Sunday November 4, 2018

Inuk

I wrote back in January that Arctic metal group Northern Haze was setting out to record their second full length — a measly 33 years after their debut. That project's now complete, and the result is Siqinnaarut (Return of the Sun), a 10-song LP that will see a November 23 release on Aakuluk Music (Nunavut's first record label).

The band's current line-up features original members Naisana Qamaniq, James Ungalaq, and John Inooya, playing with Derek Aqqiaruq and Allan Kangok. The full lineup resides in Igloolik, an island hamlet of about 1600 people in the Foxe Basin off the western coast of Baffin Island. Northern Haze claims the title of the first band to release a rock album in Inuktitut, and this record carries that legacy forward. The album features the first studio recording of "Angajusakuluk," the band's live staple ("one of the most recognizable and beloved Inuttitut rock songs ever written," heralds the press release), among a number of riff-heavy tracks that range in influence from classic early metal to melodic hard rock and even some 70s punk (their PR suggests that the anti-war track "Iraq" has a bit of a Misfits vibe, and boy does it ever).

Northern Haze recorded in Iqaluit last January, building an impromptu studio with gear brought north from Toronto by producer Michael Wojewoda. The recording took place in Qanukiaq Studios (home to Inuttitut comedy series Qanurli. As a producer, Wojewoda's resume is extensive, with credits ranging from Buffy Sainte-Marie's recent Polaris-winning Power in the Blood to popular 90s records by the Rheostatics and Barenaked Ladies.

An excellent history of Northern Haze was published by Bandcamp earlier this year. The band last released a collection of various non-album material titled Sinaaktu in 2012. You can check out the new track "Inuk" below.

Listen: Northern Haze - "Inuk" @ YouTube

Halifax indie-rock quartet Nap Eyes have a pair of new songs available as a digital EP from You've Changed Records and Paradise of Bachelors. Too Bad features the tracks "Have You Seen the Light" and "I've Always Known You Care," songs recorded during the sessions that resulted in I'm Bad Now, the band's third long player from this past March. The songs arrived as the band embarked on a western US tour supporting Cloud Nothings.

I'm Bad Now was the follow-up to Nap Eyes' 2016 LP Through Rock Fish Scale. It, and it seems these newly available outtakes, were recorded and mixed by Howard Bilerman with Mike Wright at Montreal's Hotel2Tango.

Listen: Nap Eyes - "I've Always Known You Care" @ Bandcamp

Speaking of You've Changed, the label recently shared a multi-camera live video of Ancient Shapes performing the track "Hurricane Lady" at Toronto's Lee's Palace. The footage was shot on August 25 of this year by Margarita Brighton and Colin Medley, with Kenny Meehan tracking the audio at the show.

"Hurricane Lady" is a track from the punk band's 2016 debut. The group recently issued their sophomore LP Silent Rave on vinyl for the first time a. Frontman Daniel Romano is currently readying the release of Finally Free, his eighth solo LP, on November 30.

Watch: Ancient Shapes - "Hurricane Lady" @ YouTube

Last week Christine Fellows premiered another song from her upcoming full-length at Exclaim, a haunting track titled "Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home." She told the magazine:

"If you've ever become disoriented on your way home at dusk — perhaps you caught a glimpse of an owl or heard a child's voice in distress — and suddenly you find yourself on an unfamiliar street full of sad people you don't recognize, flanked by a dark forest with a full moon rising behind the trees. That's 'Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home.'"

Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home was also the title of a theatrical piece Fellows and Toronto visual artist Shary Boyles performed together as far back as 2014.

The Winnipeg singer-songwriter will release Roses on the Vine, her seventh studio album, on November 16. It was co-produced by Fellows and her partner John K. Samson for their new Vivat Virtute label. Fellows, who primarily composed on baritone and tenor ukuleles, is backed on the studio recordings by Jason Tait (drums and electronics), Keith McLeod (mandolin), Greg Smith (bass), and Leanne Zacharias (cello) with guest appearances by Christine Bougie (lap steel guitar), Keri Latimer (theremin), and Shotgun Jimmie (electric guitar). Cam Loeppky engineered and mixed the album.

Listen: Christine Fellows - "Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home" @ Exclaim

Ottawa fuzz-pop droners Expanda Fuzz have a new video up for "Ghosts and Flowers," the lead single from their new full-length Cotton Candy Jet Engine. You can check it out below. The duo features Leila Younis and Chris Page, the latter known for his time 90s garage-punk act The Stand GT and later Camp Radio.

Watch: Expanda Fuzz - "Ghosts and Flowers" @ YouTube

With Dose Your Dreams out in the wild there's a wealth of new Fucked Up footage to consume. The band's recent release show at the Horseshoe Tavern was recorded pretty much in its entirety by CBC Music. The genre-bending hardcore band also appeared on The Strombo Show, playing a live set in George Stroumboulopoulos' kitchen that includes, among a selection of the band's own material, a cover of the Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement."

Dose Your Dreams, a double LP and the band's fifth full-length, was released on October 5 on Arts & Crafts in Canada and Merge elsewhere.

Watch: Fucked Up @ House of Strombo @ YouTube

Last week I shared "Kanye," the latest single from Saint-Lambert rock band Zen Bamboo. It appears on their recently released EP Volume 4: Retour aux Sources. A video featuring the song, directed by Marianne Boucher, is now up on YouTube.

The new EP is the fourth in a series the band started in the summer of 2017. I detailed my (probably wrong) read of the concept behind this project last week, so I won't repeat it here. Zen Bamboo has been working with Malajube's Thomas Augustin on the EPs, which have thus far only been released digitally through Montreal's Simone Records.

Watch: Zen Bamboo - "Kanye" @ YouTube

Montreal's Oakhearts recently premiered a new video through Punknews.org for the song "Curse." It's from the band's upcoming self-titled debut, due December 2 from Little Rocket Records. The song demonstrates shades of 90s punk and emo, with the band citing Jawbreaker and Burning Airlines as major influences.

The quartet features guitarist/vocalist Daniel Aubut (Young & Lost, Les Midnights), guitarist Daniel B. Cesare (The Sober Dawn, Powernap), bassist Mathieu Caumartin, and drummer Emilien Catalano (The Nils, The Sangomas, Moving Targets). The new LP was co-produced, engineered, and mixed in Montreal at BBR studio by Ryan Battistuzzi.

Watch: Oakhearts - "Curse" @ YouTube

Calgary melodic punk quartet Bring on the Storm have released their debut full-length Altruism, which finds the band playing fast, technical punk along the lines of Strung Out, The Fullblast, or Propagandhi.

The band features Chris Kreuger (formerly of Torches to Triggers) on vocals and guitar, guitarist Brandyn Smith, bassist Josh Wallace, and drummer Clay Fandrick. The band recorded with Casey Lewis (Belvedere, The Evidence) at Echo Base Studios. You can find a video of the group playing their single "Spineless Gutless Bitch" at YouTube now.

Watch: Bring on the Storm - "Spineless Gutless Bitch" @ Youtube

Nanaimo's longstanding instrumental noise act Flatbed has a new 10-song EP on the way titled Drug Mom. The band's sixth release finds Mike Thibodeau, the group's two-string bass player and only permanent member, backed this time out by mononymous guitarists Shrum and Jub, with Lindsay Coulton (Bash Brothers, Hag Face) on drums. The record arrives as a one-sided 12" on Toronto's Arachnidiscs this Friday.

Listen: Flatbed - Drug Mom @ Bandcamp

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