Sunday September 23, 2018

Tough Luck Young Buck

This week folk-rocker Nick Ferrio will release Have a Nice Day, his follow-up to last year's Soothsayer LP. The Peterborough-based singer/songwriter recently unveiled a video for the song "How Will I Know," a reflective track that looks upon music as a source of wonder. It's an earnest and affecting tune from an artist who's made a career out of that sort of thing. This is the second preview we've seen from the record, following the gentrification screed "Don't Know How Long."

Ferrio commented on the song in a press release:

"How Will I Know" is a philosophical song; it’s about my relationship with music and thinking about why I’m drawn to make it, especially in today’s day and age, with the music industry changing. We’ve all heard over and over again about how the music industry is in the pits and how culturally music isn’t as valuable as it once was. I guess the nagging question in this song is, is music still worth something? The answer to that is yes. Music has the power to transform, to give meaning, to create connection, to make change. Ultimately, music is powerful. And because of that, music will survive whatever happens to the music industry.

The Have a Nice Day tour will kick off in late September with a POP Montreal show in support of Ferrio's fellow Sappyfest alum Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, followed by gigs in Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton, Toronto, and Sudbury.

Watch: Nick Ferrio - "How Will I Know" @ YouTube

While we're on a bit of an autumn folk kick, let's check in with Kim Barlow. The Nova Scotian musician will also release a new record this week titled How To Let Go. It features the singer/guitarist/banjo player backed by drummer Mark Adam and bassist Nicholas D'Amato, with guest appearances from Old Man Luedecke, among others.

Barlow previewed the new work with the single "Whitehorse," a biographical road trip that gradually builds in percussive energy as it clips along. This tune's been stuck in my head all week.

Now based in the Annapolis Valley, Barlow has six records out under her name along with a number of collaborative projects. These include a duo with Mathias Kom of The Burning Hell under the name Spring Breakup and the string band Ira Red with Gaspereau's Heather Kelday.

Listen: Kim Barlow: "Whitehorse" @ SoundCloud

Vancouver punk act Jock Tears are finally ready to unveil their first full-length. The 12-song Bad Boys will debut this Friday on Inky Records. The set finds the band mixing attitude-driven Ramones-inspired numbers like "Boys With Bruises" alongside amusing twee tunes like the band's album-opening jock-baiting mission statement "Salt." The group recorded in Montreal at Value Sound with Faith Healer's Renny Wilson.

Vocalist Lauren Ray fronts Jock Tears. The quartet also features former Tough Age bassist Lauren Smith, guitarist Spencer Hargreaves (Redrick Sultan), and Brutal Poodle drummer Dustin Bromley.

Listen: Jock Tears - "Boys With Bruises" @ Bandcamp

Ottawa noise-duo Deathsticks have returned with a new single titled "In The Motors." The galloping track is the first preview of the band's upcoming record Funny Haha Cool, an album that will launch the band's new label Not My Car. "In The Motors" has moments that you could almost squint and call poppy, which is a shift for a band that's otherwise consistently played and recorded as loud a racket as utterly possible. This is a relative observation.

This track will also appear on the upcoming It's Trash Records compilation Killed By Meth Vol 3, which will also feature contributions from Toronto's WLMRT and Hamilton's Sweet Milk along with a host of American garage punk groups.

Listen: Deathsticks - "In The Motors" @ Bandcamp

I'm absolutely fascinated by the song "Saint-Fortunat," the first preview from the upcoming EP from Quebec's Zouz. The garage-psych track, which builds in intensity over a looping country riff, is one of six to appear on EP2 when it arrives on October 12 on Lazy at Work (Galaxie, FUUDGE, Les Dales Hawerchuk). It follows up the band's 2017 EP, which was unsurprisingly titled EP1.

Zouz is a three-piece featuring vocalist/guitarist David Marchand, bass/synth player Étienne Dupré, and percussionist Francis Ledoux. The group has roots in Montreal's Cartierville neighbourhood and the cities of Sainte-Pie and Saint-Hyacinthe.

Listen: zouz - "Saint-Fortunat" @ Bandcamp

Vancouver's Neon Taste has a bunch of cool releases on the way this fall. First up is an extremely limited cassette from the now-defunct Vancouver punk act Crumb, collecting the band's Community Service EP. The five-piece released the four-song set digitally in early August. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by JJ Heath at Rain City Recorders. Here's what the label had to say:

Sometimes melodic and sometimes nauseating, Crumb were a Vancouver hardcore band that bridged the gap between The Faith and the swampy-effect, driven guitars of more modern sounds. Tempo changes and tough, metal influenced riffs with a vocalist that isn't hiding behind layers of verb and delay. Crumb were killer. This is their swan-song. 50 copies only. No more. This release is entirely about trying to make sure that bands this good manage to have at least something physical to leave behind in a city that swallows everything.

Listen: Crumb - Community Service @ Bandcamp

Neon Taste is also reissuing the debut record from BC's Oi-influenced hardcore group Bootlicker. Carrying the no-frills title of 6 Track E.P, Bootlicker's blown-out six-song debut first arrived in September of 2017. On this record, the band featured vocalist/bassist Lewis Jay, guitarist Trevor Robson, and drummer Lucas. Lewis and Lucas have since reorganized the group as a four-piece. A follow-up EP titled Who Do You Serve? arrived this past June.

Label-head Josh Nickel commented, "This, along with Cheap Appeal, is some of the best hardcore this Province has EVER come up with."

Listen: Bootlicker - 6 Track E.P. @ Bandcamp

Edmonton's grim and gritty punk/sludge act Rebuild/Repair will release their third album, There Is No Place Left For Me Here, on September 28. You can preview the songs "Greybeard" and "On Self-Awareness and Being a Bastard" at Bandcamp now. The three-piece commented on the dark themes driving the record:

The album is about struggling with mental illness and social isolation in a place you no longer feel connected to. It features artwork depicting the High Level Bridge, a "popular" suicide spot in Edmonton, AB.

Damn. Rebuild/Repair is a three-piece vocalist/guitarist Randall Graves, bassist Jason W. Goodall, and drummer Kelly Doiron. The band's following up a split from earlier this year with Medicine Hat's OHMWAR and their 2016 LP Above Ground Cemeteries.

Listen: Rebuild/Repair - "Graybeard" @ Bandcamp

On the cheerier end of the spectrum, Toronto's laid back indie-pop act Ruby's Kiss have an EP release show coming up this Friday. The band will take to Sneaky Dee's with support from Tilt Howl and Faiyaz and The Wasted Chances. The five-piece band recently previewed the song "FOMO" at YouTube, showcasing a sound that would have fit right in with the popular early-2000s garage rock revival.

Listen: Ruby's Kiss - "FOMO" @ YouTube

Experimental post-rock group Fly Pan Am have announced a reunion, with a single live show scheduled. The influential late-90s band will reconvene for a gig on October 20 with Kee Avil in their hometown of Montreal at Dazibao.

Fly Pan Am (or Le Fly Pan Am to be formal) formed in 1996 and were contemporaries of like-minded high-art bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The four-piece put out four records from 1998 through 2005 on Constellation Records before putting a halt to things in 2006. The group's founding lineup featured guitarists Roger Tellier-Craig and Jonathan Parant, bassist J.S. Truchy, and drummer Felix Morel, with all members credited for working on the electronics and tape effects the group became known for. Multi-instrumentalist Eric Gingras (guitars, organs, percussion) expanded the band's lineup in 2002.

Listen: Fly Pan Am - N'écoutez Pas @ YouTube

A few weeks ago I shared some news about a Supreme Echo reissue of material from first-wave St. John’s, Newfoundland punk band The Reaction. You couldn't read very far into that band's history without seeing numerous references to their contemporaries in Da Slyme. Aside from a few songs (like the killer scuzz-punk single "Piss Eyed Sleazoid") most of that band's material simply hadn't made it onto the Internet, officially or otherwise.

A few weeks ago that changed, with a full vinyl rip of Da Slyme's self-titled 1980 double LP showing up on YouTube with a ton of annotations. The heroic individual behind the rip commented on the record:

This INSANELY RARE Double LP was self-released in the fall of 1980 by St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada punk rock band DA SLYME - recorded in 1978 and 1979. Believed to be limited to 200 copies or less. The records came housed in random Thrift Store LP jackets - purchased in bulk for 25 cents each when the band ran out of money for professional record covers - with "DA SLYME" spray painted on the front covers in a stencil.

Musically, its all over the place! Captain Beefheart is the most obvious influence on their sound, but there's also prog, psych, and even country influences that can be heard throughout the record - not to mention stand-up comedy (a portion of the live LP features their hype man doing stand-up before introducing the band) - all in a snotty, late 70s punk style.

A true outsider record! Very few copies ever made it out of Newfoundland, and to date it has never been reissued - making it one of the rarest Canadian records of any music genre.

What are you waiting for? Long lost classics like "Truck Stop Nun" and "Trudeau Sucks" await.

Listen: Da Slyme - 2xLP (1980) Sides A & B @ YouTube

Listen: Da Slyme - 2xLP (1980) Sides C & D @ YouTube

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