Friday November 19, 2021

Get In Line

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.

Strange Colours: "Get In Line"

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Since Toronto garage heroes The Deadly Snakes parted ways, guitarist Andrew Moszynski's churned out a series of riffy psych rock records, first with Quest for Fire and, more recently, in Comet Control. While this heavier journey continues (CC released a new LP just this past August), it looks like the ramshackle spirit of the Snakes is bound for a revival with Strange Colours. The new four-piece features Moszynski moving over to drums, with Pow Wows members Ryan Rothwell and Chris McCann joining him on guitar. Analog synth wizard Jay Lemak's along for the ride as well. The quartet's upcoming debut finds Rothwell, in particular, wearing several hats, credited with guitar, bass, and lead vocals.

The group already has a 10-song full-length on the immediate horizon, with Future's Almost Over due on vinyl through the Reno garage label Slovenly (the desert home for Canuck noisemakers PRIORS, Duchess Says, and Tommy and the Commies, among others). That record's due in limited quantities on December 3 - which is to say that was the plan, but I'd expect delays due to the global vinyl backlog. Don't let that pesky supply chain stop you from tearing over to Bandcamp to stream the album-opening barnburner "Get In Line" right this minute. The group recorded at Palace Sound with Christopher Sandes producing. Jiffy Marx of Vancouver's Autogramm and Night Court tackled their album art.

As part of the shoegaze/sludge unit Comet Control (with fellow Snakes vet Chad Ross on vocals), Moszynski recently issued the full-length Inside The Sun. It arrived in late August through Tee Pee Records. Pow Wows haven't had a new record out since 2017, but their final release was notably a split single with the 60s soundtrack rocker Davie Allan. The Deadly Snakes called it quits after the 2005 release of Porcella (one of my favourite records) via In The Red - with vocalist André Ethier active in recent years both as a visual artist and as a purveyor of blissed-out folk tunes.

OMBIIGIZI: "Residential Military"

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Anishinaabe songwriters Daniel Monkman (aka the shoegaze artist Zoon) and Adam Sturgeon (who recently re-launched the sludge-rocking WHOOP-Szo as Status/Non-Status) have a new joint project dubbed OMBIIGIZI (on-BEE-ga-ZAY, meaning "this is noisy"). The pair recorded their debut album, Sewn Back Together, with Nyles Spencer and Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew producing at The Tragically Hip's Bathouse Recording Studio. You can preview the Sonic Youth vibes of their first single, "Residential Military," through a behind-the-scenes Travis Welowszky-directed video.

Monkman spoke to Exclaim about the release, revealing:

"It's a mixture of alternative to dream pop, shoegaze to singer-songwriter. There's even an emo track on there. It's filled with all types of stuff, but it blends really nicely and cohesively."

"We went into the session with all these compositions and arrangements, and when we got there, Kevin was just like, 'No, we're going to start off from scratch, take some of those ideas and build off that. He really wanted to focus on making it cohesive and not having too much Zoon sound or too much Status sound. So when it came together, it's a brand new project and sound."

Sewn Back Together arrives on February 10 through Arts & Crafts. As Zoon, Daniel Monkman released the "moccasin-gaze" full-length Bleached Wavves in 2020 on Paper Bag Records. The record landed on this year's Polaris Music Price shortlist. Sturgeon pivoted his lauded musical outlet into Status/Non-Status earlier this year, releasing the 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years EP in May through You've Changed and The Grizzlar.

The Sadies: "Stop and Start"

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Toronto alt-country mainstays The Sadies have a new single in the wild. "Stop and Start" doesn't deviate from the quartet's well-established take on garagey Americana, but why mess with perfection? The song provides our first glimpse into sessions recorded with Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry producing. You can check it out below in a lyric video directed by Mike Dubue.

A new single, of course, suggests a new record, but there's no word on that yet. The band last released Northern Passages in 2017 through Dine Alone and Yep Roc Records. I'd expect both labels to be on board or this next round as well.

The Sadies are playing a short run of shows in Ontario over the next few weeks, including a gig supporting Buffy Sainte-Marie at Massey Hall. You can find the full routing on their website. The Sadies feature drummer Mike Belitsky, bassist Sean Dean, and sibling vocalists/guitar heroes Dallas and Travis Good.

Jasmyn: "Find The Light"

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It looks like the art-punk combo Weaves is no more, with vocalist Jasmyn Burke since launching a solo career billed simply as Jasmyn. The Toronto artist signed with Royal Mountain Records in Canada and the Epitaph imprint ANTI- abroad, kicking off the new chapter with the single "Find The Light." In a statement Burke commented on the track:

"This song was loosely written during the Fall of 2020. The world was feeling pretty heavy, and I felt myself wanting to write music that created a mood of happiness and space to grow. It feels like we're living in this sort of in-between space, where life is altering. I wanted to explore finding comfort and hopefulness through uncomfortable change. I feel like I have grown and changed as a person over the last few years and wanted to write songs that created a sense of confidence and well-being."

Burke notably shares a writing credit on the song with the incredibly prolific American producer John Congleton. A charmingly playful video, directed by DANUTA (Leah and Peter of July Talk), gives the uplifting song a fitting visual treatment.

Weaves landed two records on the Polaris Music Price shortlist during their run, last releasing Wide Open in 2017 through Buzz.

FRVITS: "Magiciens Hardcore"

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Montreal space-punk aggressors FRVITS recently emerged from the ranks of We Are Wolves, American Lips, Blurry Eyes, and Power Nap - unleashing an absolutely manic debut EP through the above-mentioned Slovenly Recordings. Earlier this week I premiered the video for the lead Stupid Era single over at Punknews. The wild "Magiciens Hardcore" clip arrives from director Alan Hildebrandt of PRIORS.

Stupid Era landed in September on 7" vinyl packing six new songs. One of those, "Abortion Hoops," features a vocal intrusion from Blag Dahlia of Chicago shock-punk legends The Dwarves. FRVITS has a gig lined up this winter supporting like-minded garage weirdos The Spits and Dark Thoughts (February 23 in Montreal). The band boasts the unyielding cyborg Shit Vicious on vocals, backed by Wind of Change, Krispy Karl, and Alexander Ortiz.

Jyraph: "El Agua"

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I find Montreal's Jyraph awfully compelling, and the Mexico-born artist's enigmatic public persona only adds fuel to the fire. The instrumental "El Agua" recently surfaced with little fanfare, following 2020's single "La Brume" and a campfire cover of Scott Walker's "30th Century Man." Carried by otherworldly synths, the song highlights Jyraph's almost contradictory ability to build organic, worked-in sounds from electronic elements. There's no word yet if these latest tracks are purely one-offs or destined for some unannounced new record.

Jyraph's the (mostly) Spanish-language post-punk project of Pablo Garcia-Rejon Gaubeca (also of the band Palmetto). His last formal full-length under the name arrived in 2018 as El Fuego, although the pandemic downtime's seen a couple collections of early archival material surface.

In related news, Gaubeca recently shared a photo of his old Montreal indie rock group Hypocrites rehearsing. That group hasn't been active since 2013, but they look poised for a reunion in 2022. I'll surely have more on that in the months to come.

Robbie Morön: "Becky Slater"

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Moröns vocalist Robbie Morön has a solo EP due later this month from High End Denim Records. The seven-song Palooka Haymaker collects four new songs, two new mixes of previously released tunes, and a cover of Marina & The Diamonds' "Bubblegum Bitch." You can hear the set's first single, "Becky Slater," at Bandcamp now. You'd be right to assume that's an entire song built around a Wonder Years reference.

The pop-punker's appeared on several recent recordings from the Burning Nickels, an offshoot of Red Deer's Trashed Ambulance. Earlier this year, Robbie also shared his rendition of "Girl Can't Help It," part of an upcoming set of Everly Brothers covers. As a full band, Calgary's Moröns last released their Today's Special LP early in 2020.

Scott Hardware: "Summer"

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Toronto avant-pop artist Scott Hardware returns next year with the full-length follow-up to 2020's Engel. The 10-song set, titled Ballad of a Tryhard, arrives on March 4 through Telephone Explosion. The lead single and album-opening ballad "Summer" features Scott Harwood backed by Dan Lee (Lee Paradise) on bass and WHIMM's Jonathan Pappo drumming, with Vallens' Robyn Phillips and Caitlyn Woelfle-O'Brien (Blunt Chunks) on backing vocals. You can hear it now at Bandcamp. In a statement, Harwood commented:

"I was born in September, and autumn has always been my favourite season. Fall people love to look back and to dwell in the bittersweetness of memory. This song marks a deep dive into my changing thoughts about nostalgia, seeing it change from cozy romanticism to toxic waste."

The press release observes that, in contrast to Engel's industrial notes and futuristic flourishes, Tryhard represents "a reimagination of experimental adult contemporary that tweaks the limits of Y2K rock and soft rock with curiosity and appreciation." Scott Hardware wrote the new record during a residency in Spain, co-producing the work with Matt Smith (Prince Nifty, Owen Pallett),

Hellaphant: Crumble

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London, Ontario punks Hellaphant are working with hometown label Faster And Louder Records on their new EP, Crumble. The band recorded the high-octane 5-song set with producer Siegfried Meier (Stuck Out Here, Ten Boy Summer). You can stream it at Bandcamp now, but keep an eye on the band's socials or the imminent release of a video for the single "Maybe Pain." Expect it tonight, leading to a show in Guelph with The Nasties and Dave Rocket this Saturday night.

Hellaphant features Gary Begner on and guitar, Chris Arenburg on bass, Gus Kalogeros on guitar, and Scott Cameron drumming.

Damagers: Live at the Staircase

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It's been a few long years since we last heard from the promising Toronto's punk group Damagers. The aggressive quartet issued a pair of EPs before the world fell apart: a self-titled set in 2017 and Victory in 2018. Both arrived via the now seemingly dormant Deranged Records. The band recently resurfaced with a new live set, recorded at The Staircase in Hamilton earlier this month. The group performed one of their first post-lockdown shows on November 6 alongside Montreal and Toronto Oi! acts Béton Armé and Rough Cuts, and the Quebec punks Ad Vitam. You can find the seven-song set at Bandcamp now.

Chad VanGaalen and UncleBibby: "Friendfishes"

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This week the We Are Time label checked in with a quirky digital fundraiser. "Friendfishes" is the first collaboration between weird-folk wizard Chad VanGaalen and UncleBibby, the new stage name for Calgary artist Patty Locke (sister of Tough Age / Motorists drummer Jesse Locke). UncleBibby commented in the Bandcamp notes:

"when i was younger i really liked Chad VanGaalen's scary animations for his music videos and his cool, haunting music so i bought a CD of it. now a decade later or so, my brother Jesse Locke brought us together for a collab and it turns out Chad is really nice so i sent him some super-nintendo-and-MIDI slapbass beats and the rest is history!!"

All proceeds from the track are due for the Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

Fucked Up: Do All Words Can Do

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The 10th anniversary of Fucked Up's David Comes To Life was already looking to be an event - with a lavish reissue on the way from Matador Records and full-album release shows booked for 2022. The group's now detailed a companion LP collecting b-sides and other rarities of the era. Do All Words Can Do lands March 25 from Matador, compiling nine supplemental songs from the group's 2011 run that to date could only be found on 7" singles. The David milestone conveniently aligns with Matador's Revisionist History archival initiative (they're similarly toasting The New Pornographers' Mass Romantic, as should we all).

Earlier this year Fucked Up released Year of the Horse, the wildly adventurous new entry in their decade-long zodiac series. It followed the progressive hardcore act's expansive 2018 LP Dose Your Dreams.

The Filthy Radicals: "Freedom 45"

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As I get older, it's becoming a chore to even keep up with bands that follow a conventionally rational release schedule, let alone whatever feats of reckless rapidity Toronto ska-punks The Filthy Radicals are trying to pull! If you recall last week's edition, you'll note that the gritty six-piece are bound for Stomp Records, with a new EP, The Fine Line Between Real and Insane, set to drop November 26.

Keep that in your back pocket, though, because here's the new video out for "Freedom 45," the title track to the group's previous EP. That set only arrived last month through Cursed Blessings Records. Joe Cash put the clip together, which does a fine job capturing the Leftover Crack/Suicide Machines chaos the band's channelling.

I'll have more on the new EP, the other one, in just a few days...

React to it at your leisure

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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