single "High Rise" arrives on vinyl. The A-side is a cover of a 1979 track by the Trainspotters, a short-lived band fronted by BBC Radio DJ Mike Read. The B-side looks to be an original, titled "Tower On Time."

Fucked Up have been working on their follow up to their 2014 record Glass Boys for a while now, releasing characteristically cryptic updates on Twitter here and there, but otherwise not saying much about it. A new full-length, whenever it arrives, will be their fifth.

Listen: Fucked Up - "High Rise" @ YouTube

It was at a Fucked Up show in St. Catharines that I first encountered Toronto's S.H.I.T. The blistering hardcore act will return with a new LP this summer titled "What Do You Stand For?," which is set for release on Iron Lung Records in North America and La Vida Es Un Mus Discos in the UK. It'll drop June 1, just in time for the band's European tour that kicks off in London that same day. You can find the dates at the band's website.

The new record clocks in at 11 songs, two of which you can preview now. The tracks "Algorithm" and "Destiny" are streaming below.

Listen: S.H.I.T. - "Algorithm" / "Destiny" @ Bandcamp

Keeping with the dirty Toronto underground, last week I premiered a new song and video from the Toronto punk act SAGO at Punknews. The band shared the song "Squealer," which bassist Mike Crossley told me was "about a rigged voting system and the distracting puppet show that is modern politics." It's one of the shortest songs from their upcoming ten song full-length Flood Island, a heavy hardcore punk record with an environmentally conscious bent. It was recorded with Ryan Cox (Jon Creeden, School Damage) and is due this summer.

SAGO features veterans of a number of Ontario punk and hardcore acts. The five-piece includes lead guitarist Marty Poulin (Lilim, Dragged In), vocalist Alexandre Wilson (Sofistifucks), drummer Piers Fox (Cerebral Scrub), bassist Mike Crossley (Vilipend), and rhythm guitar player Chad Kerswill (Single File to Freedom). Kerswill also directed the "Squealer" video.

Watch: SAGO - "Squealer" @ YouTube

Peter Johnson of Toronto's post-hardcore acts Shahman and Low Sun has announced a new solo record under his Tang alias. Art of the Uncarved Block will release the new album, titled Super Happy, on June 2. It's an intimate, super low-fi effort that pulls influence from Lou Barlow, Smog, Mount Eerie, and Bill Callahan.

Johnston premiered a video for the song "It's Not (All) Bad" on PopMatters last week. He commented:

"Super Happy is an investigation of the absurd nature of social conformity and the problems that arise while attempting to resist these constructs. It deals with the primeval mysteries surrounding death and our attempts to accept massive losses and the trauma that follows. It is the brain during and beyond these times."

"Tang reveals itself as both a critic and a sage. A brief window of spiritual clarity before we begin to stabilize and a sense of normalcy takes hold of us again. A meek finger is pointed at our unique and overwhelming nature. Yet, as we sit and listen, we are somehow given the feeling that everything is just as it should be."

Tang will celebrate the new release with a show at Toronto's Dupe Shop on June 2 with Prom Nite and The Alcoves supporting.

Watch: Tang - "It's (Not) All Bad" @ YouTube

Montreal four-piece CELL have released a new EP, further showcasing the reverb-drenched hardcore of their 2017 demo. The four-song set is titled Rules of the Game. The band recorded with Max Gosselin (Ultrarat, F.I.T.S.), with mastering by Will Killingsworth and art by Sash Pozzie. You can check the record out in its entirety at Bandcamp.

Listen: CELL - Rules of the Game @ Bandcamp

Montreal art-rock group Suuns have released a video for "Look No Further," the lead track from their recent Secretly Canadian released full-length Felt. The clip features footage that filmmaker Lorraine Price (Last Woman Standing, Inside These Walls) shot at Werner Herzog’s workshop in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. The band's commented on the video and the Cuban children it features:

"The kids — all non-professional actors — were prompted to discuss magic, and what arose provokes thoughts about youth, disappointment and mystery. Strangely, it speaks to the song."

Suuns has just embarked on a North American tour to support Felt. The dates can be found at Exclaim.

Watch: Suuns - "Look No Further" @ YouTube

Vancouver punk legends D.O.A. recently released their new record Fight Back on Sudden Death Records. The band, who are celebrating an astonishing 40 years together, have also released a video for the album's lead track "You Need An Ass Kickin' Right Now." If the tension in that Suuns song has you all wound up, here's the release.

This week the D.O.A. embarked on a supporting tour, which will see them playing across the US with support from fellow lifers MDC. They'll also take part in the massive '77 Montreal punk rock festival on July 27 at Parc Jean-Drapeau on the Île Notre-Dame. A handful of BC dates have been announced for the summer as well, including the band's own Fight Back Festival on Friday, July 6. You can find all those details at Sudden Death.

Watch: D.O.A. - You Need An Ass Kickin' Right Now @ YouTube

Winnipeg duo Mobina Galore premiered a new song and video at Brooklyn Vegan last week. The track, "Fade Away," is a gloomy melodic punk song that's been released as a limited edition flexi disc on New Damage Records. The band will be taking that out on tour this month alongside Chicago's Typesetter. You can find those dates at the label.

Mobina Galore last released the full-length Feeling Disconnected in 2017.

Watch: Mobina Galore - "Fade Away" @ YouTube

NPR's Tiny Desk series, which features bands performing live in the office of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen, recently featured Windsor-via-Sackville's slacker rock act Partner.

The band's set features "Creature in the Sun" from last year's You've Changed released full-length In Search of Lost Time, along with a pair of new songs. One track is a raucous country tune titled "Tell You Off," while the other is a decidedly gentler piano-driven ballad "Angel's Wings." Josée Caron pitches the bilingual song for Celine Dion's use. The entire performance is full of unexpected flourishes and charming, heartfelt moments. It's well worth your time.

Watch: Partner's Tiny Desk Concert @ NPR

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