Thursday September 9, 2021

Boat Burner

Some Party is a newsletter sharing the latest in independent Canadian rock'n'roll, curated more-or-less 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.

Antibodies: LP 2021

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

In a rush to throw together last week's newsletter, I somehow neglected any mention of Antibodies' new album - a record much delayed due to the global vinyl bottleneck. The scrappy Charlottetown punk outfit's new EP is finally on the horizon from Sewercide Records - a short set rather confusingly titled LP 2021. Confusingly, but consistently, as the band's preceding work was respectively labelled LP 2018 and LP 2019, despite neither stretching much past the 10-minute mark. The new record's available to preview this Friday at Bandcamp, with preorders for physical copies going live at the same time. The set features ten new songs, including the blistering "Petro State." The quartet first lobbed that bomb in the summer of 2020 - a defiant shot across the bow for Canada Day amidst the pipeline protests.

Antibodies recorded this set at Terry's Temple and Sienna Studios, with Ben Goss mixing and Dan Randall mastering. In the time since the band's last EP, they've involved themselves in several noteworthy projects, most prominently Sewercide's Seaside Sickness compilation. If you ask me, that's become something of a landmark document of the Maritime lo-fi punk scene. It featured Antibodies alongside the Booji Boys, Fragment, Misanthropic Minds, BPS, Warsh, and Dark Dial. Last year, the group also issued an EP as part of the PEI Musicians for Migrant Worker Relief initiative, raising money for the Cooper Institute to support migrant workers during those chaotic early days of the pandemic.

Antibodies recently saw their 2018 and 2019 material collected onto a single 20-song LP by the UK label Drunken Sailor Records. LP 2021 arrives with a run of 50 clear copies and 250 on black this Friday. Best be quick if you want one.

Bitter Fictions: Full Spite

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Devin Friesen's feedback-drenched recording project Bitter Fictions recently previewed Full Spite, a noise-rock album the artist earlier described as "the meanest album I've made." You can find the songs "Gtr Centre Motherfucker" and "Respite" streaming online now, with the complete seven-song set arriving online and on cassette September 14. A prolific home recorder, Friesen tracked these songs in 2018 and 2019, working from Calgary and Montreal. The artist's Bandcamp notes reveal:

"These ones mostly started from drum machines/samples instead of guitar/tape loops. Superfuzz buzzsaw distortion on distortion, rude playing, no pondering post-this or that. One pop song at the end. Excuse to wail and end sentences with the word 'heavy'."

The new tunes arrive following May's atmospheric two-song digital EP Two Remarks, landing via the artist's Shaking Box label. Bitter Fictions released a wealth of material throughout 2020, most recently the Heat Spells EP last September. Last October, Friesen and drummer Andrew Hume (Cold Water, Burro, Dada Centauri) released their Live at CJSW tape through Shaking Box, billed as Friesen/Hume.

The Tom Fun Orchestra: "I'm Your Man"

View on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Rootsy Cape Breton indie rock ensemble The Tom Fun Orchestra hasn't been particularly active since wrapping up the tours supporting 2012's Earthworm Heart. The group surprised last week with a new single titled "I'm Your Man." The band's remained evasive on what future the new material suggests, commenting:

"This is the first recording of original music we've put out into the world in close to a decade, and we're tickled to share it with you. Is this just a one-off single release for a lark; or a sign of more to come? It is almost probably one or the other. Who knows. Whatever happens, we hope you like it."

An interview at The East sheds a bit more light on those questions. Head there to find out more.

The new track features lead vocals and guitars from Ian MacDougall and Breagh Potter, Victor Tomiczek on banjo, Albert Lionais on trumpet and piano, Dave Mahalik on accordion, Shane O'Handley on bass, Thomas Allen drumming, and Nathan Richards on the electric guitar. The group recorded with producer and engineer Jamie Foulds at Cape Breton's Soundpark Studios.

The song arrived alongside a video comprised of over 40 years of home video footage. MacDougall commented on that piece upon its release:

"And now for your viewing pleasure. This video is compiled of family home-movies dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. The older footage was taken by my great grandfather, Bob Robertson, a talented amateur photographer. He also took the photo seen in the artwork associated with this song, as well as the cover art for our second album, Earthworm Heart. The "more recent" footage (1970s) was taken on my parents' Super 8 camera, which apparently broke down permanently just before I was born, or so the story goes. Anyway, I hope you like it."

Spectres: "Tell Me"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Vancouver deathrock quintet Spectres return in the fall with Hindsight, a retrospective 12-song full-length collecting out of print singles, unreleased material, and new songs tracked during the pandemic. The set features nine studio tracks paired with three live performances recorded for the Los Angeles radio show Part Time Punks. The live renditions cover material from the band's 2016 album Utopia and 2012's Nothing to Nowhere. You can preview the album-closing, New Order-indebted single "Tell Me" at Bandcamp now.

Artoffact Records has the album on deck for a November 5 release. It follows the band's 2019 LP Nostalgia, and if it's anything like the band's past work it'll likely fit perfectly among the Factory Records catalogue of yore.

Spectres were first brought together as a studio project in Coombs, British Columbia. Now based in Vancouver, the group's current incarnation features vocalist Brian Gustavson backed by drummer Mitch Allen, bassist Jason Renix, and guitarists Zach Batalden and Adam Mitchell.

Botfly: "Life as a 9-5"

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Haligonian post-hardcore group Botfly recently shared the paint-peeling "Life as 9-5," the second preview of the group's upcoming LP Lower Than Love. That record's due November 26 from No Funeral Records, promising an increasingly dynamic direction from the quartet.

Lower Than Love comes on the heels of a recent four-way split LP that Botfly shared with the Quispamsis grind trio Anthesis, Montreal sludge act Cell Press, and Cambridge, Ontario's Greber. Before that, the band shared the acoustic isolation-era EP At Home With Alex and a self-titled full-length in 2017.

Boyfly features guitarist/vocalists Keegan Goodspeed and Alex Babineau, bassist Sean Mcinnis, and drummer Dewayne Shanks.

Odonis Odonis: "More" / "Laced in Leather"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Toronto industrial chameleons Odonis Odonis have spent the past few months sharing new songs in pairs, with each new preview sharing another stylistic shade of the upcoming LP Spectrums. The band described "More" and "Laced in Leather" as "two of the tracks from the record where we stepped the most outside of our comfort zone." The tracks find the group dialling back their dystopian thump and leaning deeply into 80s goth and new wave, with the influence of genre giants like New Order and Depeche Mode shining through. The new songs arrived alongside visualizers from Adam Seward and Julianna Carlevaris.

Odonis Odonis emerges from the pandemic as a duo, paired back to founding players Dean Tzenos and Denholm Whale. Spectrums arrives as the band's fifth full-length, due October 15 through the Felte. It follows the genre-shifting group's 2019 EP Reaction and their 2017 full-length No Pop.

The band returns to the live stage for the first evening of Chicago's Cold Waves festival on September 29, followed by a fall tour that includes stops in Hamilton, London, Windsor, and Montreal. The trek lands the band back home in Toronto, where Odonis Odonis has several gigs lined up as part of both The Garrison's ALIVE and Long Winter's Together Apart concert series.

Confusionaires: Jerk Reaction Volume 1

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Edmonton's Confusionaires continue to branch out from their roots in rockabilly and surf, sharing a raucous new four-song EP titled Jerk Reaction Volume 1. As the title implies, it's the first of (at least) two forthcoming sets, featuring songs the band assembled in isolation over the course of the pandemic. The trio recorded with Adam Stark engineering at Edmontone Studio. Lorrie Matheson mixed and Clay Francis mastered the new EP.

This latest slate of material follows the band's 13-song full-length From The Headache To The Heartache, one of those unfortunate early 2020 records that arrived with naive hope just a month before the world went to shit. Confusionaires features guitarist/vocalist Fat Dave Johnston, Jayson Aschenmeier on the upright bass and vocals, and drummer Adam Stark.

Single Mothers: "Need" / No Idea Head: "Run"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp: "Need" / "Run"

Drew Thomson issued two singles last Friday, each landing under a different name. The Hamilton songwriter's alter egos seem to have multiplied while stuck at home, and the stylistic lines between them are increasingly blurring. "Need" arrives attributed to Single Mothers, or perhaps as SM WorseWorld (but surely not SM Worldwide), while "Run" is formally credited to No Idea Head (although the Foundation serves it up). Regardless, each tune finds Thomson continuing to dabble in electronics from his home studio, backing his distinctive and oft-sardonic vocal takes.

"Need" addresses Thomson's journey into sobriety, with the artist commenting on Bandcamp:

"wrote a little song today while reflecting on passing the 5 year sobriety mark over the summer. Most days are great and easy but once and a while I find myself asking one sad but honest question: Can't I just need it? Without it putting me in the ground? And the answer is always a resounding: No. The best and the worst thing about sobriety is being sober. I've written a lot of songs this year that will just sit in a folder on my computer so I figured I may as well just put this one out there before it becomes just another thing I forget about. Stay well my friends. Hope everyone is well."

"Run" finds Drew in a decidedly less gritty mode, backed by bright new wave synths. While it arrived without comment, the hooky track fits well among The Drew Thomson Foundation's pop-rock sensibilities. The song features far less of the observational spoken word that's typified the No Idea Head project to date.

In January, Single Mothers expanded their traditional punk pallet to take on industrial and electronic notes with the full-length Bubble. In his pop-rock guise, The Drew Thomson Foundation issued the Unplugged & Live Off The Floor collection in the summer of 2020. This July, No Idea Head released the singles "Somewhere Else" and "Slab City or Bust," following a series of pandemic-era EPs.

Chris Page: "Way Out On Your Wavelength"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Ottawa garage troubadour Chris Page recently shared "Way Out On Your Wavelength," the latest in a series of digital singles he's issued monthly throughout the pandemic. The artist unapologetically described it as "a sappy summer song, which I rather enjoy writing now and again." You can find it at Bandcamp now.

When not stuck recording at home, Chris Page plays in the duo Expanda Fuzz with Leila Younis. If you manage to catch this newsletter before the 12th, you can watch that band's part in a recent National Arts Centre #DanceForth performance. The pair appears, performing a new song, as part of Laura Taler's cross-disciplinary Karanfil/Carnation piece. As the NAC describes it:

"Laura Taler brings us on a site-specific cinematic journey through the NAC's theatrical underworld where the art of crafting private dreams is made public. While conjuring a ninety-nine-year-old photo of Branislava Nijinska, Taler poses a series of questions about performance, the fallibility and concreteness of language, and the practice of turning the self inside out."

Page's past work includes stints fronting Camp Radio and the 90s-era Glengarry, Ontario pop-punk group The Stand GT. Last year he released Decide To Stay and Swim Again, an LP revisiting the songs originally recorded for his 2004 solo record Decide To Stay and Swim.

The Nonsense: "Eat Sleep Breathe"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Quirky Toronto power-pop trio The Nonsense has a new video online showcasing "Eat Sleep Breathe," a track from their recent debut full-length Wake Me Up When The Nonsense Ends. That album, released in August, showcased ten tracks of bright, playful rock'n'roll with clear callbacks to Elvis Costello and the Buzzcocks.

The Nonsense features vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Brent Hough, drummer Jordan Bruce, and bassist Michael Milosh. Hough and Bruce played together previously in bands like Bellevue, Purple Hill, Leonids, and most recently 1977. Milosh records solo as Home Movies and played in early incarnations of both Timber Timbre and By Divine Right.

The Horny Bitches: Shut up and be Nice

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Crass Montreal punk act The Horny Bitches unveiled a 10-song full-length last week, the band's first release following the tragic death of singer/guitarist Marie-Pier Lavigne. In 2019 the artist passed due to injuries suffered in a fall near Dijon, France, where she was tour managing for fellow Quebecois punks Code 40-11. Lavigne recorded her parts for this record before that trip, with circumstances understandably delaying its release before now.

Shut up and be Nice arrives nearly seven years following the band's last LP, 2014's Heart N Guts. You can pick up the entire set now at Bandcamp.

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Some Party is Adam White's misguided quest to share the latest in Canadian garage rock, punk, psych, and more. Subscribe and get it in your inbox more-or-less weekly. Your information's always kept private, and unsubscribing is easy.

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