Sunday March 1, 2020

Object Permanence

Halifax singer/songwriter Jon Mckiel returns with a new full-length this April, titled Bobby Joe Hope. The record's due from You've Changed Records, following-up on Mckiel's 2017 LP Memorial Ten Count. This album arrives under some truly unique circumstances, as described by Sackville poet Geordie Miller in a press release (of which this is just an excerpt):

"How do you speak through a stranger? Contain multitudes. And begin to find new kinds of design in accident. True story. In September 2015 Jon bought an old Teac A-2340, a reel-to-reel tape recorder, tapes included. He exchanged a few emails with the online seller while negotiating a deal, but they never met. The first time Jon tested out the machine at home it disclosed a beautiful dream. A single tape of astounding samples from an unknown source. He nicknamed it the Royal Sampler. They began to jam together..."

Mckiel salvaged the audio from those tapes and brought the samples into the studio with JOYFULTALK's Jay Crocker. Each of Bobby Joe Hope's nine tracks features some aspect of this found material. What results is a work that's at times truly haunting and ethereal. You can preview some of it now with the single "Object Permanence" below, but I can't wait for the general public to check this one out in full. It's something else.

Listen: Jon Mckiel - "Object Permanence" @ Bandcamp

This week You've Changed also announced a live album from Daniel Romano's touring band The Outfit. "Okay Wow" will collect 15 songs recorded live in Scandanavia and mixed by the band's longtime collaborator Kenneth Roy Meehan. The set-list pulls from across Romano's rather prolific solo output, including a few selections from out-of-print digital collections like Nerveless and Human Touch.

The lineups (and band names) of Romano's backing group tend to shift over time, but always include a few anchor players that rose out of the southern Ontario punk scene. This version of The Outfit featured Julianna Riolino (a Welland-based singer/songwriter, theses days billed as J.R.), Roddy Rosetti (a regular member of both this band and Ancient Shapes), Dave Nardi (the founding and former bassist of The Dirty Nil), Ian Romano (Danny's brother and likewise a former member of Attack In Black), and Tony "The Pope" Cicero.

You've Changed will release the set on vinyl on March 27. A video for the track "Nerveless," featuring Riolino and Rosetti on an attitude-driven tear through Welland's Seaway Mall, can be found at YouTube.

Watch: Daniel Romano and The Outfit - "Nerveless" @ YouTube

Toronto hardcore stalwarts S.H.I.T. returned with two new songs this week. "Hidden In Eternity" and "Eraser III" were both released in the lead-up to the band's upcoming European shows, which include gigs in Barcelona and Athens along with an appearance as part of London's Static Shock Weekend. The band primarily recorded these tracks with Tallies' Dylan Frankland recording. Fucked Up's Jonah Falco mixed and is credited with engineering some additional material.

S.H.I.T.'s last proper full-length was 2018's killer What Do You Stand For?. It was simultaneously released that summer with a collection titled Complete S.H.I.T., which compiled the band's prior studio recordings.

Listen: S.H.I.T. - "Eraser III" @ Bandcamp

Listen: S.H.I.T. - "Hidden In Eternity" @ Bandcamp

Ariel Sharratt and Mathias Kom of The Burning Hell have a new video online for the delightfully cheeky "Rise Up Alexa," a track from their upcoming album of information-age labour anthems Never Work. Sharratt commented on the clip, which calls on Amazon's voyeuristic digital assistant to revolt against its masters:

"Featuring longtime Burning Hell collaborator Jake Nicoll as Alexa, the video was shot in rural Lazio with a budget of €1.25, which was spent entirely on tin foil. No robots were harmed in the production, though at least one was radicalized as a labour rights activist."

Darren Browne and Mathias Kom shot the video in Riofreddo, Italy.

Never Work arrives April 3 from BB*Island on vinyl and CD. It serves as Ariel and Mathias' second record formally billed as a duo, following 2015's Don't Believe The Hyperreal. The Burning Hell, proper, last released Revival Beach in 2017. Sharratt and Kom recorded the new 8-song set in Fairfield, Prince Edward Island, with Nicoll performing additional production and mixing at Studio J in St. John's.

Given the subject of this song, it's fitting that the record's dedicated to the memory of Jeff Lockhart Jr., a warehouse temp who died on the floor of a Virginia Amazon facility in 2013.

Watch: Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom - "Rise Up Alexa" @ YouTube

Toronto power-pop act Pretty Matty are set to share a split 7" release with Nashville duo Sad Baxter. You can preview Matty's side, a whirlwind of an East Bay-styled, guitar-driven punk song now at Bandcamp. The split arrives March 6 from Head 2 Wall Records, with the bands pairing up for a mini-tour hitting Cincinnati, Columbus, and Nashville in support.

The 45 follows a recent solo set that Matty Morand recorded with Ian Shelton of the Seattle power-violence outfit Regional Justice Center. As a full band, Pretty Matty last released their self-titled debut full length on Get Better Records in 2019. Sad Baxter last issued the So Happy EP in 2018, with a few digital singles arriving online in the year since.

Listen: Pretty Matty - "Why Not Be Something That You Are?" @ Bandcamp

Revolver recently premiered a METZ cover of The Cramps' 1983 tune "Call of the Wighat." It's the noise-punk trio's contribution to Really Bad Music for Really Bad People, a Cramps tribute that will serve as the 100th release from San Diego label Three One G.

In a statement to the magazine METZ guitarist/vocalist Alex Edkins commented:

"They were a singular force and to mimic or attempt to replicate their sound is a complete fools errand. So why do a Cramps cover you ask? Good question. Our intention from the outset — and the entire point of this compilation series — was to reimagine and recontextualize the music, destroy and rebuild, not ape or do a 'straight cover.' It was a fun way to pay respect to a band we all love without, we hope, doing them a disservice. Long live the Cramps."

METZ recently released a b-sides and rarities collection on Sub Pop Records titled Automat. It followed the Toronto-based band's last proper full-length, 2017's Strange Peace.

Listen: METZ - "Call of the Wighat" @ Revolver

Saint-Lambert's grunge-influenced Zen Bamboo recently shared a video for the title track to their upcoming record GLU. You can preview the slick alt-rock anthem "Glu (coule sur moi)" now at YouTube through a video directed by Jean-Benoît Duval of the art collective Les Mêmes-Cacaïstes. The album arrives on March 27 from Simone Records.

Malajube's Julien Mineau produced the 10-song set, which follows a narratively interconnected series of four EPs the band released throughout 2017 and 2018. Zen Bamboo features vocalist Simon Larose, guitarist Léo Leblanc, bassist Xavier Touikan and drummer Cao.

Record release shows are scheduled for Montreal on April 8, with Quebec City to follow on April 15.

Watch: Zen Bamboo - "Glu (coule sur moi)" @ YouTube

With more than 500 shows with his pop-punk outfit Lost Love under his belt, Guilhem Benard's finally launching his first solo full-length. Billed as the mononymous Guilhem, the singer/songwriter is releasing Born & Bored independently on March 2. The Montreal-based artist is following up a pair of earlier solo EPs, 2017's Sings Songs of Lost Love and 2018's Bad Art. You can stream the 10-song record, recorded as a full-band, in its entirety now at Bandcamp.

Guilhem recorded Born & Bored at Mountain City Studio with Adrian Popovich (Solids, PRIORS) engineering and Hugo Mudie (The Sainte Catharines) producing. The artist commented on the record:

"In this album, I talk about stressful stuff, hopeful stuff, depressing stuff, death and love. The excitement of feeling young and the disappointment of being bored."

Guilhem will support Born & Bored with a March and April tour of Quebec and the Maritimes. You can find the full routing at his website. Lost Love last released the EP Glenn Spaghetti Legs on Germany's Uncle M Records. It followed the band's 2019 Stomp Records LP, Good Luck Rassco.

Listen: Guilhem - Born & Bored @ Bandcamp

Hailing from the north shore of Montreal, four-piece skate-punk act L'Affaire Pélican have returned with a new three-song EP titled Si C'est Flou, C'est Un OVNI! (that's If it's blurry, it's a UFO! for us Anglophones). The speedy Saint Eustache band's following up their 2017 EP Le Moins Pire with this set. L'Affaire Pélican features bassist/vocalist Benoit Bédard, guitarist/vocalist Maxime Leblanc, guitarist Maxime (Olivier) Paquin, and drummer Luc Doucet. The band recorded with Vincent Côté (Bussieres).

Listen: L'Affaire Pélican - Si C'est Flou, C'est Un OVNI! @ Bandcamp

The Drew Thomson Foundation has a new video online featuring "Karma," a track from the group's self-titled, Dine Alone-released 2019 full-length. In a press-release Thomson commented on the tune:

"'Karma' is a song about a person being so blissfully unaware that they float through life, with things easily falling in their lap - and in turn that ease and confidence then pushes people close away. It's kind of about some people I know and kind of not. This should be easy, you just want to love me!"

The Foundation is Thomson's pop-rock vehicle and the stylistic counterpoint to his long-running London, Ontario punk act Single Mothers. The group's currently on the road supporting PUP and Screaming Females in the States, with Canadian dates alongside Dashboard Confessional scheduled for May.

Unfortunately, that tour hit a bit of a snag over the weekend, as Drew's van was broken into in Texas. A fundraiser is now active to help them recover the costs of replacing their stolen instruments.

Watch: The Drew Thomson Foundation - "Karma" @ YouTube

Halifax neo-soul group Aquakultre has a new video online featuring "Pay It Forward," a smooth, synth-driven call for kindness and positivity. Vocalist Lance Sampson commented on the track in a press release:

"The concept of 'Pay It Forward' has been a driving force in my way of life. It has played such a big role in my personal growth, my personality, and my morals, and has definitely helped me re-frame some of life’s harder moments in a positive light... The musicality of the track has such a positive vibe to it, it wraps you up in this feeling of warmth. I think the tracks before it are so heavy, it was only right to remind people to be kind to one another."

Evan Elliot directed the clip, with Sampson co-directing.

Aquakultre, the winning act from the 2018 CBC Searchlight competition, features Sampson backed by percussionist Nathan Doucet (Heaven For Real, sax/keyboard player Nick Dourado (Century Egg, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Budi), and bassist/keyboardist Jeremy Costello (Special Costello, Beverly Glenn-Copeland). "Pay It Foward" will appear as the closing track on the group's upcoming full-length Legacy, which arrives in May.

Watch: Aquakultre - "Pay It Forward" @ Facebook

Haisla Nation hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids continues to charge forward, coming hot off the release of their acclaimed 2019 full-length Trapline with a new EP titled Real Deadly. The title track to that record arrived last week with a video directed by Travis Didluck. In the premiere at Complex the Vancouver-based duo commented:

"We like to refer to things that are dope as 'Real Deadly.' We wrote a song about feeling strong and confident in who we are as people and artists... Director Travis Didluk really came through and we cultivated a nice little story (where we are) basement-dwelling scientists and we develop a real deadly substance that infects us with power and confidence. You'll see by the end that it's all for fun, and we wanted to show people that we don't take ourselves too seriously."

The group worked with Atlanta-based producer Kato on the song (he previously produced "Rebirth" and "Lost Tribe" for Trapline) and visual artist Ben Knechtel on the visuals. Look for Real Deadly on April 3. Snotty Nose Rez Kids features Darren' Young D' Metz and Quinton' Yung Trybez' Nyce. Trapline followed up on the band's LP The Average Savage, both of which landed them on Polaris Music Prize shortlists.

Watch: Snotty Nose Rez Kids - "Real Deadly" @ YouTube

Toronto power-pop act Young Guv recently shared a remix of his track "Caught Lookin'" by the Los Angeles-based DJ/producer Turbotito. The original version of the tune appeared on GUV II, one of the pair of LPs that Guv released on Run For Cover Records in 2019.

The label recently compiled GUV I and GUV II into one massive 19-song double album, with two unreleased demos tacked on as a bonus. Young Guv is the alter-ego of Ben Cook, who you know as a member of Fucked Up and the frontman of No Warning.

Listen: Young Guv - "Caught Lookin'" (Turbotito Remix) @ Bandcamp

BC punk legends D.O.A. have a new album out March 15, titled Treason. It arrives on Sudden Death Records as the follow-up to the veteran band's 40th-anniversary full-length Fight Back. Punknews recently premiered the track "All The President's Men." Speaking with the site, frontman Joey "Shithead" Keithley commented on the politically aggrieved tune:

"In 'All The President's Men,' we sampled Rudy Guilliani stating 'What is the truth?' Well we know what the fucking truth is. It's time to put all the President's men in the pen! One day Trump can join them."

Were you expecting a love song? Treason slots in as the 18th D.O.A. record, an eight-song effort that includes a cover of Neil Young's "Hey Hey, My My." Joey's backed these days by the rhythm section of drummer Paddy Duddy and bassist Mike "Corkscrew" Hodsall.

Listen: D.O.A. - "All The President's Men" @ Punknews.org

Podcasts

Nick Flanagan, the Toronto and L.A. based comedian who once fronted the punk groups Brutal Knights and Wrong Hole, hosted Fucked Up's Damian Abraham on the latest episode of his Nick Flanagan, Weakly podcast.

"Damian Abraham (Fucked Up, Turned Out A Punk podcast) joins Nick for a conversation about Nick and Damian growing up together in the Toronto punk music scene, Johnny Cash vs. Stompin Tom, 90s hip-hop, murder ballads, dealing with anxiety, Damian's favourite Attitude Era wrestler, and more!"

Subscribe: Nick Flanagan, Weakly on iTunes

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