Halifax hardcore act Alienation recently released a new 11 song 7" EP via San Francisco's Warthog Speak Records, titled Bitter Reality. While on the band projects chaos (this is noisy stuff played at seemingly impossible speeds) there's some brilliant songwriting just beneath the surface that holds it all together. It's a quality shared with Haligonian punks Booji Boys, which makes total sense as both bands feature guitarists Steve Earle and Cody Googoo. The four-piece is completed by Dylan Jewers on vocals and drummer Dave Brown. Brown was a long-running member of Toronto's Career Suicide and played in a bunch of related bands (Warthog Speak's label head once called the demo from Dead Mutations, of which Brown was the vocalist, "one of my favorite recordings of the modern era"). Alienation's received similar praise, with Greg Benedetto of Toronto's Not Dead Yet calling them "without a doubt among the best HC bands there is in Canada."
You can pick up Bitter Realty on Bandcamp. It follows up an EP the band released in 2016 and a set of compilation tracks released last year (to say nothing of a pair of Booji Boys records, and probably a half a dozen other related things).
Montreal's stoner rock group Fuudge has a new track online titled "Je sais pas comment faire avec les filles." It's crunchy and fuzzy, as is this band's M.O., with some not-too-subtle Sabbath worship in the vocals. It's the first music the band's showcased from their upcoming LP, which is due this fall. It'll follow up their Lazy At Work released EP Man!, which came out in 2017.
Fuudge is lead by David Bujold, who on wrote and recorded most of the band's prior work solo. The band's recent lineup has featured bassist Pierre Alexandre, drummer Olivier Laroche, and Vincent LaBoissonnière on synths. A video for the new song, directed by Antoine Bordeleau, was launched alongside the stream.
A few years ago I somehow snuck onto the Polaris Music Prize jury, and the most rewarding part of that experience has been the constant reminder of how much important art is being created outside the comfortable confines of the genres I grew up with. Vancouver-based Indigenous hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids (Young D and Yung Trybez) are a prime example of that.
The group released a new video this past week to coincide with the news that the Canadian government had voted to purchase the divisive Trans Mountain oil pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion. SNRK's protest song, "The Warriors," first appeared on the Tiny House Warriors Vol.1 compilation in March. Tiny House Warriors, the organization, is striving to stop Trans Mountain from crossing unceded Secwepemc Territory by building ten small houses strategically along the 518 km pipeline route.
In the video premiere at Noisey, Yung Trybez commented:
"The Canadian government does not get the final say when it comes to our land because this is more than land to us as indigenous peoples, this is our identity. This isn’t just a pipeline on our land with risk of infecting our waters, this is the intersection of violence against our lands, bodies, and governance."
You can find the video, directed by Alex Mof, below. Snotty Nose Rez Kids last released The Average Savage LP in 2017.
Lié features guitarist Ashlee Lúk, bassist Brittany West, and drummer Kati J. They recorded Hounds, their third record, in Austin, Texas with Ian Rundell producing and Total Control’s Mikey Young mastering. Hounds will see a July 6 release from Mint Records and Monofonus Press.
Speaking of Mint, I missed that the label released a new video from Vancouver's slacker-punk act Dumb in May. You can check out the Quincy Arthur directed clip for the song "Barnyard" below. It'll appear on the band's upcoming LP Seeing Green, a 14-song collection recorded by Jordan Koop at The Noise Floor. It's due on June 22. I'm a big fan of the sardonic quality these Dumb songs keep expressing, and this video nails it visually.
Back in May, the Providence-via-Montreal power-trio Towanda put out a new cassette titled Freak of Nurture. The Chicago-based DIY label and distro Girlsville handled the release. The EP, which the band referred to as their "tightest and loudest material yet," is their fourth release, following 2016's Plaything LP. Freak of Nurture was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Patrick McDowall at PM Audio in Montreal in February of 2017. There's a wonderfully sludgy Melvins vibe to this one.
Last week Punknews.org premiered an album stream and new video from Edmonton's punk rock band Real Sickies. The group released a 13-track full-length of Ramones and Teenage Head worship on Friday, titled Get Well Soon. You can pick up the group's new stuff on This is POP Records in Canada, It’s Alive Records in the States, Monster Zero in Austria, and Dirty Flair RC in Australia.
You can find the band's video for the song "Everywhere You Go," directed by Evan Hughes, below.
Meanwhile, over in Montreal, Dear Youth find their influence in more contemporary sources. The pop-punk/emo five-piece shows shades of Alexisonfire in their new song "Out of Sight, Out of Mind." It's set to appear on their upcoming five-song EP You Could Wish Me The Best, which is due on June 29 from Anchor Eighty Four.
Last week Toronto hardcore act Hellbent announced a split 7" with Andalusia, Spain's long-running melodic punk act G.A.S. Drummers. The Spanish act is contributing seven songs they recorded back in 2006. Cramming those seven tracks into five minutes, they're promising to display a decidedly more aggressive side than they typically do. Hellbent recorded the four songs that comprise their side after their recent Canadian tour, with drummer Nick Ginn producing at his own School House Studios.
The split will be put out by Pink Lemonade Records in North America on vinyl, with a tape to be released by 3 Nines Tapes. Angry & Hungry Records and Pasidaryk Pats Records will handle European releases.
I'm a big fan of La Papessa, the 2017 Polaris Music Prize winning art-pop record from the Toronto-based, Columbian-born artist Lido Pimienta. That record, which was released independently, will see a new life this fall with a vinyl reissue from ANTI-. Not only is that cool because ANTI- is the home of Neko Case, Tom Waits, and dozens of other well-regarded musicians, but because ANTI- is an imprint of the longstanding SoCal punk institution Epitaph Records. Mr. Brett and I haven't quite seen eye to eye on a lot of Epitaph-proper's signings for a long time, but this one gets my full endorsement. Lido's punker than the lot of them.
Finally last week Jennifer Castle returned to The Lagniappe Sessions, recording her second set of covers for the project. On this outing, she performed tracks by Bob Marley and Brooke Benton. The Lagniappe Sessions is an ongoing part of the longstanding LA-based music blog Aquarium Drunkard.