Last week Nathan Burger and David O'Connor, the drummer and lead vocalist of Hamilton, Ontario's TV Freaks unveiled a new band and EP with little warning. Welcome to Pneumatic Tube and their six-song, sub-nine-minute EP of weirdo scuzz punk. I've always been fascinated how albums, and even entire bands, sometimes emerge from the ether unexpectedly so I reached out to Burger for some details. The new project emerged from the root cause of all good punk music: boredom.
Honestly, man, Dave and I got together one night because we were bored and decided to rifle off as many songs as we could in a few hours. First, we thought of a handful of drum beats and laid those down and slowly built the songs around that. We both play drums bass and guitar.
Pneumatic Tube's of course not the only outlet for the TV Freaks members. It joins the ensemble Sweet Dave and the Shallow Graves, who released and toured behind Mental Jails earlier in the year. Three-quarters of TV Freaks and vocalist Angie Lanza have been performing as Uncontrollable Urge at shows around Southern Ontario. That group just finished recording their debut record, which we should hear something from soon. Freaks bassist Kevin Bell also recently released a solo set under the name Glittering Prizes. Like everything from this family, it's short, fast, loud and a little off-kilter.
Side-projects aside, TV Freaks proper are hard at work on a new record. The band's currently writing for the follow up to 2015's Deranged-released Bad Luck Charms, which saw the group produced by Dallas Good of The Sadies and mixed by Don Pyle of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. The band should have some new stuff together for December, which will see them both open one of those big ticket Alexisonfire reunion gigs then burn down 2017 at This Ain't Hollywood for a New Years gig with Daniel Romano's Ancient Shapes and Ian Kehoe.
Winnipeg post-punk band 1971 have released a video for the song "Anxiety (In the Depths of Northwestern Ontario)," which will stand as one of the band's final recordings. The group decided to part ways in the wake of the death of their founding member and bassist Cameron Glen Cranston. He passed away unexpectedly earlier this year in Thunder Bay at the age of 25. The band commented on the track:
We as a band decided to not continue without our brother. Now we’re releasing our last existing recordings with Cameron; two demos we recorded for a grant we received and one of his songs.
The first track “Anxiety (In the Depths of Northwestern Ontario)” was written for Cam in 2016 during a really difficult period while Cam was still around. We’re glad we have “his” song, even though it’s hard to listen to sometimes.
"Anxiety" was recorded and Mixed by J Riley Hill of Mortfell Recording. These final three songs will be released through the Art of the Uncarved Block label on December 1. The EP will be titled No Matter Where You Go, There You Are. The label's planning to release it as a double cassette which will include the band's entire discography (they last released an EP in 2016 titled Burning Bridges Before They're Crossed). 1971 had been active since 2011.
Colin Gillespie, the bassist of the Toronto noise-punk band Greys, has released a new full length as C.R. Gillespie titled Séance Works. The album's a set of nine experimental ambient soundscapes which become quite haunting and beautiful as they unfold (the final song on the record clocks in at a weighty 20 minutes as well). A high-bias cassette release of the album, individually hand numbered and limited to 50, is available through the Heretical Objects Cooperative. While I can certainly get into this type of thing, it's not quite a style I'm familiar enough to describe, so let's default back to the press release:
Delving further into their non-verbal tendencies, C.R. Gillespie has crafted a new makeshift-ambient effort, "Séance Works". Inspired by the actively mesmerizing synth-work of Suzanne Ciani, the spacious intimacy of Gigi Masin, and the valued stillness of Brian Eno, his environment-as-instrument ethos demonstrates a surrealistic collapse of space, forming the pulse upon which melody expires like vapour. A fascination with the fragility of the recorded sound; a study in genesis, sustain and decay in modern technology.
As they're between records I've not had much to say yet about Greys in the lifespan of this newsletter, but they're one of my favourite rock bands in the country. Their last album, 2016's Outer Heaven, was accompanied a half year later by a companion set of tape-drones, repurposed audio, and assorted outtake oddities titled Warm Shadow. Knowing that Séance Works could result from a member of that family gives Warm Shadow's atmospherics a little more context. It really makes you wonder what weird and wonderful directions Greys could go with their sound whenever they return.
Toronto indie-pop act Josh Mover & The Shakers have released a chill new single titled "Into a Ghost." The dark little tune was recorded at Union Sound Company by Ian Gomes (Teenanger, Odonis Odonis) and features Mover backed by Dilly Dally drummer Benjamin Reinhartz, Will Hunter and Joseph Landau of Formalists on keys and lead guitar respectively, Mat Wronski of The Sulks on bass, and backing vocals from Clara Klein. The track will appear on an EP of the same name sometime soon.
A video for the single was shot on Toronto Island by Pedja Milosavljević, which you can check out below. The band will perform in Ottawa at House Of Targ on the 30th of November with The Holy Gasp and Riishi Von Rex.
Speaking of Dilly Dally, the grungy Toronto's quartet is up to, well, something. The band's Instagram feed has them located in Los Angeles and working in a recording studio, which quite likely means they're finally at work on the follow up to 2015's Sore, the band's debut LP for Buzz Records and one of my favourite releases that year. I have no confirmation one way or another on what they're actually up to though. Perhaps I'd have more details if someone from their orbit responded to my inquiries. Not that I'm (cough) sore about it. Stay tuned.
Last month St. John's, Newfoundland power-pop band BBQT released a video for their minute-long song "Too Late" from their EP All Dressed, which the four-piece released this summer during the Ottawa Explosion Weekend. It features footage of the band playing a house show in their home province.
London, Ontario punk band Single Mothers recently took part in an Audiotree Live session in which they performed songs from their recent LP Our Pleasure, 2014's full-length Negative Qualities, and their 2011 self-titled EP. The band's lineup for this session featured Drew Thomson and longtime drummer Brandon Jagersky with bassist Riley Simpson and guitarist Peter Landi.
With his cross-country US tour long in his rear-view mirror, Calgary folk-punk road warrior Seth Anderson is over in Europe playing the Folk Machine Tour with Forest Pooky (based out of Serrières, France) and Reno, Nevada's Spike McGuire. Seth has two new songs on an EP produced for the tour, titled "Life Without the Fight" and "Meteors." You can check out the whole set below. The tour is currently in France and will visit Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland before the end of the year. Seth has the full itinerary up on his Facebook page so check there for dates and details.
Finally this week I wanted to point out a cool little feature that CBC Arts ran, which interviewed Alberta's Angela Miracle Gladue (a.k.a. Lunacee) and Matthew Wood (a.k.a. Creeasian), the pow wow dancers who make such a huge impact at A Tribe Called Red's stage shows. The piece is by April Aliermo and you can check it out at cbc.ca.