Raise Your Voice Joyce
Some Party is a newsletter sharing the latest in independent Canadian rock'n'roll, curated weekly by Adam White. Each edition explores punk, garage, psych, and otherwise uncategorizable indie rock, drawing lines from proto to post and taking some weird diversions along the way.
Time seems to move at an odd pace these days, and while on paper the span between 2014's Glass Boys and today isn't all that long, it feels like a decade. News broke this past week on the new record from the critically lauded Toronto hardcore act Fucked Up, and I'm shamelessly devouring even the smallest details on it. I may just be a sucker for good marketing, but this album feels monumental, or at least I hope it'll be.
Dose Your Dreams is a double LP. It's 18 songs with a list of guest contributors that feels pretty substantial. The band's bio this time out was written by Owen Pallett, and does everything he can to ratchet up my expectations:
I was sent an unfinished version of Dose Your Dreams so that I might contribute string parts. I couldn’t stop listening to the rough mixes I received. A friend asked me how the record was. I replied, “My God, Fucked Up have made their Screamadelica.”
And psych-rock-groove it is. The drums mixed wide, propensity for drones, for delay pedal, for repetition, groove. The politics and aesthetics of hardcore married to an “open format” approach to genre. Elements of doo-wop, krautrock, groove, digital hardcore.
I'm weighing that description against the new single "Raise Your Voice Joyce." Outside of perhaps the chorus, it feels like a proper, propulsive Fucked Up banger and not at all out of place with their past work. It resides early in the tracklist though, and if we're going to run with this Screamadelica comparison into the dirt, it's still in "Movin' On Up" territory. If you're familiar with that record, that's the deceptively conventional pop song that ill prepares you for the drug-addled left turn you're about to take.
On this outing Fucked Up remains vocalist Damian Abraham, guitarists Ben Cook, Mike Haliechuk, and Josh Zucker, bassist Sandy Miranda, and drummer Jonah Falco. The list of guest contributors includes (and isn't limited to) Pallett, Alice Hansen, Ryan Tong (of S.H.I.T.), Jennifer Castle, Lido Pimienta, J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, Miya Folick, Mary Margaret O’Hara (!) and that's not half of them. Interestingly Abraham doesn't sing on the entire album, with Haliechuk, Falco, and Cook all taking lead credit on a handful of songs. The guests take center stage as well, with Hansen, Tong, Castle, and Folick all leading a track (all of which are in the album's latter half... further evidence to fuel that Primal Scream analogy).
Dose Your Dreams has been in the works since June 15, 2016, with the brunt of the recording done by Alex Gamble at Union Sound Company, The Hive, and Candle Recording in Toronto. The record comes out on October 5 on Arts & Crafts in Canada and Merge elsewhere. The album will be preceded by a 7" single for "Raise Your Voice Joyce" on September 7. It follows the recent "High Rise" cover single the band released on Tankcrimes this past June.
I'll move on to other topics in a moment, but here's what Damian had to say about the record on Twitter, just to throw another log on the bonfire of expectations I've built up:
Mike and I grew up together and I really feel like this is the completion of his life's work to this point. I am proud to have been involved in this record in a way I never have been before. This band doesn't aways get along (#NOSHIT) but I'm honoured to be along for this ride.
Prolific Montreal-via-Windsor garage/psych artist Paul Jacobs has announced his new LP. The record, titled Easy, is set to arrive on October 19 through the UK label Stolen Body Records. Stolen Body was behind the physical release of Jacobs' 2016 full-length Pictures, Movies & Apartments as well.
Just a few weeks ago Jacobs released a five-song EP titled Story About Anything, which is being sold as a limited run of 100 cassettes, each with a hand-drawn cover by Jacobs. In recent months he and bandmate Meagan Callen have also released some aggressively lo-fi oddities as Garbage Truck.
A promo for Easy, animated by Jacobs, can be found below.
Peterborough's folk-rock mainstay Nick Ferrio has a new single out titled "Don't Know How Long." It's the first new track he's released following last year's Soothsayer LP, and the first from an upcoming record titled Have a Nice Day.
In the premiere at Substream the artist commented on the anti-gentrification message expressed in the song:
"I wrote ‘I Don’t Know How Long’ about the stress, the anxiety, and the precarity that gentrification causes. I was seeing a lot of changes where I live in Peterborough, Ontario – friends who had no choice but to leave the city because they couldn’t afford rent, couldn’t find jobs that pay enough to live, couldn’t afford to raise families here. I started wondering if it was time that I, too, found somewhere else to call home. I realized that the displacing and erasure that happens when a place is gentrified, which is a phenomenon happening in a lot of cities throughout Turtle Island, isn’t a new version of colonialism – it’s simply a symptom of the same old one.”
A video for the track, directed by Shawn Kosmerly (Sam Coffey, Casper Skulls, etc), is online as well.
The band's contributions, "Heaven's on the Hillside" and "Stumble," were recorded and produced by Jesse Gander at Rain City Recorders (Japandroids, White Lung, Woolworm) and are the first songs the band's released in the wake of their 2017 Mint Records full-length Good Night, Tomorrow.
Needles//Pins are also among the bands taking part in the upcoming Rocket From Russia Fest in Vancouver. They'll join Jesse LeBourdais and the Long Winter, Jock Tears, Sightlines, You Big Idiot, the Greatest Sons, Pavel Bures, and more at the three-day event. The festival's Saturday lineup notably features the first show from Vancouver's Cambridge in about 5 years, along with the 20th-anniversary show for Kamloops pop-punk group The Hextalls.
All three shows will take place at the Astoria venue from August 16 to 18. A compilation and zine produced by fest-founder Russian Tim will be produced for the event as well.
Sticking with the west coast, Neon Taste has announced a limited cassette release from Kamloops three-piece Nutrition. The band features guitarist/bassist/songwriter Lewis Jay Podlubny, vocalist Andrew Johnathon Blackwell, and drummer Trevor Robson. They recorded these tracks in June of last year.
Here's what the label had to say:
A completely mental surf/garage influenced punk rock band from the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. 8 songs clocking in just over 11 minutes of aural distaste. Nutrition sound like Dead Milkmen if they tried to play hardcore instead of mocked it. They'd fit fine within the Lumpy Records category but have a sound that isn't derivative of the same...
Punknews.org recently premiered a new video from Hamilton's Billy Moon, featuring a song from the band's upcoming LP Punk Songs. Frontman Graham Caldwell spoke to the site about the new track, commenting:
"This is for every night where I’ve ever gone out and said, 'I could have just stayed home and read a book tonight. Why didn’t I just do that?' This is sort of that third year of college point in a person’s life where you realize that you don’t have a lot in common with a lot of your friends and that you’re stuck going to places you hate, to do things you don’t want to do, to impress people that you don’t like and prospective romantic partners that you can’t talk to. It’s a real bummer, but it happens."
Punk Songs is set for release on September 14 via Missed Connection Records and Old Flame. Dave Minehan, the touring guitarist for the Replacements, recorded the brunt of the album, which also features with production by Asher Gould (Beliefs), and mastering by Phil Bova (Bahamas, Zeus).
Vancouver punk trio Corner Boys have a new 7" out this week on Dirt Cult Records, a four-song set titled Love Tourist. Fashionism's Jeffrey McCloy recorded the new tunes, which includes a cover of "TV Love" by early LA punk group The Simpletones. The EP is streaming now in its entirety, which you can check out below.
Corner Boys features Hosehead Records' Patrick Bertrand, Joel Butler of Nervous Talk, and Wade from Stress Eating. Butler and Bertrand also play as members of Chain Whip. This will be the band's second release after their debut single last year.
Burlington, Ontario trio The Penske File recently shared a video for their song "Last Chance." The track appears on the group's recent Stomp Records full-length Salvation. The video was shot and edited by James Maunder. Expect to see Penske head down to The Fest in Gainesville this year, leading a strong Canuck contingent at the annual gathering alongside METZ, Lost Love, Crusades, Pkew Pkew Pkew, Brutal Youth, Boids, Daggermouth, and Partner.
Another Stomp act, Vancouver baseball punks the Isotopes, recently released a new digital single. It's cover of John Fogerty's 1985 single "Centrefield," which perfectly fits the band's shtick. The track follows up the band's 1994 World Series Champions LP.
Vancouver (I sense a theme here) three-piece hard rock act La Chinga are readying their third album, titled Beyond The Sky. The power trio is once again on a mission to faithfully resurrect the sound and style of classic riff rock from Black Sabbath, MC5, and the like. Their new glam-flavoured new single "Killer Wizard" does this in spades.
The band recorded the new record at Vancouver's Warehouse studio with producer Jamey Koch (D.O.A., the Tragically Hip). Detroit's Small Stone will release the album on September 7. Give'r.
I can't seem to escape the west coast this week. Also hailing from Vancouver, the post-hardcore/noise-rock producer Freak Dream has announced his debut full-length Into The Sun. Toronto's Artoffact Records will release the album on September 21. Freak Dream is the brainchild of musician Elliot Langford of Big EviL and Togetherness, who formerly played with SSRIs, The Rebel Spell, Sprïng.
You can check out the punishing title track of the new 8-song project below.
Seth A. Smith, filmmaker and frontman of the beloved (and mostly inactive) Halifax indie rock group Dog Day, has announced details on the soundtrack to his new horror film The Crescent. The OST will see a digital and vinyl release on Label Obscura on September 7. From the press release:
Smith's influences on the film's soundtrack range from classical music to church organ records to 1970s space-disco. Created with virtual instruments he used to sample improvised voice recordings from the cast and the warped sound of himself pretending to cry, its ominous ambience brings to mind Broadcast's score for Berberian Sound Studio. Devoted Dog Day fans may even be able to spot a fragment of their song "In the Woods" paying tribute to Rosemary's Baby. Yet, in the end, the film's two-year-old star played the biggest role in its soundtrack as well.
That toddler would be Woodrow Graves, the son of Smith and his producer/partner Nancy Urich. Following a festival run, The Crescent is set to open in Canadian theatres on August 10 via Raven Banner Entertainment. The film was directed, edited, co-written, and scored by Smith.
You can preview the song "May I Enter Your Heart" below.
Dog Day are playing a pair of upcoming reunion shows, this coming weekend at Sackville, New Brunswick's Sappyfest and an August 25 gig at Halifax's Seahorse Tavern. Songs from the soundtrack are expected to be part of the band's sets.
With all that said, I'm off to Sappyfest myself. If you see me around, hit me up for a sticker or to personally unsubscribe, which is the classy way to do it. Next week's edition of Some Party will be quite egregiously late as a result of the trip. You'll be ok.