Sunday August 26, 2018

Get The Rods Out

Montreal psych rocker, visual artist, and animator Paul Jacobs has released the first track from his upcoming LP Easy. The tune, titled "Sunday Morning 2," comes with a video animated (by hand) in Jacobs' instantly recognizable cartoon style. Easy is due on October 19 through the UK label Stolen Body Records. I previously shared a teaser for this record back in July.

Jacobs, originally from Windsor, made his name as a one-man-band and has proved to be wildly prolific, often releasing several EPs and full-lengths within a single year. His last record, and his first vinyl release with Stolen Body, was 2016's Pictures, Movies & Apartments. It was followed up earlier this year by the five-song EP Story About Anything along with a handful of low-fi experiments shared under the name Garbage Truck.

I realize that I share Paul's stuff quite regularly on this newsletter, and I make no apologies for that. I've got a thing for idiosyncratic garage rock weirdos, and since Jacobs churns out music like a man possessed, it's, well, easy.

Watch: Paul Jacobs - "Sunday Morning 2" @ YouTube

Speaking of Montreal transplant artist/musicians, Petra Glynt has another new track online from her upcoming Pleasence debut My Flag Is A Burning Rag Of Love. She shared the song "Surveillance" in a premiere at Pop Matters this week, a tune that brings the industrial influence in her percussive electropop to the fore. Thematically the track tackles the loss of privacy and general lack of control we face in the corporate-driven social media era. She told Pop Matters:

"the darkness and heaviness of this song was a surprise to me as it's the only one of its kind on the album. I wrote it in reaction to the Facebook data scandals and general contempt for how impersonal our personal information has become online. We are actively using these tools, and our data is being funneled into the hands of those who can analyze it and use it to their advantage, against us, and ultimately to make more money. The song is a bit tongue and cheek and big and scary for a reason. Speaking directly to those powers it's saying 'yea, so what you got all this information on me, I know everything about you too' because their intentions are so simplistic: more money. In this way I want them to feel small because we're out here living exciting, colorful lives despite them."

My Flag Is A Burning Rag Of Love arrives on September 7. The record, Glynt's sophomore solo effort, features 13 songs written, performed, and self-produced by Glynt. Alice Wilder (M.I.A., Austra) mixed the new tunes. The album follows up Glynt's 2017 Vibe Over Method released debut, This Trip.

Listen: Petra Glynt - "Surveillance" @ SoundCloud

Victoria label Supreme Echo has announced the November release of East End Rockers, a collection of material from the first-wave St. John’s, Newfoundland punk band The Reaction.

Bassist/vocalist Mike Fisher, guitarist Rick Harbin, and drummer Terry Carter formed The Reaction in late 1978 (Carter, who went by Pasquale Neutron, was also a member of early NFLD punk group Da Slyme). They spent much of 1979 playing shows around the Rock, and in this period produced the single "On The Beach" b/w "The Kid's Arrived." While the studio material earned the band some local FM airplay, they called it quits in October of that year, only to reform a month later with drummer Dan Ralph. This version of the band relocated to Toronto by 1980, returning to the studio that that year. In 81 the group returned to Newfoundland and expanded their lineup to include keyboardist Stephen Jackson, but played their final show in June of that year.

The Supreme Echo reissue features a remastering of the band's recorded material from 1979 through 1981, including songs recorded with each lineup. The set will be accompanied by a booklet featuring flyers, photos, and more. The reissue will be limited to just 500 copies. Look for it on November 14.

You can preview the remaster of the track "Get The Rods Out" over at 50thirdand3rd, and check out a vintage clip of a performance at YouTube. Speaking to the long-running punk website, Mike Fisher commented on the track:

"Get The Rods Out” has had many interpretations over the years but basically is a party song and the ‘rods’ refer to the lighting grid holding up the back drop a gigs. We used to use tent poles to hang our black backdrop in the late 70’s/80s and someone said ‘get the rod’s out’ (from the van)."

Listen: The Reaction - "Get The Rods Out" @ 50thirdand3rd

As Daniel Romano's power-pop/punk rock side-project Ancient Shapes wrapped up a week of triumphant shows across Ontario, his label announced a vinyl release of the band's sophomore album Silent Rave. The set was previously released as an extremely limited cassette last year, and outside of a brief (and concluded) run as a Bandcamp download, it's been kept out of the public's hands since. That'll change on October 5th. The 10-track vinyl version of Silent Rave on You've Changed Records features new cover art as well.

To promote the release Romano premiered a video for the album's lead track, "Giant Comma," at Exclaim. Romano described the song in their write-up as:

"The world itself revolting against the heinous behaviours of its 'smartest' inhabitants. The feeling that, whether we find ourselves fighting it, ignoring it, or denying it, it is in fact there, just on the other side of a giant comma."

The video was shot, edited, and directed entirely by the Romano.

Watch: Ancient Shapes - "Giant Comma" @ YouTube

Sudbury's Tommy and the Commies formerly launched their debut album with a show at the recently concluded Up Here festival. The record will arrive on September 28 via the Reno, Nevada garage rock label Slovenly Recordings. If you haven't caught on to these guys, the trio plays speedy punk with a massive debt owed to early UK bands like the Undertones and Buzzcocks. It's good shit.

The trio features the titular Tommy backed by Jeff Houle (the mastermind behind Strange Attractor) and his brother Mitch (who played with Jeff as 2/3s of the P.Trash power-pop legends Statues).

If the song "Devices" sounds familiar to you, I showcased an earlier cut of it here back in February. Here it is again, in its official album form.

Listen: Tommy and the Commies - "Devices" @ SoundCloud

Dundas, Ontario's The Dirty Nil are fast approaching the September 14 release of Master Volume, and they've shared another track to preview their sophomore effort. You can check out the song "I Don't Want That Phone Call" at Kerrang now. Frontman Luke Bentham told the magazine:

"I’ve found subtlety to be a vastly overrated quality, best left to cardigan wearing jazz tooters. We here at The Dirty Nil prefer to espouse the truth in all its brash glory and ugliness. 'I Don’t Want That Phone Call' is a love letter to any individual struggling with substances of self destruction. You’re not alone, there’s help out there, friends."

Master Volume will mark the band's second LP of new material for Dine Alone Records, following 2016's Higher Power and the early singles collection Minimum R&B.

Listen: The Dirty Nil - "I Don't Want That Phone Call" @ Kerrang

Brent Fulop, the former drummer for the now-defunct Welland, Ontario punk group The Snips, has released a new four-song EP from his solo act Maybe Kinda Sorta. Fulop worked with Mark Fosco (Marvelous Mark of the Marvelous Darlings) on the recordings. Fosco recorded, mixed, and mastered the tracks at the Fuzz Co studio.

While Maybe Kinda Sorta might technically be a solo effort, it sure doesn't sound like one. Fulop's crafting some big tunes awash in 90s alt-rock vibes.

Listen: Maybe Kinda Sorta - EP @ Bandcamp

UK punk label Static Shock Records recently announced a compilation titled Raise Your Voice Joyce: Contemporary Shouts From Contemporary Voices. It features eight tracks of protest music from female artists playing in a range of styles, from early anarcho-punk to UK82 and goth. Why am I mentioning it here? Well, you'll recall that "Raise Your Voice Joyce" was the first single from Fucked Up's upcoming full-length Dose Your Dreams, and this appears to be an officially sanctioned companion piece.

The band's being (typically) oblique about the whole thing. It doesn't appear, at this point, that Fucked Up will be featured on the record at all. Nor should you assume that this is akin to David's Town, the companion record to 2011's David Comes To Life — most notably because that comp featured entirely fictional bands and the groups featured here (Arms Race, Nekra, Sauna Youth, Hurula) are all quite real.

While the full extent of this thing remains to be revealed, you can now check out the song "Black Cardigans" by Bryony Beynon below. Beynon is a former member of the London band Good Throb and currently resides in Australia. That's London, England, by the way, I suppose I have to qualify that here.

Listen: Bryony Beynon - "Black Cardigans" @ Bandcamp

Black Forest

Beau's's annual Oktoberfest music festival and fundraiser is coming up next month. It'll take place on September 21 and 22 in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. Among the fully Canadian lineup, you'll find the punk-focused Black Forest Stage raising funds to support the Ottawa skate scene youth charity For Pivots Sake. I've been digging through the Black Forest lineup each week in the lead-up to the event.

Montreal's Laureate occupies a sweet spot somewhere between No Idea styled pop-punk, midwestern emo, and indie rock. They never entirely land in any one of those camps, but in doing so should appeal in all directions. The vocal interplay between Giancarlo Talarico and Erin Power might even fondly remind you of another beloved Montreal punk group, the now-defunct Fifth Hour Hero. Laureate are supporting their 2017 full-length Landmarks, which was released by Jump Start Records.

Listen: Laureate - Landmarks @ Bandcamp

Mental Fix bills themselves as "East Bay style punk from Montreal" but that needs some to be qualified just a bit. If your mind jumped to Rancid and Green Day, you're not wrong, but Mental Fix branches from their sound in its early 90s form, back when everything still had its rough-edged underground charm. With that in mind, check out the band's 2017 full-length Bricolage, a propulsive 10-song riot of a record that'll have you shouting along like it's 1995. The band released the album on December 31 of last year, with a cassette release on Too Many Notes and an import CD from Japan's Urban Sleep Discs. This is the kind of music I spent most of my teenage years chasing, so it brings a smile to my face to hear it done so well.

Listen: Mental Fix - Bricolage @ Bandcamp

Oh, and this is an unsolicited endorsement, but if in the waning days of the summer you happen to find yourself at a cottage on Lake Erie and need a quality beach beer, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Beau's Buenos Dias citrus gruit. Speaking from experience.

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