Sunday September 10, 2017

Me In Glue

I mention Tough Age quite often on this newsletter, and I blame the set they played at Ottawa Explosion this year to launch their Unclean EP. While I enjoyed the band's 2015 pop-punk LP I Get The Feeling Central there's something about the sound they found on Unclean that I find completely engrossing. This week the band finally pulled the veil off plans for their follow up, announcing that the eight song full-length Shame would arrive on October 20 via Mint Records.

The Tough Age of today is a different band that you might remember. The group pulled up stakes in Vancouver and moved to Toronto a few years ago, pairing themselves down to a trio in the process. Guitarist Jarrett Samson, bassist Penny Clark, and drummer Jesse Locke now comprise the band. Their new material has a low-fi indie-pop feel, showing off that Flying Nun influence that's shown up in more than a few Canadian bands this year. Shame was recorded and mixed by Freelove Fenner's Peter Woodford at his Bottle Garden studio in Montreal, with mastering by Jay Arner. Toronto comic and graphic artist Patrick Kyle produced the album's cover art.

Jarrett Samson commented on the new sound and working with Woolford:

"Part of my goal for this record was to really minimize as a maximization, utilize the new three-piece to explore quieter dynamics, and open up the music. We have the dullest setup in the world — drums, bass, guitar — so I am always impressed by bands who somehow take that and make it sound experimental. On that front, Moss Lime (who Peter also recorded) sprung to mind as a recent band who made so much out of so little, and that was a real inspiration."

Penny Clark added:

"I was impatient to make an album that reflected how Tough Age has changed. While we were recording, I was in the process of teaching myself how to play bass so my playing on the album is influenced partially by my own tension and concern about coming up inadequate. Stylistically, I tried to honour our previous bass player, Lauren Smith, while still developing my own style. I often visualize nature scenes to help me play so in my head the bass is thundery and soft."

Consequence of Sound premiered the first single from the record as part of their Origins series, which breaks down the influences behind a song. Give that article a read and then go stream "Me In Glue," which features vocals by Clark, a hundred times or so.

Listen: Tough Age - "Me In Glue" @ SoundCloud

The band will launch the record with a release show at Toronto's Baby G on October 6 alongside Brooklyn's Future Punx, and locals Eyeballs and New Chance. Julia Dickens will DJ the event.

Of Note

The 70th Anniversary celebrations continue at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern. A new batch of anniversary shows were announced this week, including two nights of the Constantines on December 15 and 16. That announcement came alongside word of shows from Lisa Leblanc, Fast Romantics, and E Street Band drummer / Conan O'Brien bandleader Max Weinberg. You can find tickets to everything for sale now at the usual outlets, but move quickly.

We're still in the midst of an incredibly busy release season and full-album streams of the closest releases keep cropping up. Over at CBC Music you still have a few days left in which to stream Ghost Gardens from Hamilton alt-country act Elliott BROOD as well as Pure Mind from Toronto psyche-garage group Fake Palms. Both records are out Friday, the former is on Paper Bag Records and the latter a joint release between Buzz and Pleasence Records.

London, Ontario four-piece punk group Grievances premiered a video for the song "Obscurity" at Punknews last week. The track will appear on their upcoming debut full-length Late Bloomers, which will be released by Chisel Records in October. Grievances, which features bassist Patrick Briggs, drummer Jesse Fleming, guitarist Brandyn Walkom, and guitarist/vocalist Danny Kidd, describe themselves as "hurling their anxieties at the well fished sea of pop punk to see what sort of monsters will rise." This song in particular features additional vocals by April Romano and Davita of The Never Betters.

Watch: Grievances - "Obscurity" @ YouTube

The "Obscurity" video was created by Justis Krar (of Single Mothers, Ancient Shapes, SIDEMAN) through his video production outfit I Make Music Videos.

St. Catharines garage pop act Strange Shakes have released a video for the song "Cold Blues," which will appear on their upcoming debut EP A Little More. The band is set to release the album with a show on the rooftop of the Niagara Artist Centre on September 15 alongside Toronto's Planet Creature. The video was directed by Josh Rikkerink.

Watch: Strange Shakes - "Cold Blues" @ YouTube

Sticking with the region, Niagara-on-the-Lake post-hardcore (emo revival?) group Heavy Hearts premiered the song "Easy Mark" recently at Billboard. It appears on the band's upcoming EP On A Chain, which will see an October 27 release on New Damage.

Listen: Heavy Hearts - "On a Chain" @ YouTube

The Sadies continue to tour in support of their Polaris long listed album Northern Passages, with the latest dates up at Brooklyn Vegan. That'll include an appearance at the New York City beer and music festival Octfest alongside Guided by Voices and Built to Spill. The alt-country legends also released a video for "Through Strange Eyes," recorded live at The Royal Cinema in Toronto back in March.

Watch: The Sadies - "Through Strange Eyes" @ YouTube

Revived Toronto hardcore act No Warning has released the song "Like a Rebel" from their upcoming LP Torture Culture. The album arrives October 13th on Bad Actors, Inc. and Last Gang. The contrast in sheer toughness between various Ben Cook musical outlets continues to delight.

Listen: No Warning - "Like A Rebel" @ SoundCloud

Thanks to Toronto's Bovine Sex Club for sponsoring Some Party this month. The iconic Queen Street West bar and live music venue has a number of shows coming up this fall, including Seas (members of Moneen) on September 15, 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.

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