Monday July 11, 2022

Limit and a Situation

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.

TJ Cabot: King Grove EP

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Garage rocking Boularderie freedom fighter TJ Cabot has a new EP in the wild. King Grove features four blown-out originals paired with a cover of the Eric's Trip classic "Need" (from 1993's Peter EP, but you knew that). You can pick up the complete set at Bandcamp. Cabot self-produced the songs from the basement of their Moncton hideout in May and June of this year, with Outtacontroller's James O'Toole mastering.

Unconfirmed intelligence reports that Cabot's otherwise known as Tyler Boutilier - a member of the Phone Jerks, The Beaten Hearts, and Nerve Button. His recent material includes the February-issued SD Action EP and last year's Out Of Touch (the latest in a series of collaborations with synthwaver Sonic Hz). They all arrive in the shadow of the eponymous TJ Cabot & Thee Artificial Rejects LP - a barn-burning gem issued in December of 2020 through the German tastemakers Alien Snatch.

Outtacontroller: "Limit and a Situation"

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On the topic of Outtacontroller, the long-running Halifax power-pop act has a massively hooky new single of their own out. The propulsive "Limit and a Situation" lands as the latest preview of the upcoming full-length titled Come Alive. It's the third song we've heard from the record, following the title track and the sci-fi rocker "Parts Unknown" - both of which surfaced last year. It also arrived just in time to hype the band's July 22 appearance at Ottawa's House of TARG as part of a Side By Side Weekend pre-fest gig, joining Tough Age and Apollo Ghosts as those bands journey eastwards en route to Sappyfest.

Come Alive is expected in full this summer in digital formats, with an eventual vinyl release tangled up in the ongoing supply chain mess. Whenever it arrives, the new record follows up on Sure Thing, released in the cursed month of March 2020 through Germany's Alien Snatch!. Outtacontroller features vocalist/guitarists Terry A'hearn and James O'Toole, bassist AJ Boutilier, and drummer Sean Parsons.

Poolblood: "twinkie"

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Next Door Records has signed Poolblood, the songwriting project of burgeoning Toronto artist Maryam Said. The relationship kicked off with the single "twinkie," delivering gorgeous 90s-tinged dream-pop vibes that feel perfect for summer. The track arrived alongside a video from director Emma Cosgrove. On the song, Said commented:

"'twinkie' is a song I wrote about the tenderness of time, time as a source of love, and the way time is the ultimate parent. Starting over is as sweet as a golden sponge cake."

The new track finds Said produced by the celebrated Las Vegas recording artist Shamir, who also plays in the studio band with bassist Grant Pavol. Esoteric Toronto singer-songwriter Louie Short serves as a co-producer.

Poolblood last released the Yummy EP in 2018 through Accidental Popstar, subsequently issuing a handful of home-recorded singles during the isolation era.

Spite House: "Hope"

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Montreal post-hardcore group Spite House recently issued "Hope," the hard-driving first single from their upcoming debut, a ten-song self-titled set due August 26 through the New Morality Zine. You can check the song out through a newly shared video, filmed and edited by the band's Max Lajoie. Not to stereotype - but if you're a beard-sporting No Idea Records fan from back in the day, you may want to clear some space on your jacket for a new patch.

Spite House features Maxime Lajoie on guitar and vocals, Marc Tremblay on percussion, and bassist Nabil Ortega. This marks the latest in a series of recent projects from Lajoie - including the recent EP from the 90s alternative-styled Seed Toss. That band issued the Love Business EP just last month.

Jonathan Personne: "Rock & roll sur ton chemin"

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A few weeks back Corridor vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Robert shared the second pre-release single from his upcoming solo record as Jonathan Personne. "Rock & roll sur ton chemin" is one of eight songs slated for the self-titled full-length, Robert's third. It arrives on August 26 through Bonsound. The Montreal artist commented on the track, a paean to the genre that doesn't shy from the reality its decline:

"Devoting oneself to a genre destined to failure, there's something pathetic about it, but also something very beautiful."

Diverging from Corridor's angular post-punk attack, Jonathan's solo material revels in stylish, 60s-inspired psych-pop. The album features Robert backed by Samuel Gogoux on drums, Mathieu Cloutier on bass, Corridor's Julian Perreault on guitar, and producer Emmanuel Éthier contributing a variety of flourishes with violin, synthesizer, and mellotron.

Corridor last released Junior in 2019 on Sub Pop, earning the Montreal group the distinction of being the first francophone act signed to the famous Seattle label. Bonsound carried that record on this side of the border. This upcoming album follows Jonathan Personne's 2020 effort, Disparitions. Look for a release party in Montreal on September 28 at the Fairmount Theatre as part of POP Montreal.

PONY: "Did It Again"

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Sam Bielanski's bubblegum-punk outfit PONY hit the road this week in support of Fucked Up, and they're celebrating their return to the touring circuit with a new stand-alone single. "Did It Again" lands as the band's first new material since their 2021 full-length TV Baby, and proves just as infectious and charmingly retro as that outing. The LP landed last spring through Massachusetts' Take This To Heart Records.

This iteration of PONY finds Bielanski on vocals and guitar, backed by guitarist/bassist/partner-in-crime Matty Morand (Pretty Matty) and drummer Joshua Cassidy. Josh Korody of Breeze and Beliefs engineered and mixed the new tune.

Ornaments: "Run For Cover" / "Chimp"

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We haven't heard much from Ottawa trio Ornaments since Compassion Fatigue, a promising EP that was surely shortchanged by emerging in the lost summer of 2020. The group's back with a new pair of muscular garage rock tunes, with both "Run For Cover" and "Chimp" buoyed by David Pierce's distinctive growl. The band commented:

"These came together really quickly post-pandemic. We decided to get them recorded and released as quickly as possible to capitalize on the energy we were feeling being back in the same room playing music and the frustration we were feeling at certain things happening in the world around us."

Ornaments feature Pierce on guitar and vocals alongside drummer Kevin Kozachanko and bassist Andrew Grosvenor. The group recorded at Apartment 2 with Scott Burniston engineering and Topon Das mixing and mastering. Outside of their scattered recent short-form releases, Ornaments hasn't had a full-length out since 2011's Blood Vessels.

86 It: Everyday Is

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Ottawa punk trio 86 It coalesced in the Punkottawa Facebook petri dish, spawning from a discussion on how to get into performing after parenthood. The resulting band, featuring bassist Angie, guitarist Chris, and drummer Mark, issued a pair of songs in 2019, playing their first show just a week before the pandemic hit. Momentum understandably ground to a halt, but the group finally reconvened in January of this year, recording the six-song Everyday Is EP from their jam space.

The group cites Dillinger Four and Toys That Kill among their inspirations, and that's indeed borne out by the lively instrumentation and frantic vocal takes of Everyday Is. You can pick up the set at Bandcamp now.

Trashed Ambulance: Future Considerations

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Red Deer punks Trashed Ambulance have a new full-length out through Montreal's Thousand Island Records. While we only heard the first teaser of Future Considerations a few weeks ago, the entire 12-song full-length can now be found online at Bandcamp and wherever else you find your digital music. Look for vinyl in the fall if all goes as planned.

The record features 12 new songs, recorded with Belvedere's Casey Lewis at Echo Base Studio in Calgary. Guests on the project include Robbie Morön of The Moröns, Émilie Plamondon of the Punk Roquette podcast, Alex Goldfarb of Florida's Debt Neglector, and Bring on the Storm's Chris Kreuger. You can now find an animated video for "Stalk In The Park" (featuring Morön and Plamondon) on YouTube.

The new album, the group's third and the first with this lineup, follows up the group's early 2021 EP Leapfrog. Trashed Ambulance features Josh Hauta, Jason (Ozone) Ezeard, and Riley Bourne.

Now watch in awe as the band and their goony buds inexplicably take over the whole middle third of this publication. Somebody better buy me a beer after this...

The Moröns: "Ride or Die"

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Speaking of The Moröns, the irreverent Calgary punk group recently announced a new record for the Trashed Ambo-affiliated High End Denim Records. Look for The Book of Morön in full this week (it may very well be out by the time you read this) or check their riffy ode-to-camaraderie, "Ride or Die." The record follows the band's early 2020 LP Today's Special and their revved-up (if baffling) cover of Enya's "Orinoco Flow." The aforementioned Casey Lewis recorded, mixed and mastered this one at Echo Base Studios, as well.

The Moröns feature Robbie Morön on vocals, Dave and GG on guitar, Jonny on bass, and drummer JC. The record also arrives in the wake of Robbie's recent solo album, Palooka Haymaker.

Sessions: "The Preventable Inevitable"

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The Moröns lead a packed slate of new releases from High End Denim, with the label also announcing a new four-song EP from Lethbridge skate-punks Sessions. You can hear the single "The Preventable Inevitable" from the upcoming Serious... But, Stuff collection now. Look - I don't name these things, I'm just the messenger. Look for the EP out digitally on July 29.

Sessions feature Brian and Cody on guitar, James on bass, and Jay drumming, with vocal credits abound. The new set follows up on the band's 2020 EP Reach Around The World.

Short Straps: "Tomorrow"

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Try as we might, we can't escape Alberta just yet. This week High End Demin's also issuing the debut EP from Calgary power-trio Short Straps. The skate-punk act's sharing a three-song self-titled set, led by the single "Tomorrow." On that track, they provided this impressively impenetrable run-on sentence:

"Continuously seeing relationships fall apart as you mature and move past problems in your life you realize how difficult some have had hardships within their private lives and turmoil with feeling pressure to maintain compelled us to address the state we all conform to and be held to an unattainable standard for relationships."

The group features drummer Ash, guitarist Dan, and bassist Jon, with all three contributing vocals.

Heaven For Real: "Do Your Worst"

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Halifax-bred, Toronto-based art-rock project Heaven For Real recently shared "Do Your Worst," the jangly, erratic second single from their upcoming Mint Records LP Energy Bar. That track arrived alongside a video depicting an absurd guitar heist, directed by Mark Corless and the band's Mark Grundy. The latter commented:

"'Do Your Worst' is a song that signals the counterpoints of affirmation. Someone's best might be someone else's worst and vice versa, everyone has their own vision and versions of these and we're often caught up trying to figure out which is which for ourselves."x

The new ten-song LP arrives September 16, following the March-issued (and needlessly wordy) Sweet Rose Green Winter Desk Top Tell This Side Autumn Of The Fighter Hot In A Cool Way EP. The group's prior LP, Kill Your Memory, arrived in 2016. Heaven For Real features twin brother songwriters Mark and J. Scott Grundy, drummer Nathan Doucet, and Cher Hann on synth. They recorded with Jonas Bonetta (Evening Hymns) at Port William Sound, with Faith Healer's René Wilson mixing.

Bitter Fictions: do not understand me too quickly

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Devin Friesen's Bitter Fictions recently issued a long-form stand-alone single. do not understand me too quickly clocks in at nearly 15 minutes, delivering a single unsegmented track that wanders contemplatively through waves of guitar feedback and atmospheric dissonance. The artist recorded from his Calgary apartment in June of 2021, calling the piece "the twilight of living 'alone'." The track's firmly rooted in the building where it was recorded, and a lengthy write-up at Bandcamp gives some colour and context to that setting and the people inhabiting it.

The song arrives following last September's Full Spite, a noise-rock album issued through the prolific artist's Shaking Box label. It's one of several recent missives from Friesen, including the two-song digital EP Two Remarks and the Live at CJSW set from Friesen/Hume. The latter pairs Devin with drummer Andrew Hume (Cold Water, Burro, Dada Centauri).

Man Crush: "Sour Candy"

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Toronto's high-octane power-trio Man Crush has a new single out dubbed "Sour Candy," a hard-rocking follow-up to their crunchy 4/20 anthem "Don't Be Trippin'." You can hear it now at Bandcamp.

Man Crush features bassist/vocalist Antony East (singing lead this time out), guitarist/vocalist Tim Shilson, and drummer Declan O'Donnell. The band recorded with producers Chris Sampson and Jimmy Cain.

Lammping: "Desert On The Keel"

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Toronto psych-rock group Lammping recently shared "Desert On The Keel," the first from a batch of stand-alone singles slated to arrive over the summer. The new material bridges the gap between their March-released Stars We Lost EP and the forthcoming full-length follow-up. This first track features music and lyrics by guitarist Matt Aldred, recorded in November of last year at Dining Room Sound with Colm Hinds both engineering and playing bass.

Stars We Lost arrived in the sping via We Are Busy Bodies. That album featured singer/songwriter Mikhail Galkin, Badge Époque Ensemble drummer Jay Anderson, Matt Aldred on guitar, and Scott Hannigan on bass.

JONCRO: "Sakura"

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Mississauga rock trio JONCRO recently shared a new video for "Sakura," a buzzsaw love song from last summer's Richmond Station. Toronto filmmaker Chelsea Williams directed, filmed, edited, and co-starred in the piece. The band commented:

The initial concept for the video is something Daniel had swimming around in their brain for a while. The kind of video that evoked the feeling of young love and the bittersweet nostalgia you get when you look at old photographs from that time in your life once you get older. I've been a fan of Chelsea's previous projects for a few years and was stoked to be able work with her on this project. Her creative vision, direction, and energy has given the project such life."

The eight-song Richmond Station featured Daniel G. Wilson on guitar and vocals, drummer Matthew Mikuljan, and bassist Kieran Christie. Wilson recorded the band at his home studio, The Lions Den, with Austin Nops of The Effens mixing and mastering at Lootbag Studios.

Waste Youth: Live at the Mule Spinner

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Toronto noise-punk duo Waste Youth recently issued Live at the Mule Spinner, a set recorded live off the floor of the titular Hamilton venue. The EP finds drummer/vocalist Daniel Aguiar and bassist Christopher Power burning through five songs produced by Sea Of Troubles' Denzel Gordon. You can check the audio out at Bandcamp now or pick it up on cassette through Weepy Eye (the tape label helmed by ex-Dirty Nil bassist Ross Miller).

Mike Tom Warne: Almost No Bullshit

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Mike Tom Warne of Toronto punk quartet Pkew Pkew Pkew recently issued a slate of solo recordings dubbed Almost No Bullshit. The set finds Warne recording with an assist from PUP drummer Zack Mykula and bassist Nestor Chumak (the former behind the kit and the latter in the producer's chair). Pkew's Ryan McKinley, who records solo as Moral Pleasures, also appears on the set. You can pick it up at Bandcamp. As you may have guessed from the title, the project's decidedly less wacky (and less gleefully binge-drinky) than Warne's main gig.

Pkew Pkew Pkew are currently on the road in the US touring behind Open Bar, their recent LP for Dine Alone Records. That album saw the quartet recording with producer Jon Drew (Fucked Up, METZ).

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