Sunday January 28, 2018

Six Day Weekend

Last week the annual Montreal punk festival Pouzza confirmed about half of their 2018 lineup. The top of the bill has a decidedly 90s feel with, 3rd wave ska groups like Reel Big Fish and MU330 listed alongside protest punks Anti-Flag and the melodic hardcore act A Wilhelm Scream. The roster, which you can explore in full at the event's website, includes bands like War on Women, Tsunami Bomb, Dan Potthast, and Timeshares.

The Pouzza lineup has always included a significant Canadian contingent, including a sizable showing of Quebec punk bands. This being Some Party, let's dig into that. This year will see Toronto's Cancer Bats playing their sophomore full-length Hail Destroyer in its entirety. The fest has also secured a reunion performance from Calgary's This Is A Standoff and sets from Vancouver singer-songwriter Jesse Lebourdais, Winnipeg duo Mobina Galore, Ottawa punk act The Creeps, Burlington three-piece The Penske File, and Hamilton rock group Rules. The GTA, in particular, is sending quite a few punk and hardcore acts up the 401, including Junior Battles, Pkew Pkew Pkew, Teenage X, The Anti-Queens, Dead Broke, and Inhalants.

Montreal is, of course, well represented in a variety of genres. The city scene's sending forth the riff-rock group Barn Burner, a reunion of the street-punks the Brixton Robbers, and the heavy, grunge-inspired Colonel Sun. The local ska and reggae community's present through Danny Rebel & The KGB, Les Happycuriens, and PL Mafia. Acoustic trio Birds of Paradise and singer-songwriter Greg Laraigné will offer some reprieve from all the blown amps and circle pits. Punk rock's, of course, the main event, with locals Rock n Roll Television, Complainers, Gilbert & les Amis de Tom, Burly Wood, Oakhearts, The Horny Bitches, and The SkudFux tackling the genre from different directions.

The rest of Quebec has a few bands on the current bill as well, including a reunion of the Quebec City hardcore band Senseless. Current HC outfit BHATT (a band with an EP titled Suicide Penis) and the melodic hardcore group Hate It Too will also appear.

Pouzza will take place from May 18 to 20 in downtown Montreal.

Listen: Rock n Roll Television - Don't Wanna be Smart @ Bandcamp

Of Note

Chain Whip is a fast, tough Vancouver punk band with a fast, tough name. The group just released a self-titled EP over at Bandcamp, music that's might show up on their debut 7" sometime later this year. The quartet features Josh Nickel of Fashionism on vocals with Joel Butler of Nervous Talk/Corner Boys on guitar, Brett Thompson of Stress Eating on bass, and Patrick Bertrand of Hosehead Records/Corner Boys on drums. Braden DeCorby recorded these songs, which include subtle gems like "Six Day Weekend" and "Let's Bomb East Van."

Listen: Chain Whip @ Bandcamp

Arts & Crafts have unveiled another intense, moody song from Basic Behaviour, the upcoming LP from Toronto post-punk group FRIGS. You can hear it below. A couple of weeks ago when the song "Talking Pictures" was released I spoke more in-depth about this record, so check that out if you haven't yet. I'm pretty excited about this one. It's out on February 23.

Listen: FRIGS - "II" @ YouTube

The Igloolik hard rock band Northern Haze is gearing up to record their second full length, a mere 33 years after their first. The veteran group is planning to build a studio in Iqaluit where they'll work with producer Michael Wojewoda (his credits include Buffy Sainte-Marie's Polaris-winning Power in the Blood, and popular records in the 90s by Rheostatics and the Barenaked Ladies). They're looking to cover the expense of setting all this up through a crowdfunding campaign.

The band's current line-up features original members Naisana Qamaniq, James Ungalaq, and John Inooya, with James' son, Derek Aqqiaruq, having joined the band as their bassist. Original members Elijah Kunnuk and Kolitalik Inukshuk both died in 2007 (the former from cancer, the latter murdered days later). There's a great recent recap of the band's history over at Bandcamp. Northern Haze released a collection of various recordings titled Sinaaktu in 2012.

Listen: Northern Haze - "Anivunga" @ Bandcamp

Mint Records will be reissuing the 2014 album Consent by Vancouver's self-described cold-punk group Lié. The release, which arrives on February 23, comes in the form of a gold cassette in a cardboard sleeve. They're making just 300 of these. The now sold out LP was released by the That's Cool label. Mint calls Consent "One of the best punk records to ever come out of Vancouver" claiming "it sounds more agitated and incensed than anything White Lung or The Dishrags ever spewed at their polite Canadian audience." If you missed it the first time you can check it out for yourself below.

Listen: Lié - "Casual Embrace" @ Bandcamp

The debut self-titled debut full length from Moncton punk group Chiller is now streaming online courtesy of Dirt Cult Records and New Noise Magazine. As discussed here in recent weeks, Chiller is the successor to Feral Trash. It features that band's husband and wife team of Ilisha and Eric, joined by Erin Ewing from Ottawa's Black Tower and Tim Ostler Mother's Children. The new record comes out on February 2 on Dirt Cult in the US and Rockstar in Europe.

Listen: Chiller @ New Noise

Windsor-via-Sackville slacker rock act Partner has released a video for their single "Everybody Knows." This song is, of course, the lead track from the band's wonderful debut full-length In Search of Lost Time, which came out last fall on You’ve Changed Records. In my little bubble, this was the feel-good-hit-of-the-summer, so to introduce it feels unnecessary. If for some odd reason you've not yet embraced the Partner record, that should be your priority. Colin Medley directed the video.

Watch: Partner - "Everybody Knows" @ YouTube

Bandcamp recently published a retrospective on the much-loved CBC arts & culture program Brave New Waves. The Aaron Carnes-penned piece chronicles the radio show's history from 1984 through the end of its run in 2007. Sessions from the Brave New Waves catalogue are now being assembled and released on vinyl by Jacek Kozlowski of Artoffact Records (11 were released last year, with more on the way for 2018).

Listen: The Nils on Brave New Waves (1988) @ Bandcamp

Did you miss out on Daniel Romano's limited release digital records HUMAN TOUCH and NERVELESS? Well, you're out of luck. If you'd rather not relive the disappointment, there's still time to grab a copy of Silent Rave, the second full length from Romano's punk group Ancient Shapes. It's being served up on a similar basis, which is to say limited to the end of their tour mid-month. Silent Rave, unlike the other records, did in fact get a physical release as a cassette put out by You've Changed Records last year. Those are pushing $40 on Discogs today.

Listen: Ancient Shapes - Silent Rave @ Bandcamp

Calgary duo Miesha & The Spanks premiered their hooky new single "Atmosphere" at New Noise last week. The track will appear on the band's next record, Girls Girls Girls, which is due in the Spring. The group features lead vocalist and guitarist Miesha Louie with drummer Sean Hamilton. They worked with Danny Farrant and Paul Rawson in the studio to write and assemble this record. Farrant, cool fact, is the modern-day drummer for the Buzzcocks (he joined them in 2006). Girls Girls Girls is a big, crunchy rock record with a lot of swagger. Check this out.

Listen: Miesha & The Spanks - "Atmosphere" @ SoundClound

Lethbridge, Alberta's angular post-punk group WINT continues to release music at a prolific rate. The latest from the project, the brainchild of Brandon Saucier, was released this month under the title Naivety. The 23 song set was written and recorded entirely in the first week of the year. The new album follows at least five releases from 2017, just in case you wanted to feel unproductive by comparison. I know I do.

Listen: WINT - Naivety @ Bandcamp

Speaking of Pkew Pkew Pkew, the band Toronto party-punk group recently performed a Stripped Down Session for Punks in Vegas. The band played acoustic versions of "Before We Go Out Drinking," "The Prime Minister Of Defense," and "Asshole Pandemic" — all of which appeared in studio-form on the band's latest full length for Royal Mountain and SideOneDummy. Having to sit awkwardly in the background of a video like this is pretty much my worse nightmare.

Watch: Pkew Pkew Pkew - "The Prime Minister Of Defense" @ YouTube

Spencer Burton, the Niagara-based singer-songwriter and former Attack In Black member, recently kicked off a monthly residence at Niagara-on-the-Lake's Oast House Brewers. Throughout 2018 Burton will be hosting and performing at the farmhouse brewery's Hayloft series of concerts. The next is scheduled for February 18. Burton's a wonderful storyteller on stage, and a local farmer himself, so this is a perfect match. I hope to get out to as many of these as I can.

Listen: Spencer Burton - "Dear Danny" @ Bandcamp

Upcoming Shows

Don't forget that the first Some Party shows of the year are coming up fast.

This Saturday (February 3) I'm co-presenting the Hinterland Hoedown at Toronto's Bovine Sex Club with Beau's All Natural Brewing, Punknews.org, and Melanie Kaye PR. The show will feature St. Catharines drunk-punks The Lucky Ones, reunited Toronto garage offenders The Exploders, Montreal's frenetic punk act Bolo Mojo, and the Markham's Jenn Fiorentino playing an acoustic set. You can find all the details and RSVP on Facebook. We're asking $10 bucks at the door, and this is a 19+ show.

Then on Monday, March 5 I'm co-presenting Weaves in Niagara. The band will play St. Catharines' Warehouse Concert Hall with local psych-rock act Fourth Way opening. This is a co-presentation with IndoorShoes (which is to say they're doing all the work). You can grab tickets to this one on TicketFly and RSVP over at Facebook.

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