Sunday October 21, 2018

I Tried to Wear the World

Toronto's sardonic, frenzied noise-punk act WLMRT have announced a new 7" titled Lube 2. It'll be the band's first release with Pleasence Records following a pair of self-released EPs (2016's Fuck me I’m Joking and last year's Plan B) as well as a recent four-way split with Nüshu, Nightbummerz, and Deathsticks. Last week the band unveiled a video for the song "C.U.T.V.", which you can check out below.

In the press release the band walked us through their brainstorming process:

"We tried making a music video for C.U.T.V. more than once. The first attempt involved Shelby eating oysters while strapped to the hood of a moving vehicle. The next one was just us detonating explosives in a large field. We kept trying to satirize Hollywood, but ultimately had nothing to say. We were tired and bored of ourselves. We sat in a coffee shop, mumbling bad ideas at each other. Amongst other things, we reminisced about an old idea for a vampire movie that we never made, and talked about robbing a bank for a while. During these conversations, Shelby had semiconsciously written the words 'WHAT IS A BLOOD HEIST' on a piece of paper."

The new five-song EP can be pre-ordered from the label now.

WLMRT's a band I mention quite often, and I'd float them as perhaps one of the most conceptually-punk acts to have emerged from Toronto's underground in a good while. They may seem chaotic, but I suspect maintaining this level of sneering unpredictability (and deadpan irony) is harder than it appears.

Watch: WLMRT - "C.U.T.V." @ YouTube

Vancouver punk act Jock Tears have released a new David Ehrenreich directed video for their namesake song. In a feature at Exclaim the band's vocalist Lauren Smith discussed the concept behind the piece:

"We came together in the spring to film, we were really interested in playing with light and colour and having a lot of fun. We made a film within a film that is also a music video. It's kind of about being a sensitive jock through exploring vulnerability. The gulls are all hopped up on prozac making them vulnerable to attack. When me and my dog Ruby were watching the video back, we were being scared of being too vulnerable and chose to hold back our emotions to save face. Playing it cool keeps us from being too vulnerable, and opening ourselves up for attack."

You can find more on the video's conception in that article. The track appears on Bad Boys, the band's debut 12-song full-length on Inky Records. The group recorded in Montreal at Value Sound with Faith Healer's Renny Wilson.

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

Watch: Jock Tears - "Jock Tears" @ YouTube

Quebec City dance-punk three-piece VICTIME have released a new single titled "Dodo-prémonition," a track that will appear on their upcoming EP Mi-tronc, mi-jambe. That set isn't expected until March of 2019 from Michel Records. The track, which cumulates in a complete saxophone freak-out by guest David-Dugas Dion, is the band's first new material since their February full-length La femme taupe. The song was engineered and mixed by Simon Provencher at Le Pantoum.

VICTIME features bassist/vocalist Laurence Gauthier-Brown, drummer Samuel Gougoux, and guitarist Simon Provencher.

Listen: VICTIME - "Dodo-prémonition" @ Bandcamp

Ever-shifting genre-defying singer/songwriter Daniel Romano has released the second preview of his upcoming full-length Finally Free. A video promoting the song "All The Reaching Trims" can be found below. In an interview at Noisey, the artist commented that the track's about "giving oneself to the limbs of nature and begging forgiveness to the various supernatural powers around us."

Finally Free is (conservatively) Romano's eighth LP from the past eight years. It arrives on November 30 from You've Changed Records in Canada and New West elsewhere. The album features nine-songs that Romano wrote, recorded, performed, engineered, produced, and mixed entirety solo (the sole exception being some piano tracked by longtime collaborator Kay Berkel). Romano, who came to prominence a lifetime ago with the Welland, Ontario punk band Attack In Black, is currently touring Europe with his power-pop side-project Ancient Shapes.

Watch: Daniel Romano - "All The Reaching Trims" @ YouTube

Ottawa-based beatdown hardcore group Sedition has a new stand-alone single online titled "On Sight." The track features guest vocals from Andrew Kramer of fellow capital city heavies Iron Golem. The song furthers Sedition's mission of writing music that embraces the excesses of the genre while entirely aware of (and often laughing at) the over-the-top posturing inherent in it. In a revealing interview with Exclaim in September, bassist Mike Fors commented:

"I think you have to be somewhat self-aware when you're creating something this over the top, otherwise it's going to seem pretty goofy, but at the same time, the lyrics are about real shit... I guess the answer to that question is that we don't really spend any time thinking about balancing the band between being serious and being funny. We just want to put out songs that go as hard as possible, and we're going to have a lot of fun and laughs along the way naturally. Other people have been too, which is awesome. Bands that are too serious to take a joke or make jokes about themselves aren't any fun."

The new track finds the band taking on what they refer to as "openly discriminative" online fans who may have latched onto the group's sound without grasping its substance. The song drives home their opinion that "this band isn't for those kinds of people." Sedition will soon play Ottawa's Streets Ahead Festival alongside Doxx and Mil-Spec among many others. It runs from November 16 through the 18th.

Listen: Sedition with Andrew Kramer - "On Sight" @ Bandcamp

Guelph, Ontario duo the Bullshit Hardcore Band have expanded on their Bullshit Dub Soundsystem persona, a rhythmic diversion they first unveiled in the spring. The band recently released a new six-song set under the name titled The Process of Seeding Doubt. The group commented on the road they've taken with this material:

"So, this is what we were up to for most of the summer. An alternate title 'how to alienate your (few) fans' was also considered. In all seriousness, there's no point doing the same thing over and over again, and this was an itch that needed a scratch. With that said, there's definitely more of the usual punk/noise coming down the pipes in the near future, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy our little aural subversion... punk that is not punk is actually more punk than punk, no?"

I've always thought so. The enigmatic group also notes this new set isn't for "linear thinking cop-types" either, so you've been warned.

Listen: Bullshit Hardcore Band (as Bullshit Dub Soundsystem) - The Process of Seeding Doubt @ Bandcamp

While Dose Your Dreams may be out in the wild, we've still not fully uncovered all the mystery bands the Toronto group concocted as part of the album cycle. The latest candidate looks to be the synthpop act Jade Hairpins, a band that emerged from nowhere to release a debut 12" single on Merge the same day Dose dropped. The evidence that Jade Hairpins is, in fact, members of Fucked Up is pretty strong. The band's only previous mention online is from Fucked Up's recent stand-alone single "High Rise." The b-side of that record is a song called "Tower on Time" which was credited as a Jade Hairpins cover. Furthermore, it's been reported that the 12" has an etching in the runout groove that reads "a supple sword of ribbon then she let it down it drifted like a wave before me flowing in slow motion," which is from the new Fucked Up song "Accelerate." The words immediately preceding that line in the song lyrics are "her hair was pinned by jade."

The Jade Hairpins single will therefore likely join the hardcore 7" from Jellicoe & Woodbury on the list of secret Fucked Up side-projects. The band was, more blatantly, also behind Raise Your Voice Joyce: Contemporary Shouts From Contemporary Voices, a compilation put out by UK punk label Static Shock recently.

There's at least one more project that's been confirmed (to my knowledge). On a recent episode of Damian Abraham's Turned Out A Punk podcast, Mike Haliechuk revealed a band called Dolly Dream. That group, which features Meg Remy of U.S. Girls, will have a single released soon as part of the Slumberland Records singles series.

How many more of these exist? Who have I missed?

Listen: Jade Hairpins - "Mother Man" @ YouTube

Paradise of Bachelors recently revealed a two-song collaboration between The Weather Station (Tamara Lindeman) and Jennifer Castle. The songwriters, each acclaimed in their own right, paired up for the third edition of the Polaris Collaboration Sessions (featuring artists nominated for the Polaris Music Prize). The pair recorded together at London's Sugar Shack studio this past August, with the Weather Station contributing "I Tried to Wear the World" and Castle bringing "Midas Touch" to the table.

The release is available digitally worldwide now but will have a second life in Canada as a limited promotional 7" for the next Record Store Day (on April 13, 2019, not the upcoming Black Friday RSD in November). The record's cover art is by the aforementioned Daniel Romano. Videos shot by Colin Medley, featuring in-studio footage as well as an interview, are also available online now.

The first two Polaris Collaboration Sessions featured Shad and Holy Fuck (becoming Holy Shad for The Legend Of Cy Borg EP) and Buffy Sainte-Marie joining Tanya Tagaq for "You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind)."

Listen: The Weather Station & Jennifer Castle - Collaboration Session #3 @ Bandcamp

Every band that Windsor's Matthew Menard plays in is cool, from the sinister psych/punk act Psychic Void to the charging hardcore of Brain Itch. His solo garage-punk act No Fix continues that trend, drawing obvious influence from some of the genres' forebears (with satisfyingly blown out vocals that I'm a big fan of). The latest song from the project, following a pair of tunes released in January, is titled "Still Goin Down." There's no word if No Fix is gearing up to start collecting these various tracks on something physical, so for now head to Bandcamp for the goods.

Listen: No Fix - "Still Goin Down" @ Bandcamp

At the time of his untimely death in January, I wrote a bit about the Canadian music legacy that Peter Eichhorn of German label P.Trash Records left behind. His impact on the punk and garage rock communities across this country was immense. Pre-orders were recently launched for an upcoming career-retrospective compilation titled TRASH ON!!!, a massive collection of 104 P.Trash bands collected over 6 LPs.

While the tribute is by no means focused on Canada, it finds the country punching well above its weight. On the album, you'll find rare or unreleased recordings from Halifax's Outtacontroller, Ottawa's Steve Adamyk Band, Sudbury's Statues and Strange Attractor, Montreal's Sonic Avenues, and more. The set will also collect choice P.Trash material from Canuck punk bands past and present, including Brutal Knights, Vicious Cycle, Sedatives, White Wires, Zebrassiers, Needles//Pins, and Mind Controls.

The TRASH ON!!! compilation was spearheaded by the UK's No Front Teeth Records, Philadelphia's FDH Records, and Tobi from the bands Molaski and Gen Null. It arrives on January 16, 2019. All profits from the project will go to Peter Eichhorn’s family.

Listen: Statues - "New Plan" (unreleased) @ Bandcamp

Congratulations Joe "Shithead" Keithley of D.O.A., as it looks like the Vancouver punk legend has secured a spot on the city council of Burnaby, BC. He'll be the first-ever Green Party council member, securing the eighth and final spot on the council according to unofficial election results. Keithley was initially running for mayor in the city but pulled out of that race in July to vie for a council spot.

Keithley's run for various levels of political office several times in the past, first testing the waters with a 1996 provincial run for the Greens. D.O.A. last released Fight Back on Sudden Death Records, celebrating the band's 40 years together.

Watch: D.O.A. - "Taking Care of Business" @ YouTube

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