Wednesday June 29, 2022


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.

Washing Machine: "Misadventure"/"The Pest"

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Halifax post-punk group Washing Machine are gearing up for the summer release of their sophomore full-length, readying Cheat The Pattern to see the light of day on August 23. Look for a new song each week now until then - with the album-opener "Misadventure" leading the pack (and "The Pest" surfacing as I edit this week's mailout...). The track finds frontman Noel Macdonald again delivering his distinctive vocal performance - channelling a snotty young Elvis Costello against a loving pastiche of new wave and college rock sounds. Here Macdonald (earlier of Moon) tackles guitar, vocals, and keys, backed by Booji Boys drummer Justin Crowe and Working Titles' Glen Leck on bass. While this is the lineup's first full-length together, the same personnel previously issued a pair of one-off digital singles back in 2020 ("Half a Battle" and "Isle of Isosceles").

The trio recorded in Leck's basement, where Macdonald ran the rhythm section through minimal rehearsals before setting their performance to tape. With those somewhat improvisational takes in hand, he retreated to his home studio to mix and track overdubs. He reflects on the shoestring process in a press release:

"I wanted to make us sound like the albums from the '80s that I love. The problem is that they sound incredible because they're so well recorded. You can't really make an album like [Tears for Fears]' Songs From The Big Chair on a bedroom budget, but that's always the yardstick."'

The album presents an exploration of grief, spurred initially by the death of a pet but certainly exacerbated by the communal trauma of the pandemic. Macdonald revealed:

"You can feel like you've gone through every stage of grief and then be right back where you started. A lot of the problems come from trying to rush through it. You can't help but scream back at the universe sometimes when you're going through something tough and there's no divine hand involved. This album is about that, but it's also about saying goodbye to modern life as we understand it, with everything that's happened in the last two years."

The new record arrives as the band's second long-player, following 2018's debut Walk It Back. In the years since Washing Machine appeared on a split with the Halifax shoegaze group Valerie.

Mononegatives: "Role Reversal"

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London synth-punks Mononegatives have a new EP out through LA design collective Dowd Records. Counterclockwise Interjection features two new tracks: the robotic assault of "Role Reversal" backed by "Consumer Trust" (the band's favourite song, apparently). You can now hear the A-side streaming at Bandcamp, with the flip exclusive to the physical realm. The new set's their single issued through Dowd, following November's lathe cut Frequencies Rotating Clockwise. This time out, the band features Robbie Brake (Isölation Party) on guitar, synth, and vocals, with drummer David Cereghini, guitarist Jon Lamont, and bassist Aaron Wallis. The new EP's available as both a 3" toy vinyl and a 7" maxi-single.

Dowd's (entirely justified, in my opinion) love affair with Mononegatives runs deep. Earlier, the label and gear shop issued a Monos-signature version of their Fuzz Crusher pedal, designed explicitly for synth and bass use. They'll soon host the group at several Californian showcase performances this July.

The new EP comes on the heels of a December split with Albany's Mystery Girl. Mononegatives issued their last full-length, Apparatus Division, in 2020 through Big Neck and No Front Teeth.

Julianna Riolino: "Lone Ranger"

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Julianna Riolino's best known as a member of Daniel Romano's band The Outfit, a role in which she's become increasingly visible. On the recent Cobra Poems she stepped up to sing lead on a pair of songs (notably the standout single "The Motions"), while at the same time her stage presence blossomed. Riolino's animated and assertive role in the group's performances is now downright essential to The Outfit's overall vibe. While her outsized role in the band feels recent, it's been a far longer road for her solo journey. I fondly recall watching intimate, rootsy JR shows back in the S.C.E.N.E. Fest days, and we haven't had one of those in nearly a decade.

Following up on a 2019 EP, Riolino's finally ready to issue a solo full-length this fall. All Blue arrives October 14 through You've Changed Records, an 11-song set schooled in classic Americana and led by the new single "Lone Ranger." You can hear the track at Bandcamp or see it performed in a new video on YouTube. A press release further reveals that the song has deep roots in the artist's catalogue, with Riolino recalling that it was the first she ever performed for friends as a fledgling musician. It appears here, refocused, nearly ten years later.

Riolino recorded with a full band in August 2020 at Aaron Goldstein's now-defunct Baldwin Street Sound studio, with the producer adding his signature pedal steel to the instrumental mix. The album features nearly the full modern Outfit lineup in their usual roles, augmented by bassist Ryan Gavel (Young Guv), keyboardist Thomas Hammerton (Nathan Lawr), percussionist Jason Bhattachary (Dan Edmonds), and Anthony Ronaldi on baritone sax. JR commented:

"Recording live made for some long days, but it was a lot of fun and I had the benefit of working with some really talented people," Riolino says. "It helped create this feeling of glimpsing a moment in time. It's like therapy: I could just let out this period of life and then move forward."

Perestroika: "Distraction"

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Last week at Punknews, I premiered the new video from Montreal's sinister Perestroika, sharing an extended mix of the single "Distraction" from the trio's recent record Monolith. That album, produced by Fucked Up's Jonah Falco, first surfaced online late last year, with a CD version newly available through the Polish label Bat Cave. The band's dark new wave attack gives a contemporary synthpunk spin on a range of goth and post-punk influences, worshipping at the altar of Kino, Roxy Music, Killing Joke, Sisters of Mercy, Musta Paraati, and Giorgio Moroder.

The glitch-heavy video for "Distraction" came together in November of last year under the direction of PRIORS' Alan Hildebrandt (through Studio Del Scorpio). Founding member Shravan Deolalikar revealed:

"The music video is a commentary on the constant bombardment of the media of specific fear-mongering geopolitical events to keep us continually distracted from the most immediate problems in our lives. Further adding to the desensitization, stress, and absurdity of modern society..."

Perestroika emerged in 2017 as the home-recording project of Shravan Deolalikar, US ex-pat and a former bassist for bands like Richmond, VA's Lost Tribe. After experimenting solo with the 80s-rooted sounds of post-punk, new wave, and synthpop, the act grew to include guitarist Gustavo Rodriguez (Malokio) and vocalist Taylor Hoodlum Stevenson (The Omegas, Mickey Dagger, Young Blades).

Adam Mowery & The Worry Warts: "Oldies 93"

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Papal Visit frontman Adam Mowery has a new single out titled "Oldies 93," a lo-fi garage tribute to the early format of Saint John radio station CFBC (it swapped to modern country in 2013). The tune finds the artist backed by his non-Papal live band, The Worry Warts (featuring Penny Blacks' Jason Ogden, Adam Kierstead, and Doctor Mother Father's Corey Bonnevie), capturing that group in the studio for the first time.

The track heralds an upcoming anthology of Mowery's solo home recordings, due in the fall of 2022 through Monopolized Records. Brick by Brick: 2007-2022 previously had a short run on cassette and CD, but this new digital version will see the material professionally mastered for the first time.

Mowery's last solo effort arrived in 2020 as the folky Horseshoe Canyon. Papal Visit issued their long-in-the-works, Guided By Voices-inspired Five Fathom Hole LP last fall through Monopolized.

Kiwi Jr.: "Unspeakable Things"

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Toronto's Kiwi Jr. recently shared "Unspeakable Things," the next single from their upcoming album Chopper. The maturing jangle-pop act's readying the new record for an August 12 release through Sub Pop, showing off a sleeker, synth-peppered version of their sound resulting from sessions with producer Dan Boeckner (Operators, Wolf Parade). The accompanying video, directed by the Morgan Waters (of the ex-Weaves hyperpop act Pink Blob), features cameos from the above-mentioned Jonah Falco, TSN personality Jay Onrait, and comedians Tom Henry and Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll (the latter's first of two appearances in this week's newsletter, oddly enough).

Singer/guitarist Jeremy Gaudet commented on the sound's prominent synths and the imagery present in the video:

"People are always trying to sign into my email. What do they think they're gonna find? The public appetite for dirty laundry is wild. Having moved the world online has not helped. Boeckner had the idea to use the Moog sound for the hook, which was originally on guitar, and that sound brings the song into a sort of new-wave territory that was fun and different for us. We kept referencing the vibe of Michael Mann movies when recording the album, and then Morgan (director Morgan Waters) heard this and came up with the idea of making the video look like the movie Heat. We also were wearing these hockey masks filming all day next to a busy road getting a lot of car honks and didn't realize until much later that we filmed on an actual Friday the 13th."

The new record, the band's third, follows 2021's Cooler Returns. Kiwi Jr. features vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Gaudet, guitarist Brian Murphy, bassist Mike Walker, and drummer Brohan Moore. Look for Chopper via their Kiwi Club imprint in Canada.

Seed Toss: Love Business

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Montreal's Seed Toss play scrappy rock'n'roll steeped in the influence of 90s alt-rock. The quartet issued the four-song Love Business EP earlier this month, a riffy set you can pick up at Bandcamp. In a press release, the group shared a desire to reconnect with songwriting that's perhaps a little more immediate than their other outlets:

"...The Love Business EP is the result of me (Max) wanting to write catchy and fun music with friends without overthinking anything, It was an opportunity for me to experiment more with pop oriented melodies and hooks while writing most often from other perspectives than my own. It was also another chance for me to experiment with different recording techniques and tones."

Seed Toss features Max Lajoie (Spite House, Deeper Well), Donavan Robert (Argument), Marco (Private Hell), and John Donnelly (The Fake Friends, Mundy's Bay).

Dead Soft: "Glimpse"

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On a similar sonic wavelength, the grungy BC power-pop act Dead Soft kicked off the summer with another digital single, this one titled "Glimpse." It follows January's "Brain's Fried," and if I had to guess, is another in their string of homespun tunes recorded in the group's shed on Gabriola Island. This batch of songs follows 2020's Baby Blue EP, which saw the group rework material from their 2019 Arts & Crafts debut, Big Blue.

Dead Soft features vocalist/guitarist Nathaniel Epp, bassist/vocalist Keeley Rochon, and drummer Alex Smith.

Roye Trout: "Sugar Boy"

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Last week Windsor singer-songwriter Roye Trout issued the brisk power-pop tune "Sugar Boy," a propulsive follow-up to his recent split with Jesse Fellows. In a press release, he comments:

"My new single, 'Sugar Boy,' is inspired by a Hollywood-esque new romance that ends in heartbreak. This song pays homage to the classic romantic-style pop song. The 'hero' at the centre of this track experiences misleading, unrequited love, a topic that is likely familiar to most. I enjoyed juxtaposing sad lyrical content with the upbeat and energetic melody of the song."

The track arrived alongside a rather adorable video from director Garett McKelvie and is slated for inclusion on an upcoming self-titled LP from Psychic Readings Records. Trout recorded with Brett Humber at Kingsville, Ontario's Sound Foundry Studios. His band features guitarist James Brown, bassist Colin Wysman, and drummer Joshua Cassidy. Jeremy Coulter added the track's piano and organ parts at Swamp Songs in Lucan, Ontario with engineer Matt Westlake.

Roye Trout's eminently likable split with Jesse Fellows arrived this past April with the misleadingly aggressive title of Our Hell. Don't let that scare you.

MVLL CRIMES: "Bootlicker's Delight Reprisal"

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London's confrontational MVLL CRIMES recently shared "Bootlicker's Delight Reprisal," the first single from their forthcoming Cursed Blessings EP YOU EMBVRVSS ME. The tough-as-nails punk track follows their similarly titled Bootlicker's Delight EP, issued in April 2021. Kyle Thomas Ashbourne (WHOOP-Szo, Red Arms, Wasted Potential) recorded the group at The Sugar Shack in August of 2021, with former Cancer Bats guitarist Scott Middleton mastering.

MVLL CRIMES features vocalist Jillian Clair, guitarist Pat Briggs, bassist Laurie McColeman, and drummer Evan Martin.

L'Affaire Pélican: "Ordinaire"

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July 22 will see Hell For Breakfast issue a new EP from the Quebec skate-punk act L'Affaire Pélican. You can now preview Spécial Ordinaire through the breakneck lead single "Ordinaire," streaming at Bandcamp. It's the group's first new material since their early 2020 EP Si C'est Flou, C'est Un OVNI!.

L'Affaire Pélican features bassist/vocalist Benoit Bédard, guitarist/vocalist Maxime Leblanc, guitarist Maxime Paquin, and drummer Luc Doucet.

Never Plenty: "Soul Siphon"

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Following May's frenetic "Tranquilized" single, Vancouver garage-punk act Never Plenty serves up "Soul Siphon." The dynamic track's another preview of a 5-song EP due this summer, recorded at Meadows Mansion and mastered by Joshua Stevenson at Otic Mastering. "Soul Siphon" relishes in weird-punk flourishes and fun sci-fi sound effects without letting the momentum drop. Don't miss this.

Never Plenty features former Dopey's Robe member Max Knudsen on guitar and vocals, Brandon Grittner on drums, Jon Comstock of Hygiene (and Jaundice Records) on bass, and Jesse Cramer on keys.

Twenty2: "Underneath"

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Storied Montreal punk group Twenty2 recently shared "Underneath," the charging second single from their new LP, Dismissed. That album, featuring 13 new tracks, arrives July 22 through Thousand Islands Records.

This record, the band's second release and first LP since reuniting in 2018, finds their core duo paired with members of the Californian punk veterans Good Riddance. Twenty2 worked remotely with Good Riddance guitarist Luke Pabich (who gets a co-writing credit on the album) and drummer Sean Sellers during the darkest months of the pandemic. The Montreal-based pair (founding member Jon H and long-time bassist Dan Cole) recorded their parts with Gautier Marinof at Tone Bender studios. Chris Beeble and Jason Livermore mixed and mastered the new songs at the Blasting Room.

The new album follows up on 2018's Nice Knowin' Ya EP. Twenty2's original run spanned 1999 through 2007.

Among Legends: "Magnolia"

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Waterloo pop-punk act Among Legends recently shared a video for "Magnolia," the third single from Take Good Care, their 13-song debut full-length. The album's due this Friday from Rad Girlfriend Records, Little Rocket, and Sounds of Subterrania.

Of the track, vocalist Mitchell Buchanan commented:

"I've never bought into the version of breakups that we usually see in movies or hear in songs: dramatic, messy, one person clearly to blame. Magnolia looks at the bittersweet version of a relationship ending - the idea that sometimes people simply grow apart, even when they're good together."

The five-piece recorded with Siegfried Meier (Face to Face, Stuck Out Here) at Beach Road Studios and The Cat Box. Among Legends features Buchanan with bassist Anthony Amorim, guitarist Cameron Bechtloff, drummer Sara Fellin, and guitarist Tyler Boles. The new record follows up on the band's 2017 EP Some Days.

Tess Parks: "I See Angels"

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Tess Parks recently issued a video for "I See Angels," the latest single from the psych-pop artist's recent full-length And Those Who Were Seen Dancing. In a press release, the artist comments on her collaboration with director Joe Bressler:

"This song was written on my way out of New York and for the video I always had this vision of dancers dancing all over the city, I always love seeing people who have the confidence, discipline and motivation to decide that they're going to go to some particular spot and just dance there for the day. I came across Joe Bressler's work and loved it and he lived in New York so we decided to collaborate. We loosely discussed locations, but without knowing, he ended up choosing some places that had great personal sentimental significance to me. I love how the video ends with this beautiful ballerina finally out free and dancing"

Parks' long-awaited new album, issued in May through Fuzz Club and Hand Drawn Dracula, followed up on her 2013 full-length Blood Hot. It's also her first solo record following a pair of collaborative LPs with Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The intergenerational duo issued I Declare Nothing in 2015 and the self-titled Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe three years later.

The Flatliners: "Souvenir"

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Long-running Toronto punk group The Flatliners recently issued "Souvenir," the second single from their upcoming album New Ruin. The song arrives accompanied by another video from director Mitch Barnes (The Dirty Nil) that furthers the narrative of the preceding "Performative Hours." It again centres on the character of the disastrous TV host Ron Regal, played by Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll (Kim's Conveniences, Baroness Von Sketch Show). This time, though, he's confined to a coffin while the band performs at his funeral.

Vocalist/guitarist Chris Cresswell revealed:

"The mind is such a powerful thing - for better or for worse - and this song comes straight from the deep pit anxiety can dig with its help. When a moment's hesitation can send one spiralling, when the smallest task can stand in the way, when you find it in a place you least expect it, like a souvenir stuffed deep in your drawer, you can let it wash over you or try your best to will it away. Souvenir is about finding your footing, even when the ground beneath you can only crumble."

The new record lands on August 5 through Dine Alone Records in Canada and Fat Wreck Chords elsewhere. The group self-produced with engineer Matt Snell at Toronto's Noble Street Studios and Genesis Sound. Anton DeLost mixed the record with Jason Livermore mastering at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado. New Ruin, the long-awaited follow-up to 2017's Inviting Light, lands as The Flatliners' sixth studio album and arrives in conjunction with their 20th anniversary. The Flatliners feature Cresswell with drummer Paul Ramirez, bassist Jon Darbey, and guitarist Scott Brigham.

The band recently announced December tour dates in Quebec City, Ottawa, and Montreal, along with a two-night stint in Toronto. That event, dubbed the Holiday Mêlée, has the group playing an acoustic set at Longboat Hall on Friday, December 16, followed by a fully plugged-in gig at the Danforth Music Hall on Saturday, December 17.

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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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