Sunday August 11, 2019

New Haze

The Toronto psych-rock act Mimico's been floating on the periphery of this newsletter all summer. They took the stage recently as part of the Crystal Lake weekend, with an appearance at the similarly rural Hollowfest event fast approaching in September. The 'space-motorik' trio recently announced that their next full-length, Hi-Action, is due for a fall release on Hand Drawn Dracula.

The synth-driven band first got together in 2011 and features the talents of Ben Oginz, Jeremiah Knight, and Nick Kervin. They recorded Hi-Action with producer Justin Small (of the celebrated instrumental group Do Make Say Think) in sessions at both the storied Bathhouse Studio (The Tragically Hip, The Sadies) and Toronto's Palace Sound (Absolutely Free). The album features contributions from violinist Laura C. Bates (Volür) and guest-vocals from Ida Maidstone (Hush Pup). In a press release the label commented that Hi-Action "combines the influences of film music and prog with a homegrown Sci-Fi mysticism," something you can definitely hear in the lead single "New Haze."

Mimico is following up a 3-song cassette EP released via the Toronto record store Sonic Boom in 2018, and before that their 2015 set Incantations.

Listen: Mimico - "New Haze" @ Bandcamp

The Kitchener, Ontario-bred emo/punk outfit Wayfarer will return this fall with their third full-length. Titled Reckless Spring, the album is the first new material from the Kyle Krische-lead group since 2016's Three Winters EP.

Wayfarer's vulnerable slant on melodic punk often harkens back in sound and sentiment to the early 2000s emo (think the output of Saddle Creek and Jade Tree Records). That's certainly true on "February," the first single from Reckless Spring shared last week.

The band commented on the track in a press release:

"People always talk about how February is the most depressing month of the year. Stuck in the dead of winter, spring seems so far away, and summer is merely a distant dream. By the time winter comes back around again, you know you'll have probably squandered the few good months you yearned for only a few seasons ago. When you finally step outside of it, you realize you wanted to use February as a scapegoat for all your bad behaviour, all your own shortcomings. Maybe it isn't the weather's fault."

The quartet's new material was recorded during the winter of 2018 at Hamilton's Tape Studios. The band's first full-length since 2015's Sleep Through to the Light, Reckless Spring is due October 25.

Listen: Wayfarer - "February" @ Soundcloud

Vancouver's Sore Points have a new EP due on September 6, one that finds the speedy punk trio joining fellow-Canucks Tommy and the Commies and PRIORS on the roster of Nevada garage rock label Slovenly Recordings.

Titled Not Alright, the EP was engineered by JJ Heath at Rain City Recorders and mixed by Felix Fung at Little Red Sounds Studios. The label enthusiastically commented:

"This new 7inch, their third release and first for us, is a bonafide banger from the get-go, putting the smack down with a snarling four songs in six minutes wallop, steeped in that radical moment in time where late 70s UK punk and early 80s Ami-hard core collided. From the opening, ear-piercing squeal of "Not Alright," to the deadly squall of feedback and brain-bashing pummel on "Not Coming Back," Sore Points fork over breakneck kicks in spades, and guarantees your own rock'n'roll kicks for days."

Sore Points released their self-titled debut LP in 2018 on Deranged Records. It was preceded by the * Don't Want To* 7" on Hosehead. Sore Points' members have served time in bands like Nervous Talk and Spectres.

Listen: Sore Points - "Not Alright" @ Bandcamp

Daniel Romano's power-pop group Ancient Shapes announced their third full-length yesterday. The group will release A Flower That Wouldn't Bloom on October 25 via You've Changed Records. The press release states that the album's 13 tracks were culled from two separate studio sessions that took place nearly a year apart.

The current Ancient Shapes lineup features the brothers Daniel and Ian Romano along with David Nardi, Vee Bell, and Roddy Rosetti. That's a Southern Ontario punk lineage that has direct lines to Attack In Black, The Dirty Nil, and TV Freaks, to say nothing of a dozen or more related side-projects.

The label shared the album's title track along with the announcement. You can stream it below. I'm eagerly waiting to get my hands on the album cut "Welland 2020," as the Rose City is seldom immortalized in verse, at least so directly.

A supporting tour's been organized in October with shows in Ontario and Quebec. Ancient Shapes will be joined by Toronto's Teenanger on the road with shows slated for Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Sudbury, St. Catharines, and London.

Last year Ancient Shapes reissued their sophomore LP Silent Rave on vinyl for the first time. They also shared a split 7" with the Welland punk trio Dboy.

Listen: Ancient Shapes - "A Flower that Wouldn't Bloom" @ Bandcamp

Speaking of Dboy, the gimp-masked, satin-clad, cartoon-soviet punk group recently wrapped up recording their second full-length. While there's no music to share yet, the engineering credits on this one bare mentioning: The trio's debut Dine Alone Records LP was recently completed at Chicago's Electrical Audio with the legendary Steve Albini. Cherry-picking even just a few credits from Albini's insanely prolific career feels like a fool's errand, so get thee to Wikipedia if you need a refresher on the thousands of notable artists he's worked with. From a Some Party perspective, he last appeared in these pages as the producer of METZ' Strange Peace. Don't call him a producer, though.

Whenever it arrives, the band's new LP will follow up their 3-song Dboy for President 7", the above-mentioned Ancient Shapes split, and the band's mock-live debut, Prove Your Love - Live in Belem.

Unofficially, Dboy features members of the Welland punk acts The Snips and Northern Primitive.

See: Dboy with Steve Albini @ Instagram

Working Titles is the solo songwriting project of musician and designer Glen Leck, who has credits in a number of Haligonian groups like The Legendary Golden River Show Band, Washing Machine, and Kim Harris. The outfit has a new EP on the way for August 23 titled Shorelines, a three-song set of which you can now stream two tracks. The latest preview arrives in the form of "Lake Swimmers," a relaxed folk-rock number that throws out some serious Cohen vibes, largely due to Leck's smokey vocal delivery.

On this release, Working Titles features Leck on guitar, bass, and vocals (not to mention all engineering credits), with Joel Waddell on drums, Noel Macdonald on guitar, Matthew Macdonald on synths, Asa Brosius on pedal steel, and backing vocals from Mel Stone.

Listen: Working Titles - "Shorelines"

Edmonton punk act Real Sickies has a new video online featuring "Forgot to Let Go," the lead single from their upcoming Stomp Records debut Out of Space. The band's devotion to the Ramones and Teenage Head should be readily apparent on their sophomore record, a 13-song set due August 30.

The group, which features ex-members of the late-90s/early-2000s street punk group Wednesday Night Heroes, last released Get Well Soon in 2018. Rob Lawless produced the new record at the Physics Lab in Edmonton, with Terry Paholek mixing and mastering.

Real Sickies are fronted by Ben Disaster, who's done a ton of work boosting the Canadian punk scene through his This Is Pop radio show on CJSR.

Watch: Real Sickies - "Forgot To Let Go" @ YouTube

Three-piece Toronto pop-punk act Sixteen Scandals have another new single online from their upcoming sophomore full-length. The band premiered the song "C No Evil Hear No Evil Talk A Lot Of Shit" at Punknews.org last week. The track joins the previously released "Middle C" on a record due August 30, which looks to be titled Nothing to C Here. As a matter of fact, I can absolutely C what you're doing here, you goofs.

The new record is the trio's follow-up to their 2017 EP Dorkmanteau.

Listen: Sixteen Scandals - "C No Evil Hear No Evil Talk A Lot Of Shit" @ Soundcloud

Halifax indie-rock act Mauno may be fresh off the release of their well-received new record Really Well, but the group's nonetheless decided to call it a career. In a statement on Facebook the band commented:

"... We're all at a point, ready to move on to the next things, living in different cities and pursuing different interests. The time has come to call it quits.

We're thrilled about our new record and have had our most amazing tour to date. We've felt so much love and support from so many people and it really makes all the work and travel we've put in these last 5 years worth it.

More to come from all of us, only under different names."

Really Well arrived in in the first week of August on Tin Angel Records.

Watch: Mauno - "Take Care" @ YouTube

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