You're My Quarantine Crush
Some Party is a newsletter sharing the latest in independent Canadian rock'n'roll, curated weekly by Adam White. Each edition explores punk, garage, psych, and otherwise uncategorizable indie rock, drawing lines from proto to post and taking some weird diversions along the way.
Part-Time Cool: Fell In Love at The Punk Show
Preview and purchase at Bandcamp
You surely recall Baloney Mulroney, a punk trio sharing a Prime Ministerial surname in the grand Ramones tradition. Or maybe you don't, which is entirely reasonable as they're a make-believe group cooked up by Guelph singer-songwriter Innes Wilson. Fueled by the boredom of isolation, the project's since evolved into a new form (although one no less fictional), dubbed Part-Time Cool. Last week, Wilson launched the new name with Fell In Love at The Punk Show, a home-recorded four-song EP. On closer inspection, it's perhaps a little more Sloan than it is the Sex Pistols, but that's hardly a criticism. Regardless of genre or whether any of it's real, Fell In Love is an instantly likable set of earworms that never sound tossed off despite their playful origins. I sincerely hope COVID-anchored tunes like "You're My Quarantine Crush" survive the limbo to emerge on a future stage one day when we're all on the other side of this.
Wilson commented on the project (entirely in the third person):
"Wilson admitted during the March 2020 lockdown to secretly releasing a punk EP in 2019 which flopped. He says he's always been a punk who cut his teeth playing in his two-piece punk band in high school and says this side project is the punk band he always wanted to be in. Innes has always maintained he is just a punk playing slowed-down punk songs and approaching everything with that critical eye. At the height of the first lockdown Innes found himself revisiting old ideas and diving into the nostalgia of his past as we were all trapped inside our own lives seeing our global community speaking thought the lens of the internet as the world felt like it was falling apart. He found himself falling in love all over again.
Pillea's Micah Brown mixed and edited the songs from Montreal. You can find the complete set streaming at Bandcamp now.
The Mulroneys aside, last summer Wilson shared a seven-song set of isolation recordings titled Deference. Those tracks followed The Heart That Holds This Up, a 2019 EP released on Out of Sound Records.
CIA: "Super Dumb Highway"
Listen at SoundCloud
Last week I helped premiere the brash new single from the CIA (that's Capitalist Invisible Army, in case you assumed otherwise). The activist punk group has a new full-length on the way through Toronto's Art of the Uncarved Block, with Spiritual Decline slated for a June release. You can preview it now through the song "Super Dumb Highway," an ode to Ontario's ill-conceived "zombie highway," the 413.
Here's what the CIA had to say about the "Super Dumb Highway":
"In 2018 a bumbling white man who said folks a lot was elected to lead the province with a bunch of other conservative drones in his pocket. Along with his slew of myopic, neoliberal objectives was the resurrection of zombie highway 413 - a super dumb highway project that was found by experts, advisory panels, conservation authorities and numerous municipalities to be useless and devastating to the environment. The project will pave over hundreds of hectares of the greenbelt, along with class 1 and 2 farmland, the Humber and Credit River watersheds and over 80 rivers and streams throughout Vaughn, Caledon and north of Brampton. Opposition to the highway has been growing, and hopefully this song will make you stand in front of a bulldozer if need be. Or maybe to call up Dougie's phone line and tell him what the folks really want: And that is for him to go away and to take his highway project and MZOs with him. Bye Dougie."
The Capitalist Invisible Army bills themselves as:
"a project designed to expose the classist capitalist system that works to disenfranchise working people and destroy the production of real and meaningful communities. We use music, humour, general rage to express the absurdity of this system as well as the interconnecting political establishment."
Gemstones: Paranoid Amp EP
Preview and purchase at Bandcamp
To my eternal delight, the Dartmouth garage trio Gemstones are proving to be incredibly prolific, last week sharing their third EP of the year. Paranoid Amp features four new songs, arriving on the heels of the band's April-released Novel of Nothing 7" on Celluloid Lunch and February's Nevermind EP. Like Nevermind, the new set's due on cassette, shipping out June 1 through Don't Wanna Talk Records. You can stream the low-fi rock group's latest at Bandcamp now. Luke Mumford (Negative Rage, Genetic Angry) recorded and mixed these tracks in April.
Gemstones assembles a trio of veteran players, with guitarist/vocalist KC Spidle (Diamondtown, Dog Day) backed by bassist Cody Googoo (Booji Boys Misanthropic Minds) and drummer Chris Thompson (Eric's Trip, Diamondtown).
Album: "New and Annoying"
Telephone Explosion recently shared a second single from Hull's otherworldly Album, the "glitch-groove" duo pairing Simon Provencher of the dance-punk trio VICTIME with Olivier Fairfield of the confrontational punk-jazz group FET.NAT. "New and Annoying" arrives alongside a surreal animated video from Katerine Dennie-Marcoux.
The duo built the 11-track full-length from cut and pasted samples of live jam sessions. Philip Shaw Bova (Kiwi Jr., Lido Pimienta, John K. Samson) mastered the set, which arrives as a limited LP on July 9.
Just last month Provencher released an experimental solo EP through Michel Records titled Mesures, an album that also featured Fairfield on percussion. FET.NAT most recently released the Polaris-shortlisted Le Mal in 2019. VICTIME's Mi-tronc, mi-jambe EP landed that same year.
PRIORS: "Cool World"
Montreal garage-punks PRIORS recently shared a new video showcasing "Cool World," a song from their latest barnburner, My Punishment On Earth. The clip debuted last week through the influential Spanish webzine Tremendo Garaje. The Alan Hildebrandt-directed piece finds the band cleaned up and thrown back in time for a vintage television performance. My Punishment On Earth, PRIORS' third full-length, arrived in late December of 2020 through Belgium's Drink & Drive Records (with Brain Gum carrying the LP in North America).
PRIORS recorded My Punishment On Earth with longtime producer Adrian Popovich (Tricky Woo, Mudie) at Montreal's Mountain City Studios. Harris Newman mastered the album. The new LP follows their 2018 New Pleasure LP and the Call For You EP, both of which were issued by Slovenly. During last summer's COVID lockdown, vocalist Chance Hutchison and his partner Jackie Blenkarn (of the Pale Lips) released a handful of home recordings as Chance & Jackie. Guitarist Maxime Desharnais also recently issued a self-titled cassette from his DEVO-core New Vogue side-gig.
PRIORS features vocalist Chance Hutchison, drummer Drew Demers, bassist Alan Hildebrandt, and guitarists Maxime Desharnais and Sebastien Godin.
Anxious Pleasers: "Suck"
Hamilton's Anxious Pleasers - a punk trio from members of TV Freaks and Flesh Rag - has a new video online promoting "Suck," a song from their upcoming self-titled cassette. The frenetic clip finds drummer Nathan Burger inexplicably cast as a cyclist wrapped in toilet paper - the metaphoric meaning of which is lost on me but at least it looks cool. Guitarist/vocalist TJ Charlton edited the piece from footage shot by Adam O'Polka and Anthony Saracino.
Anxious Pleasers tracked a set of high-energy demos just before the pandemic, songs the band's now mixed and assembled as a limit-run cassette release. Due June 11, the tape features six whip-fast garage-punk originals plus a cover of The Pagans' 1978 single "Street Where Nobody Lives." The band features TV Freaks guitarist TJ Charlton and Flesh Rag's Matt Ellis with drummer Nathan Burger (a member of both groups). Charlton recorded the demos, with frequent Daniel Romano collaborator Kenneth Roy Meehan mixing and mastering.
The Halluci Nation: "Remember 01" (ft. John Trudell & Black Bear)
Watch on YouTube
The acclaimed Indigenous electronic duo A Tribe Called Red recently rebranded as The Halluci Nation. The group's first record under the new name arrives June 30 as One More Saturday Night, an album that finds Tim "2oolman" Hill and Ehren "Bear Witness" Thomas again celebrating the inspiration of the late author, musician, and activist John Trudell. The record's new single, "Remember 01," features 2014 audio of Trudell speaking to the group at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. Footage of that event also factors into the accompanying video from director Jon Riera. You can check it out now on YouTube.
In a press release Bear Witness commented:
"He (John) was on a mission to set us on a course that continues to guide and inform our actions. Remembering our past is key to seeing our way into the future and revisiting the words John spoke about us that first night are exactly that... Like a beacon showing us that we are still on the path he sowed for us. John's words confirm that we are still moving forward in the right direction. This is why it is so important for us to share his voice with everyone and once again, let John set the tone for our first album as the Halluci Nation."
"Creating this song was one of the most powerful moments to ever happen to me professionally. Hearing John's words reverberate in the room over meaningful chords felt like we were wrapping up our entire journey as a group, a sort of reflection piece. To bring it all back one more time by using an introductory speech he gave us back in 2014 when we first met, and he told us in that moment what we must do going forward."
The upcoming record, which follows A Tribe Called Red's 2016 LP We Are the Halluci Nation, also collects the group's recent singles from the ensuring years ("Land Back," "Ba Na Na," "Tanokumbia," "The OG," and "NDN Cars"). The album features a wealth of guests, ranging from Pow Wow singers and traditional drum groups like Black Bear and the Chippewa Travellers to Polaris-winning solo artists like Tanya Tagaq and Haviah Mighty.
Talk Show Host: "Warmest Condolences"
Preview and purchase at Bandcamp
Toronto pop-punk trio Talk Show Host recently shared "Warmest Condolences," another preview of their 10-song debut full-length Mid-Century Modern. In a statement, the band joked about their decision to address a tragically serious social topic through a pop-punk confection:
"'Warmest Condolences' is a driving, catchy summer jam about guns that somehow fire themselves and the cops who just can't seem to figure out why! Bop your head to an indictment of our capitalist police state & the never-ending cycle of grief & misery upon which it feeds!! IT'S A GOOD TIME, I SWEAR."
The new record finds Talk Show Host again working with NQ Arbuckle's John Dinsmore (PUP, Great Lake Swimmers) at his Lincoln County Social Club studio. Dinsmore previously engineered the band's Not Here To Make Friends EP, along with their one-off 2020 single "This Monologue." Mid-Century Modern arrives July 4 from LA punk label Wiretap Records and Disconnect/Disconnect in the UK.
Talk Show Host features guitarist/vocalist Chris Veinot, drummer Sean Woolven, and bassist Fabien Rivenet.
Print Head: Made By Yesterday
Preview and purchase at Bandcamp
WINT's Brandon Saucier has a new EP on the way as the playfully DEVO-inspired Print Head. The prolific Lethbridge artist has a cassette release slated for June 19, with much of the new material available for preview now at Bandcamp. Made By Yesterday features seven new tracks (with an eighth exclusive to the physical release).
Saucier's alternated between several stage names over the years, including Compassion Fatigues, Tim Spacey, Print Head, and WINT. Print Head's the most recently active outlet, with the HAPPYHAPPY full-length landing in June of 2020.
Preview and purchase at Bandcamp
BC post-punk militants N0V3L have a third, last-minute preview online from their upcoming debut LP. The intriguing "Stranger" adds a piano and saxophone to the group's tight-wound mix, a playful counterpoint to Jon Varley's dour vocal take. Non-Fiction arrives this Friday, May 28, through Calgary's Flemish Eye and Meat Machine Records in the UK.
N0V3L crafted the 11-song LP between 2017 and 2020, recording to an 8-track at their now-defunct Vancouver art space with Bryce Cloghesy (Military Genius, Crack Cloud) producing and mixing. The collectively-minded five-piece are following up on their 2019 EP NOVEL and a 2020 split release with Australia's Exek.
Huron Lines: "Lost and Found"
Windsor's grim and gritty Huron Lines has a new video online showcasing "Lost and Found," the second single from their upcoming full-length Lost at the Border. In a statement, the band commented on the Garth Jackson-directed clip:
"Beware of spaceships invading Essex County, Canada! They are multiplying by the dozens across Essex County emitting a strange light into the sky visible from away as Detroit, MI, USA. They are known to attract skeletal lifeforms riding skateboards all by themselves. Recent reports have stated that certain persons have been found standing in front of them lip synching to their own songs. If you spot one, we recommend streaming HURON LINES new single LOST AND FOUND at full volume to ensure you are protected as intercepted messages indicate that the aliens love this song and will always high five anyone found rocking out to it...
The song and video are inspired by that feeling of watching someone you love slip away into the darkness and feeling helpless while at the same time feeling like you have to try to do something... talk to them, encourage them, or stare them down on a deserted road next to an illuminated greenhouse in the middle of the night... either way, it can be lonely for the one trying to help sometimes."
Lost at the Border is due October 15 through Chieftown Music. Huron Lines recorded with Psychic Void's Josh Kaiser engineering. Bill Skibbe (Fucked Up, Jack White, and The Kills) mastered at Third Man Mastering across the river in Detroit.
Huron Lines features guitarist/vocalist David Mueller with guitarist Grainger Harris, bassist/vocalist RJ Brando, and drummer Nick Mitchell. All four members previously performed in Club Thunderbolt.
PACKS: "Hold My Hand"
Take The Cake, the debut LP from Toronto slack rockers PACKS arrived in full last week. To celebrate the launch, the group shared the latest in a string of charmingly homemade videos showcasing the record, this time featuring the song "Hold My Hand." In a statement, singer-songwriter Madeline Link commented:
"This song is your average semi-country-western inspired heartache pop ballad that's driven by a story. I had cut my forehead in a frantic search for stolen money, panicked in a parking lot, heard the drippy crooning of a bad band practicing somewhere in the distance, and to top it all off, I was doored while biking. Being alone and blue, I did what any rational hopeless romantic would do: implore my lover from a different land to fly to me so he could hold my hand."
PACKS is an evolution of Link's bedroom recording project, which performed in recent years as the phonetically similar PAX. The four-piece also features guitarist Dexter Nash, bassist Noah O'Neil, and drummer Shane Hooper. As PAX, that group last released the full-length Ouch in 2019 through Art of the Uncarved Block, with the digital EPs Melt It Down and Sucked Up surfacing online in the time since. Take The Cake landed in the digital realm last week through Royal Mountain and Fire Talk Records, with vinyl due in July.
André Ethier: "Wild Blueberries"
Preview and purchase at Bandcamp
André Ethier's Further Up Island arrives this Friday, but if you can't wait until then, there's one last preview of The Deadly Snake's latest opus online. You can stream the bright and quirky "Wild Blueberries" now at Bandcamp. Ethier commented on the song in a statement:
"This one bounces and hums through the valley, surrounded by the abundance of nature. A traveler can choose to eat from the wild or steal from the window sills of the local village. Either way, blueberries."
Further Up Island concludes a three-album cycle that found the one-time garage rocker collaborating on airy, nature-inspired folk tunes with producer Sandro Perri. Following 2017's Under Grape Leaves and 2019's Croak In The Weeds, the series wraps Friday through Telephone Explosion.
Elliott BROOD: "Runaway"
Long-running Hamilton alt-country trio Elliott BROOD recently shared a cover of "Runaway," Del Shannon's international hit from 1961. You can find it accompanied by an animated visualizer on YouTube now or streaming just about everywhere. It's the second recent cover from the group that dares tackle an absolutely ubiquitous song, following a stomping reworking of the theme from Cheers back in November.
Elliott BROOD last recently released the full-length Keeper on Six Shooter Records. It arrived in September of 2020.
Brian Walsby: "Canadian Punk Rock and Hardcore"
Check it out at Instagram
Over the past few days, the legendary punk cartoonist Brian Walsby's shared images of an in-progress piece that showcases some of the legends of the Canadian punk world. In the linked Instagram post, you'll find his depictions of members of D.O.A, NoMeansNo, The Dishrags, Subhumans, Neos, SNFU, Stretch Marks, Personality Crisis, Beyond Possession, Genetic Control, No Policy, The Viletones, Teenage Head, Youth Youth Youth, Career Suicide, Fucked Up, and Propagandhi. Walsby shared an uncoloured version of the busy ensemble as well.
Heading off any feedback on who he may have missed, he commented:
"Just to save the trouble: Canada is way too big with too many bands to stick in here, plus I don't know about every single Canadian band. Also, being of older status, most of my examples are from the eighties, so no offense if your favorite band isn't represented...maybe a part two will happen."
The walls of Some Party HQ are just screaming for a print of this. Incredibly cool.