Sunday September 17, 2017

Standing In Your Shadow

On October 14 Label Obscura is set to reissue the self-titled debut record from Montreal's The Nils, the first time this classic of Canadian independent music has been in press for decades.

The Nils first released the Sell Out Young! EP in 1985 and the Paisley EP shortly after in 86, recording their debut full-length for Rock Hotel Records (an imprint of NYC hip-hop label Profile Records) in 87. Profile's bankruptcy forced the band to abandon a major US tour and ultimately left the record out-of-print. Worse, the band was unable to release any material under their name for the duration of their contract with Profile (about four years).

Label Obscura's had the album remastered at Lacquer Channel Studios and pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Their set features new artwork from Yorodeo (the visual art collective of Dog Day’s Seth Smith) and liner notes from Jack Rabid of The Big Takeover.

Nils founder Alex Soria took his own life in 2003, with the band eventually reforming in 2015 with his brother, bassist Carlos Soria, taking over vocal duties. The band will celebrate the reissue if their debut with an October 17 show at Ottawa's House of Targ with the Steve Adamyk Band and Dead Weights.

Listen: The Nils - The Nils @ SoundCloud

Victoria's Supreme Echo meanwhile is set to revive the recordings of 70s Vancouver punk band the Zellots with a limited edition reissue 7" flex-disc. The release will collect three songs the band recorded in 1979, their entire studio output. The band featured vocalist Heather Haley (who later went to form the .45s wit Randy Rampage of D.O.A.), guitarist Christine deVeber, bassist Jane Colligan, and drummer Conny Knowe. In the studio, the band had John 'Jughead' McAdams of The Modernettes drumming.

The Zellots' record is out on September 23rd. On the day of the release members of the group will be doing a series of meet-and-greets at various Vancouver-area record stores, appearing at Neptoon Records, Red Cat East Hastings, and Music Madhouse over the afternoon before a release party at What's Up? Hot Dog! that evening. You can find details at Exclaim

Listen: Zellots - "On The Dole" @ BandCamp

While I'm on the topic of reissues I should also make mention of the self-titled Easy Money compilation that Hosehead put out this past May. Easy Money was a four-piece power-pop band from Victoria that was active from 79 through 83. While the band released two singles on Richards Records in 1980, the bulk of their recordings sat unreleased and unheard until this year. Hosehead's release collects their singles plus 11 more tracks.

Listen: Easy Money - "Getting Lost" @ BandCamp

Of Note

Speaking of Hosehead, label head Patrick Bertrand has been playing in the band Corner Boys with Joel Butler of Nervous Talk and Wade from the now-defunct Stress Eating. The band's first 7" Just Don't Care is set for release on the UK's Drunken Sailor Records sometime in the fall. You really need to sit back and appreciate how damn genuine this thing sounds. If someone were to tell you it was some lost punk record from 1978 you'd have no reason to doubt them.

Listen: Corner Boys - "Just Don't Care" @ BandCamp

While we're on the topic of Drunken Sailor, the label will continue to be the home of Halifax's Booji Boys when they release their second LP. Frontman Cody Googoo announced that the new record is almost complete, but no other details are available yet. Is this my favourite band right now? Probably. It's a damn shame they won't be awarded the Polaris Prize this week, but it's not for my lack of trying.

Speaking of Polaris, attendees of Monday's gala are going to pick up a free copy of a 7" that features 2015 winner Buffy Sainte-Marie and 2014 winner Tanya Tagaq collaborating on the song "You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind)." The b-side of the record features a remix of the song by three-time nominees A Tribe Called Red.

Listen: Buffy Sainte-Marie & Tanya Tagaq "You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind)" - A Tribe Called Red remix @ SoundCloud

Toronto pop-punk group PONY has released details on their upcoming EP Do You, set for a November 3 release on Buzz Records. The band released the first track from the set at Gold Flake Paint, titled "Small Things" (which was inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer - go read the article). The new EP was recorded by Shehzaad Jiwani of Greys.

Listen: PONY - "Small Things" @ YouTube

Speaking of Buzz, Toronto's Twist previously announced that they'd release an EP on the label on September 22 titled Benefits. The bouncy second single from the Michael Butler produced set showed up this week, titled "Leave This Town."

Listen: Twist - "Leave This Town" @ YouTube

Vancouver punk act Jock Tears are set to head out on a Canadian tour which will bring them as far east as Montreal. Along the way, the band will play shows with the Shiverettes, Protruders, Lonely Parade, Jay Arner and more. You can check the full list of dates over at Exclaim. Once they get to Montreal the band is planning to record with Renny Wilson (of Faith Healer).

In the lead-up to the tour Jock Tears have released a video for their new single "Nasty Boy" which was filmed at Vancouver's Playland amusement park.

Watch: Jock Tears - "Nasty Boy" @ YouTube

The new video for Alvvays' "Dreams Tonight" is wild, seamlessly splicing the Toronto indie-pop group into archival footage of Montreal's Expo '67. The band commented in a statement:

"Canada was at its coolest 50 years ago in Montreal at Expo '67. We fetishize retro-futurism and are thrilled our buddy Matt Johnson was able to facilitate our half-century temporal trip back to peak pop and op."

The song appears on the recently released Antisocialites LP on Royal Mountain in Canada, Polyvinyl in the US, and Transgressive everywhere.

Watch: Alvvays - "Dreams Tonight" @ YouTube

A big thanks goes out to Toronto's Bovine Sex Club for sponsoring Some Party this September. The iconic Queen Street West bar and live music venue has a number of shows coming up this fall, including the Plan 37 album release on September 23, and David Liebe Hart from Tim & Eric on September 27. Every Monday night Chuck Coles runs an open mic at the Bovine as well.

A few weeks ago I shared a song from Don't Bother, a punk five-piece from Toronto that features Paul Lawton (Century Palm, Ketamines), Priya Thomas (Iroquois Falls), Mark Streeter (Dorothea Paas), and Matt Nish-Lapidus (Several Futures), along with Ronnie Tee and Marc Holmes. The band recently released a second new song, titled "Keep Up." It's short and sweet, and you can check it out below.

Listen: Don't Bother - "Keep Up" @ BandCamp

September continues to be an incredibly heavy release month and full-album streams of the latest records keep arriving. You can for a limited time check out METZ' Steve Albini-recorded Strange Peace over at CBC Music and Luciferian Towers, the latest post-rock opus from Godspeed You! Black Emperor at NPR.

Finally, if you were following along with my month previewing the 2017 Festival de musique émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, my write-up on the festival is now online at Punknews. It was an experience, and I encourage you to check it out if you have the opportunity (the festival, not my article, but you could certainly do both).

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