Sunday November 3, 2019

Anyone's Guess

Nova Scotia's college rock styled Washing Machine has a new track online titled "Anyone's Guess." It's due for a late November split EP release with Halifax shoegaze outfit Valerie. While specific details on that record are forthcoming, the bands seem to have shared a close working relationship, as Washing Machine recorded this track with Valerie's Palmer Jamieson behind the boards. Along with the recent "Act of War" single, this new material is among Washing Machine's first since their 2018 full-length Walk It Back.

Washing Machine's Smiths-indebted indie rock comes courtesy of Moon's Noel Macdonald. This recording features him on vocals, guitar, and bass, playing along with guitarist Dylan Chew (Unreal Thought, Frail Hands), and drummer Tom Burke (King's Girls, Frail Hands). While Booji Boys' Cody Googoo has appeared on bass in recent live incarnations of Washing Machine, he doesn't appear on this particular recording.

Listen: Washing Machine - "Anyone's Guess" @ Bandcamp

For their part, Valerie also has a new track online, presumably from their end of that same Washing Machine split (my "passively read Bandcamp" means of reporting is really bearing some indeterminate fruit today). Titled "OC Hair," the 5-minute jam finds the shoegaze-influenced quintet following-up their April-released Thin Veil EP.

Valerie features guitarist/vocalist Palmer Jamieson (Beauts) backed by guitarist Kayla Stevens (Crossed Wires, Vulva Culture), guitarist Shawn McNally (Night Surf), bassist Caleb Schriver, and drummer Ryan Brown.

Listen: Valerie - OC Hair @ Bandcamp

Turns out this was a busy week in Haligonia, as the Halifax punk act Blood Beach is also back with a new 6-song EP titled Surf Curse. It's listed as S/C on Bandcamp, if you want to be pedantic. This release features the frantic vocals of Taylor Furey with unspecified credits listed for Luke Mumford (Negative Rage, Genetic Angry, The Mark Vodka Group), Micah Brown (who recorded the recent BBQT EPs), and Craig Fahner (Feel Alright, Motorists). The set follows the band's 2017 demos.

Listen: Blood Beach - S/C @ Bandcamp

Peter Johnson's often sombre indie rock outfit Tang has a new full-length due this December. Titled Finding Peace, Isn't The Point, the record follows up low-fi Toronto band's 2018 record Super Happy. The album's due December 5 from Art of the Uncarved Block.

In a write-up at Post-Trash the band premiered the single "Real Dark," a track that starts out deceptively acoustic before it crashes a satisfying wave of crunchy distortion. Speaking to the site, Johnson dissected the sentiment behind the track:

"'Real Dark' was a strange memory I had in my head for over ten years. I often wondered why it stuck there. It meant very little to me, but felt so vivid every time I would revisit it in my mind. I think that more than anything it was the feeling. I am a nostalgic person, and correspond much of nostalgia with melancholy. But it was another beautiful sort of sadness. In this moment I truly felt alone. I felt at peace. It was a still winter night. Snow covered the earth. It was silent. I had my whole life ahead of me."

Tang will launch the new material with a release show on December 5 at Toronto's Handlebar, with support from the Constantines' Steven Lambke and Whitby's Holiday Pictures.

Listen: Tang - "Real Dark" @ SoundCloud

Did I not just write about the enviably prolific output of London's Robbie Brake? I sure did, it was a mere two weeks ago with the debut of his new ocean-spanning synthpunk duo Telegenic Pleasure. Lest you think I was dabbling in hyperbole, here's another new release from Brake's camp, which is itself just a stopgap for another LP (or six).

The garage-punk trio Mononegatives are back with a new five-song EP titled Sure Shock, a quick follow-up to the band's 5 Second Future release from back in June (an eon ago in Brake-time). You can stream the title track now over at Bandcamp. Mononegatives feature Brake alongside bassist Jon Lamont and drummer David Cereghini. Between the three of them, their shared resume connects back to Isölation Party, Klazo, Dong Vegan, Disleksick, and The Syndrome among a half-dozen other London groups. Mononegatives recorded this new set at The Watershed Studios with Preston Lobzun. Will Killingsworth mastered the EP.

Listen: Mononegatives - "Sure Shock" @ Bandcamp

Toronto punk heroes PUP rolled into Halloween with a new video, featuring the Morbid Stuff song "See You at Your Funeral." The clip finds the band and friends cast in a retro sitcom titled Growing Up Ghouls, where they take part in a gross-out public service episode dubbed "Self Care: A Horror Story." It beats me how well this is going to work for you with the spooky season now behind us, but PUP's record of high concept show-stopper clips speaks for itself. Joe Stakun directed the new video.

PUP's 11-song Morbid Stuff, the band's third full-length, was released earlier this year on the band's Little Dipper imprint. The record landed the group on this year's Polaris Music Prize shortlist.

Watch: PUP - "See You At Your Funeral" @ YouTube

Celebrated Indigenous electronic duo A Tribe Called Red has a video up for their recent single "Ba Na Na." Directed by Jon Riera and Aidan Shipley, the clip brings together the song's guest vocalists together at Toronto's Caribana Festival. Along with the Anishnaabeg drum group Chippewa Travellers, "Ba Na Na" features the talents of Grand Analog frontman Odario Williams and recent Polaris winner Haviah Mighty.

Tribe's Ehren "Bear Witness" Thomas commented on the clip in a statement:

"This song is about the pure enjoyment of dancing and getting sweaty... but this is not without a purpose. This song is for the people who are working hard to make the world a better place than the one they were left with. This is for the fighters and the defenders. Part of being strong is also taking the time to stop, let go and release. Our DNA is of earth and sky."

Mighty reflected on the video's festival setting in a statement to Exclaim:

"For me, I think something that culturally brings us all together is the vibes of Caribana. That carnival vibe; that fun, free-spirited, get together vibe; the energy, the floats, the parade. It's kind of collective national pride and it's something that the track gave in the production of itself."

Watch: A Tribe Called Red - "Ba Na Na" ft. Odario, Haviah Mighty & Chippewa Travellers @ YouTube

Toronto garage-rock act Bad River are back with an EP's worth of music titled Petrol Head. It's the grungy band's follow up to their 2017-released "Clean Air" EP. The group recorded at London, Ontario's Sugar Shack (WHOOP-Szo, Chastity) with mastering performed at Toronto's Lacquer Channel by Noah Mintz (Constantines, Broken Social Scene). Bad River's planning to support the 5-song release with a tour throughout November. Release shows will soon be confirmed for Toronto, Hamilton, and London with further dates in the province to be announced soon.

Bad River features guitarist/vocalist Thomas Huhtala, bassist Scott Hempstead, and drummer Nathan Heuvingh.

Listen: Bad River - Petrol Head @ Bandcamp

Hamilton, Ontario hardcore act Sick of Shit has a new four-song EP online titled Shit Sandwich. The release marks the first new material from the band since their 2017 Fuck You EP. As you can see, there's clearly naught but sunshine and rainbows from this group.

Sick of Shit's slated to play the upcoming Hamilton release show for Ottawa's Liquid Assets. They'll take part in a massive six-band bill on December 14 at Doors Pub to celebrate the Schizophrenic Records released SNC Lava Lamp EP. Look for them there supporting Liquid Assets alongside Coke Jaw, Get Off The Cop, Violent Image, and Kilgore the Clown.

Listen: Sick of Shit - Shit Sandwich @ Bandcamp

Prolific Montreal indie outfit Navet Confit has a new EP out, titled EP8 / il fait très (très) froid. It's the group's follow-up to this summer's legalization-themed full-length Navet Confit présente le Justin Trudeau Kinda Party (which, if you've not heard it, is just gleefully fun). The EP features 6 new songs and a couple remixes of the title track.

A release show for the EP is scheduled for November 7 in Montreal at L'Esco as part of the Coup de Coeur Francophone festival. This coming weekend will also see an album release from the garage-punk act Nüshu, of which Navet Confit principle Jean-Philippe Fréchette is also a member. That record's titled Sexe étranger. The Nüshu album launch takes place on November 13, also at L'Esco.

Listen: Navet Confit - EP8 / il fait très (très) @ Bandcamp

Montreal psych-rock trio Elephant Stone has a new video online for their single "Hollow World," the title track to the group's upcoming LP. Frontman Rishi Dir commented on the track:

"I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment. If social media has taught us anything, it's that there are a lot of unhappy people out there who are trying to find a way out. They are looking for meaning and something to believe in... or nothing to believe in... We all want the same thing, but are trying to achieve it in different ways. With this in mind, we wrote and recorded our 6th full-length, Hollow. I set forth writing a song-suite telling of a world of unhappy souls who have lost connection with each other. The storyline touches upon the plundering/poisoning of their home, the elite, demagogues, false idols, the truth as seen by children, and, ultimately, the fight for the survival of their species. 'Hollow World' is where it all begins."

Elephant Stone last released Ship of Fools in 2016. You can expect Hollow World in early 2020. Elephant Stone features Dhir on vocals, bass, and sitar alongside drummer Miles Dupire and guitarist Robbie MacArthur. When the group performs live they fill out their sound with the help of guitarist/keyboardist Jason Kent.

Watch: Elephant Stone - "Hollow Word" @ YouTube

Orangeville, Ontario garage-rock three-piece The Discarded have a new full-length out this week titled Sound Check and Fury. It's the band's third album and follow up to 2018's Manifesto. Taken together with their recent Not From This Town EP, the new record completes a three-act narrative, spanning 17 songs (all of which were recorded with Ian Blurton last September). The band described the album's storyline in a statement:

"[Sound Check and Fury] tells the not so fictional tale of a band making music, travelling from show to show, selling merch and trying to make enough to carry on. Add to that the pressures of relationships, mental health, letting go and moving forward with one's life."

Proudly playing in that classic Ramones / Cramps vein, The Discarded features brothers Caden Jax (drums) and Jared Dean (bass) performing with their father, guitarist/vocalist J.P. Wasson. Wasson's a vet, having drummed for the Toronto punk act Fifth Column in the early 90s. He also appeared with Canadian punk act The Snowdogs during that era.

Listen: The Discarded - Sound Check and Fury @ Bandcamp

Director Neil Cavalier recently released Petra Glynt's Neon Nightmare, a short film shot on Petra Glynt's tour supporting her 2018 Pleasence Records release My Flag Is A Burning Rag Of Love. The surreal piece is billed as part documentary and part horror film. As the title suggests, it prominently features the Montreal-based art-punk/electropop artist in the lead role. You can watch it on YouTube now.

Watch: Petra Glynt's Neon Nightmare @ YouTube

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