Sorry for the delay, faithful reader. I suspect that one day I'll be able to track when my family's been sick by analyzing the publish dates of this newsletter like the rings on a cut tree.
With the release date nearly upon us, it was high time that Drunken Sailor Records gave the world a taste of the new Corner Boys LP. That album, the Vancouver punk band's new full-length, arrives on May 3. The UK label's the home to Waiting for 2020, the group's first long-player after a pair of vibrant and authentic `77-styled punk singles (2017's Just Don't Care and last year's Love Tourist). You can check the new tune "Norman" and the title track "Waiting for 2020" below. In both, you'll see the untampered-with lineage of genre originators like The Undertones and Buzzcocks, but also the bones of that mythical early BC scene that spawned the Young Canadians and the Pointed Sticks.
The band recorded the album's 10 songs with Jeffrey McCloy of Fashionism during the 2018 Halloween weekend. Daniel Husayn at North London Bomb Factory mixed and mastered the record. Corner Boys features Hosehead Records principal Patrick Bertrand, Joel Butler of Nervous Talk, and Wade from Stress Eating. Butler and Bertrand also play these days as members of the explosive BC punk group Chain Whip.
May 10 will see the debut full-length from Quaker Parents, the weirdo indie-pop solo project from Mark Grundy of the affable Halifax rock experimenters Heaven For Real. The record's titled Our Drawing Club and will carry the Vain Mina Records label (it'll see a May 15 release on the Japanese label Moorworks as well).
Grundy workshopped this material in several locals, writing in Montreal, on a residency in the Azores, and most recently in Toronto. The album's 11 songs were finalized in 2018, with Mark's twin brother J. Scott Grundy (Heaven For Real, JJ Purple) contributing percussion in the studio. The album was recorded and mixed by Mark with Stephen Prickett.
The lead single from the record, titled "One Time Luv," arrived alongside a video by Jordan Yeye. I'll admit I wasn't quite sure at first how to process some of the samples and electronic elements looping in the background of this track, but colour me intrigued as I've been cycling back to this all week.
The Booji Boys are set to return this summer with their third LP, and once again find themselves working with the above-mentioned Drunken Sailor Records (who, come to think of it, have amassed quite an impressive and sonically diverse coast-to-coast roster of Canadian punk bands). The group's next full-length looks to be titled Tube Reducer. It follows up the band's 2017 Christmas release Weekend Rocker, their self-titled debut from earlier that year, and along with a handful of since-released EPs (Sweet Boy on Cruel Noise and the recent Unknown Pleathers 7" on Sewercide).
The band posted a promo tape online last week showcasing three new songs: "Lucky Citizen," "Life as a Fed," and "New Replacement." Booji Boys' MO doesn't change on these tracks: they remain thrilling and gleefully shambolic. While you can't understand most of what vocalist Alex Mitchell's singing at any given time, it strangely doesn't matter. Booji Boys is a feeling.
The band features Mitchell along with guitarists Cody Googoo and Steve Earle, bassist Adam LeDrew, and drummer Justin Crowe.
I've had The Shiverettes scribbled in my Some Party scratch notes for the better part of a month, but they waited right until the release day to share any of their caustic new record Real Shrill Bitches. Continuing the thread from their 2017 debut Dead Men Can't Cat Call, the Calgary four-piece churn out a riot grrrl-inspired punk sound that's both angry and playful, pairing feminist social commentary with sarcastic wit. You can stream the whole 10-song record now at Bandcamp.
The band features vocalist Hayley Muir, guitarist Kaely Cormack, bassist Cecilia Schlemm, and drummer Steve Richter. Shiverettes worked with producer Eddie Dalrymple (bassist for Calgary psych-pop act Holgans) on the record, with co-production and mixing by Pat Palardy. They recorded at Calgary's Public Lunch Studios.
The second single from Ottawa synth-pop duo Surrender is now available. You can check out the video for "Hurt No More" below. The song features saxophone by Toronto's Joseph Shabason, who recorded notable contributions to records by Destroyer and The War On Drugs.
Surrender arrived from the ashes of the now-defunct heretic-punk group Crusades, featuring Dave Williams and Skottie Lobotomy from that band's roster (the pair were also part of the high-fantasy metal trio Black Tower). The duo tracked an LP's worth of songs in their respective home studios over the past year, with Alex Gamble (PUP, Fucked Up, Alvvays) producing and mixing the new music at The Hive in Toronto.
In the premiere at New Noise, Williams commented on the track's 80s influences and Alex Gamble's outsized role in bringing them to the fore:
"A huge part of this recording experience being such a wonderful one was finding a kindred spirit in our producer/mixer Alex Gamble. As a fellow 80’s pop nerd and seemingly bottomless well of great ideas, Alex plays a huge role in Surrender’s sound, taking the melee of tracks we send his way and shaping them into something so much better than we’d envisioned. It’s Alex’s wealth of pop music knowledge and his ability to just know when and where to add those very touchstone sounds – that gated snare in this case – that really tether our songs to that sound and era, not to mention his undeniable gifts as an engineer. I really can’t overstate Alex’s contribution in terms of the overall vibe of these songs. I also think that Scott’s voice is so well-suited to deliver the kinda, I dunno, emotivity associated with our aforementioned influences. He’s got so much natural conviction and expression in his voice, which could be the main ‘something’ that separates the pop stars of the 80’s from much of the current crop..."
Crunchy Hamilton power-pop/garage-rock group No Blues have a new video online for the track "I'm Whatever," a song from their December-released Schizophrenic Records LP A Collection of Love Songs. The VHS-quality clip comes from director Anthony Sardo and features the band performing at the storied LMNOP Baby Products rehearsal space in Hamilton.
No Blues is a re-shuffling of the roster of the recently defunct hardcore act Born Wrong. Their live lineup includes Scott Paige, John Dauphinee, Brandon Strychowsky, and Kyle Barnes.
Windsor hardcore group Brain Itch has a cross-border split cassette coming out with Detroit's Shroud. Rather appropriately titled Total Punk Killer, it features six surely-breakneck songs from each band. You can check out the Brain Itch track "Human Condition," all one minute and thirty seconds of it, below.
Brain Itch features lead vocals and guitar from Matty Menard of Psychic Void, Disco Assault and No Fix. Menard just recently released a new tape as No Fix dubbed the Toxic Adult Demo. I wrote about his various projects in a little feature a few months ago.
Last week Ottawa party punk outfit New Swears detailed their upcoming record. Titled Night Mirror, the new set will arrive on June 13 from Dine Alone Records, following up 2017's and the Magic of Horses. Indeed the new set does feature "Angel," the provocative, if not bizarrely off-brand, pop tune New Swears teased fans with a few weeks ago. It's the album's closing track, in fact. However, two new song previews should reassure fans as they find the band playing in their usual wheelhouse of mildly-sleazy, country-adjacent slacker-pop. You can find the tracks "Bon Voyage" and "Rolling Stone" on your streaming service of choice now, or check out the former through a new, thoroughly NFSW video.
Speaking to Exclam, the band commented:
"Typically, band videos are kinda mundane and uneventful so we thought it would be cool to have a gunfight with an alien and maybe a penis thrown in for excitement... We also wanted to make sure we had an arm chop scene, heart pull-out scene and a penis cut-off scene. We just weren't sure which order to do it... arm, heart, penis? Or penis, arm, heart? Arm, heart, penis seemed like the best fit for us."
Watching this, I'm mostly concerned about why how and why there was a plugged-in sawzall just laying around in a parking lot.
By contrast, there's no dismemberment one way or the other in the video for Steven Lambke's "Cut Flowers." The Colin Medley-directed clip features the stark and poetic track from the Constantines guitarist's recently released LP Dark Blue. I've seen Steve play this song live a couple of times and it always brings the room to a standstill.
Lambke's new record follows 2015's Days of Heaven. It arrived through You've Changed Records last month and features instrumentation from Daniel Romano and Dave Nardi.
Last week Vancouver's Haisla Nation hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids shared the second single from their upcoming record Trapline. "I Can't Remember My Name" features a guest verse from Toronto's Shanks Sioux and arrived with a Ben Knechtel-directed. The band commented in a press release:
"'I Can't Remember My Name' suggests we are lost and don't understand our position in this new world, but the lyrics tell the opposite. Instead of being consumed by society, we preserve everything that makes us Indigenous by staying true to ourselves through all the bullshit."
The Rez Kids are a duo pairing Darren 'Young D' Metz and Quinton 'Yung Trybez' Nyce. Trapline, which also includes the earlier single "Creator Made An Animal," follows up on the band's Polaris-shortlisted LP The Average Savage. It arrives May 10.
Last week also saw the debut single arrive online from Toronto indie-pop group Nylon Spirit. The laid-back "I'm Bored" brings some seriously 90s alt-rock vibes to the fore. Nylon Spirit features Norman Regucera, Matt Tomasi, Noah Aviles-Betel, and Chris Creglia. Regucera and Tomasi previously played together in the stoner rock group Acid Priest (a band that couldn't sound less like the smooth Nylon Spirit).
The group released a video for the song "Steady Drone" to celebrate the record. You can check it out below.
Gloin features members of Toronto indie-rock act Brenda and the metal band Witchrot. They recorded Soft Monster with Dylan Frankland of Tallies at Dining Room and Candle Recording. Look for them on the roster July's Crystal Lake psych festival up in West Grey, Ontario.
The Flatliners' Chris Cresswell has a new solo track online titled "To The Wind." It features the punk frontman taking an introspective acoustic turn, backed in the studio by pianist Dave Grabowski and drummer Paul Ramirez. Cresswell is expected to play a set of solo shows the summer featuring new material.
Cresswell last went solo with his 2014 contribution to Joey Cape's One Week Records project.
The Flatliners last released an EP titled Mass Candescence, a three-song set that carried forward with the arguably more mature direction established on their recent Inviting Light LP.
You may recall Keegan Powell's name from the liner notes of Death Lust, the recent debut record from Whitby, Ontario's Chastity, which he helped write and record. I also wrote about his first solo single "The Door," a cool little psych-rock tune, last September. Powell returned last week with Is+Was, his first solo EP. The 5-song set, which is now available everywhere digitally, was recorded entirely by Powell at his Toronto studio. He's described it as "more of a mixtape of sorts, with sessions dating back to 2016 and some as new as February of this year."
You can preview the entire set at Bandcamp below. Powell will soon take these songs on the road, with his next gig set for May 11 at Toronto's Lee's Palace where he's playing the Sunflower Bean CMW show.
Vancouver folk-punk singer-songwriter Jesse Lebourdais returns with a new 3-song EP on May 7, titled See You In The Storm. It collects three b-sides from his recent My Fingers! My Brain! full-length Grief Intensity Friendship. Lebourdais recorded these tracks with Rain City Recorders' Jesse Gander (Needles//Pins, Japandroids) in the fall of 2017.
These songs were previously released as a limited early bonus alongside that LP, but haven't been widely available since. The studio band on See You In The Storm included LeBourdais on guitar, piano, and vocals, David Leslie on drums, Stephanie Cole on bass, and Gander playing the organ.
"This video was shot in our jam space and took the help of a few friends, some streamers, confetti cannons and hundreds of balloons... By the time we were done shooting there was so much confetti and burst balloons you couldn't see the floor. It was one of the most fun videos we've done, and we are still finding confetti falling from the ceiling as we jam."
The song comes from the band's sophomore LP Bad Luck like Gold, released just last week on New Damage Records. The 12-song set found the band working at Vespa Studios with Cancer Bats frontman Liam Cormier producing. The group, which pairs Jared Ellul with drummer Nathan Stock, has been playing and recording around southern Ontario since 2013.
Montreal 3rd wave ska institution The Planet Smashers have a new video online featuring their recent single "Can't Stop." Directed by Marc A DC, it features the veteran band playing the first single from the upcoming LP Too Much Information, their ninth full-length. Look for that record on May 10 through Stomp Records.
The St. Catharines-born post-hardcore act Alexisonfire continues their resurgence with a video for their comeback single "Familiar Drugs." In the premiere at Consequence of Sound guitarist Wade MacNeil commented on the clip:
"Everything came together really fast. Maxxis (the director) flew into Toronto with a crew of four people, found the plainest room he could and shot us on VHS tape and cellphones in a day. We were all really drawn to the vibe of old punk documentaries and videos from the ’70s and ’80s. We asked for a lo-fi, no bullshit performance video and that’s what he delivered."
The new track follows the popular group's 2010 EP Dog's Blood. The band's last proper full-length was 2009's Old Crows / Young Cardinals.
If you've got a thing for Exclaim band timelines, and I sure know I do, you can trace Aleixonfire's history to date in this nice recent feature by Ian Gormely.