Thursday September 1, 2022

No Way to Reach

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.

Jason Ogden: "No Way to Reach"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Celebrated Saint John musician Jason Ogden is kicking off a solo career, unveiling the pensive new single "No Way to Reach" last week through Monopolized Records. You can hear it now at Bandcamp or see it visualized in a rather enigmatic new video on YouTube.

Ogden's spent years playing around the East Coast in several styles. He's perhaps best known for the folk-rock outfit Penny Blacks (their last record, 2017's Long Lights, garnered several nominations at the Prix MNB Awards). The road to this new expression found him serving stints with lo-fi rockers Papal Visit and making noise with the punk group Hospital Grade (itself an evolution of the 90s-era NotFunnyAnymore).

This track finds Ogden backed by Hospital Grade alumni Sean Boyer on drums and Brett Whitaker on guitar, with Geoff Smith (Papal Visit, Little You Little Me, Tooth & The Fang) playing bass. While we don't yet have details on the forthcoming full-length, I do have word that it'll feature guest appearances from Constantine Steven Lambke, Jim MacAlpine of the Haligonian post-hardcore group North of America, and Chad Peck of Halifax power-pop act Kestrels. Stay tuned.

Gloin: "Shoot to Kill"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Mothland's track record for snapping up emerging Canadian psych talent is pretty damn impressive. Toronto dark-wave quartet Gloin is the latest to fall into their powerful orbit, following a similar path as their contemporaries in Hot Garbage. The Montreal label's readying the band's forthcoming long-player We Found This for an October 21 release. It's a 10-song set led by the scorching post-punk single "Shoot to Kill." You can hear that at Bandcamp now or see it visualized in an animated video by Chris McCluskey. The director comments:

"The 'Shoot to Kill' video animation was intended to support the energetic style and sound of Gloin. Using stop frame animation techniques, the viewer is visually reminded of classic styles of the 80s & 90s. The drawings in the video are representative of the idea that monotony can be to blame for madness. Overlays, distortion, visual reverb and chaotic vibe of the animation aim to encapsulate Gloin's onstage presence."

Gloin recorded with Tallies' Dylan Frankland at Soleil Sound and Palace Recording in Toronto, with Holy Fuck's Graham Walsh mixing. The band features guitarist/vocalist John Watson, bassist/vocalist Vic Byers, synth player Richard Garnham, and drummer Simon Kou - with roots in the indie rock act Brenda and the metal band Witchrot.

This latest material follows Gloin's 2019 EP Soft Monster and the accompanying Live Monster performances.

Prism Shores: "Diving Bell"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Montreal jangle-pop act Prism Shores are back with a bright new single. "Diving Bell" is our first glimpse into Inside My Diving Bell, a new collection due September 23. The song arrived with a gently kaleidoscopic, suitably dreamy new video from Ana-Maria Trudel.

The group recorded primarily to tape with Charles Austin (Outtacontroller, Future Girls, Souvenir) and Franc Lopes (Walrus, Century Egg) at Ocean Floor Recording in Halifax. The prolific Jay Arner mixed the record on the opposite coast, with Some Party pal Micah Brown (Pillea) mastering in Montreal. Prism Shores features vocalist/guitarist Jack MacKenzie, bassist Ben Goss (also of PEI punks Antibodies), guitarist Nathan Cann, and drummer Luke Pound (Power Party). This new record follows up on the band's 2017 EP Youth In Abstract

Dumb: "Pull Me Up"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Following their unexpected (yet delightful) foray into ska, Vancouver slack-punks Dumb have detailed their next LP for Mint Records. Pray 4 Tomorrow arrives November 4, a massive 18-song set that includes both the 2-tone worshipping one-two punch of "Dropout" and "Sleep Like a Baby" and the new single "Pull Me Up." This latest preview arrived alongside a video from director J Quincy Arthur, setting the band's cooly dispassionate vibe against a collage of images and footage of the band. Vocalist Franco Rossino commented on the track in a press release:

"It seems that these days even some of our more intelligent friends find themselves trapped in loops of cyclic discourse, in an endless battle between other chronically-online walking encyclopedias fruitlessly attempting to force the truth into submission. The song 'Pull Me Up' (a reference to 'Pulled Up' by the Talking Heads) is all about reaching out to those friends who have been inside too long, their brains fried from a repetitive strain injury."

Dumb features guitarist/vocalist Franco Rossino backed by drummer Pipe Morelli, guitarist Nick Short, and bassist Shelby Vredik. The group self-recorded at Choms, a studio co-owned by Short and Rossino. The new record follows up on 2019's Club Nites, their sophomore LP for Mint. Between that record and this, they also partnered with labelmates Tough Age on last year's Pizza Punks - a split 7" issued in a celebration of Cole Pauls' comic of the same name.

Roswit: Demos

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Speaking of Tough Age ...

Roswit's a new band quietly emerging in Vancouver from former Tough Age bassist/co-vocalist Penny Clark. A set of three phone-recorded demos available on Bandcamp find her performing in a trio with Selina Crammond from Midnight News/Supermoon and Marita from Divorcer. It looks like the project's picking up some of the material Clark workshopped in her short-lived pre-pandemic Toronto project Grape.

Penny's last record with Tough Age was 2020's Which Way Am I?. While she's stepped away from touring life, it's nice to hear that she's not leaving her Raincoats-styled vocals on the shelf. Before relocating to Vancouver, Clark took the spotlight in Rotten Column, a scrappy punk offshoot of Tough Age where she sang lead. They issued a pair of tapes before the world fell apart.

The Sorels: "Love Your Rock 'N Roll"

Purchase at Bandcamp - Watch on YouTube

This week the Winnipeg glam rock / bubblegum-punk act The Sorels are issuing their third EP for Reta Records. Love Your Rock N' Roll features four new recordings from the trio of vocalist/bassist Jo Jo Rodriguez, guitarist Jennifer Alexander, and drummer Jill Lynott. Of those tunes, three are originals in the band's vibrantly vintage style, and one's a cover of "Another School Day" by the English glam band Hello. You can see the title track performed in a gleeful new video from director Gwen Trutnau.

Cam Loeppky (Figure Walking, Christine Fellows) recorded and mixed at Winnipeg's Argyle Studio. The new recordings follow The Sorels' 2021 EP Spring Break.

Faiyaz And The Wasted Chances: "Flutter"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

"Flutter" feels like a departure for Toronto garage-punks Faiyaz And The Wasted Chances - particularly in contrast to their thrashing 2021 single "Antisocial." While the song takes a quieter approach, that restraint's in constant tension with the band's louder tendencies. It's compelling for that reason alone. Faiyaz Shah commented on Instagram:

"Flutter was written years ago as a teenager. It deals with unrequited love and relationships going their course. But instead of the pain and anger of a fast breakup tune, flutter beckons you to accept and be grateful to what you aren't and what can't be."

The track features project-lead Faiyaz Shah on guitar, bass, and vocals, backed by drummer Dylan Guiliano. Blue Hardy produced and mixed. You also check out a solo acoustic performance of the song on YouTube, filmed at the Junction studio Slim Fridge.

Mutated Void: Concrete Flower Vol. 2

Watch on YouTube

This Friday, Sewercide Records launches a pre-order for Slash The Altar, an upcoming 7" EP from the paint-peeling Halifax punk act Mutated Void. You can preview some of the record's aggressively lo-fi material in Concrete Flower Vol. 2, an old-school skate video filmed by Kenny Williamson and Booji Boys' Cody Googoo. It's playing now on YouTube, issued in concert with the Haligonian shop Pro Skates.

Mutated Void's just the latest in a long string of projects from Googoo, with the artist shuffling styles and roles in recent years between Alienation, Gemstones, Fragment, and Heavenly Blue (among others). He appears here in a duo with drummer Ben Radford (of Fragment, Unreal Thought, and Zygome). Further to this EP, the pair's long-in-the-works 14-song LP Roses Forever lands on vinyl this month through Seattle's Iron Lung Records. Look for it on September 23.

Gemstones: "Anyday"

Watch on YouTube

It's been over a year since lo-fi Dartmouth trio Gemstones dropped their last EP. That's far too long, by my reckoning. Our Maritime garage fuzz drought ends soon with Not The Creep, a new EP arriving on tape later this year. On it, you'll hear "Anyday," which you'll find in a recently surfaced video on YouTube.

Gemstones is a trio of veteran players led by guitarist/vocalist KC Spidle (Diamondtown, Dog Day). He's joined here on drums by Chris Thompson (also of Diamondtown and, of course, the legendary Eric's Trip) and the above-mentioned Cody Googoo. After emerging early in the pandemic, Gemstones issued a trio of short-form releases in quick succession. Nevermind arrived in February of 2021 on tape through Googoo's Don't Wanna Talk Records. The Celluloid Lunch supported 7" Novel of Nothing surfaced that April, followed by the Paranoid Amp set in May (also on Don't Wanna Talk).

Daveband: "Pizza Girl"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Dave Archibald's amiable Halifax power-pop outlet Daveband recently shared a sweet new love song dubbed "Pizza Girl," one half of a forthcoming double A-side release. Archibald revealed the story behind the tune at Bandcamp:

"A short while after my friend Mike moved out of town, we were talking on the phone and I teasingly asked if he missed anyone back in the city, sorta fishing for sympathy I guess. Without skipping a beat he said:

'Well, mostly I've been thinking about the girl who used to work at Alexandra's'

Right away I knew who he was talking about. Many years before, while going to college I lived next to a pizza shop in the South end. I ate there every week for my whole degree, most weeks more than once, and at least a few times, up to three times in a single day. I kept their doors open and they kept me alive. Pizza Girl was about our age and worked there at the time. She fed us hundreds of slices over the years, and eventually a casual acquaintanceship grew into a low-key crush. We never even got her name.

When Mike heard the finished song, he described it as 'the story of any young man looking for love in a delicious place.'"

This time out, the band finds Archibald backed by bassist Neal Read, drummer Kevin MacIssac, with Jordan Murphy accompanying on a güiro. The track took a few years to come together, with vocals, rhythm guitar, and drums recorded with By Divine Right's José Contreras in Toronto back in 2019. Bass, lead guitar and backing vocals were tracked just this past summer by Alex Burris and Charles Austin at Fang Recording in Dartmouth.

Daveband released the full-length This Was Your Dad at 28 in the fall of 2020.

By Divine Right: "Fuzzy Empire"

Watch on YouTube

On the subject of By Divine Right, José Contreras' long-running Toronto indie rock group continues to roll out previews of Otto Motto, their fast-approaching double LP. The band shared a scant few words on their galloping new single "Fuzzy Empire," describing it succinctly as a "lo-fi love song." Indeed it is, and you can hear it now at your preferred streaming service.

Otto Motto arrives September 30 through Fortune Stellar Records. By Divine Right's persisted in various permutations since 1989, always anchored by guitarist/vocalist José Contreras. The band's modern-day lineup features bassist/vocalist Alysha Haugen and drummer Geordie Dyne.

The band's prior full-length was a curious one. They issued Speak & Spell US in 2016, a song-for-song cover of Depeche Mode's 1981 debut album (with that band's trademark synths swapped for guitars). Their last set of originals arrived back in 2013 as Organized Accidents. Frontman José Miguel Contreras issued his latest solo LP, At The Slaughterhouse, in 2019 through Headless Owl.

Sleepless Nights: "Toni Says"

Preview and purchase on Bandcamp

AA Wallace's Toronto-based rock band the Sleepless Nights recently shared "Toni Says," a hood-laden single of summery power-pop. The tune features Wallace on vocals, guitars and synths, backed by bassist Keith Hamilton (Beams) and drummer Joshua Pothier. They recorded at Taurus Recording in Toronto with producer Thom D'arcy (NOBRO, k-os).

The track's the first new material from the project to be unveiled since 2020's Every Word Is a Trap LP. It also arrives on the heels of the recent revival of Wallace's folky alt-country act Cheval, resurrected nearly 20 years after that band's initial run in Halifax. Under that name, he issued the Singer Songwrecker LP this past March through Acadian Embassy, roping in an impressive cast of guest players for the record, including Joel Plaskett, Loel Campbell (Wintersleep), Nils Edenloff (Rural Alberta Advantage), and Thomas Moffett.

Rest Easy: "The Hill"

Watch on YouTube

Vancouver skate-punk quartet Rest Easy recently shared a video for "The Hill," the first single from their upcoming LP Hope You're Ok. It clocks in at a whopping 35 seconds. In a statement, vocalist Dylan Hossack commented:

"I feel like everyone over the last few years has lost touch with a friend or family member because of different views or beliefs, whatever they may be. I wrote this song about how, even when we think we are so in the right - we are all a product of our own echo chambers."

The new album finds the group working with producer Tim Creviston (Spiritbox, Misery Signals). Brett Romnes (Brand New, The Movielife) mixed the 12-song set. It lands on October 28 through Mutant League Records as the follow-up to their debut EP Sick Day.

Rest Easy features members of Vancouver punk vets Daggermouth and Seattle's Shook Ones. Look for the group on stage at the upcoming Abbotsford stop of the Punk In Drublic craft beer and music festival, supporting big-name headliners like NOFX, Descendents, and PUP.

Swim Team: "Innocent"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Vancouver art-punk trio Swim Team returns on September 15 with Hurricane, a new 10-song full-length and their follow-up to 2019's V. Lead single "Innocent" finds the group delivering beat-driven dance-rock, a surprisingly accessible opening salvo given the oft-dissonant facets of their last outing. You can find the track visualized in a video from director Gayatri Everitt Bajpai.

The trio emerges from the pandemic with their core lineup intact, featuring vocalist/bassist Dorothy Neufeld, percussionist Murat Ayfer, and guitarist Nick Short. The group self-produced this time around.

The This: How Does It Feel When It's Gone?

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Victoria garage rock act The This are readying their much-delayed debut LP for a September 16 release through Kingfisher Bluez. You can preview three songs from the 11-track How Does It Feel When It's Gone? at Bandcamp now, including "Drunk Wonderings," "Afterparty," and the too-clever, reference-packed "My 'Help Me Rhonda'." The band commented:

"These songs were written over a span of several years, some as far back as 2014. When it came time to come up with a title for the album, just as the world was falling apart in 2020, hearing myself repeat "how does it feel when its gone?" at the every end of the last song, it was clear what we should call it. Though the song and theme of the record was always about the pressure to give up on your dreams and face the reality of being an adult, it seemed to fit with the way things were going for everyone at the time.

Anyone who has been following us a while know we have been working on this album forever, and it wouldn't surprise us if some people wondered if it would ever come out at all. "

The trio features vocalist/drummer Evan Matthiesen, bassist Jimbo Rai, and guitarist Reid Blakley. They self-recorded in Port Alberni in the summer of 2020, with overdubs and other finishing details wrapped up around Victoria through 2021. The This last issued The Strangest Ritual EP in 2019.

Dead Cosmetics: "Robots on the Inside"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Tarantula Tapes recently previewed the upcoming album from post-punk/noise quartet Dead Cosmetics, sharing a trio of songs through Bandcamp. These include their tense debut anthem, "Robots on the Inside," the moody "Ghost Words," and the industrial fuzz of "Necktie." Dead Cosmetics recorded with producer Daniel Allen.

The Barrie, Ontario band's debut full-length, titled Was Tus Du, arrives through the cassette label on September 11.

TJ Felix: True Love is Impossible (For a Parasite Like Me)

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Prolific Secwépemc artist TJ Felix is back with another EP of aggressively off-kilter punk songs. True Love is Impossible (For a Parasite Like Me) features four new tracks from the artist, a quick follow-up to their July covers EP and June's Honest Injun set. While Felix seems most comfortable cranking out thrillingly panicked post-DEVO rackets, there are some cool diversions to be found on this outing - with "A Kiss on the Forehead" offering up more traditional rock'n'roll swing than I'd have expected. You can hear the complete set at Bandcamp now.

The new material follows a spate of activity from Felix, including the debut of their new four-piece hardcore group Nasdaq and performances with Bedwetters Anonymous.

Status/Non-Status: "Mainly Crows"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Adam Sturgeon recently shared the second single from the new Status/Non-Status record. You can hear the folk-rocker "Mainly Crows" at Bandcamp and see it in a visually dense new video from director and animator Jordan Allen (Breeze, Fake Palms). In a statement, Sturgeon mused on the track:

"[It's an] observation on community of how flashy lights and opportunities flush vibrant people from their humble homes. It's about the death of the small town and the call to join the city mass. More than that, it is a tribute to friends and about travelling between worlds to see them along the way. It's a song about how sorely they are missed and how we can't really blame them for moving away."

The band recorded this 10-song set with Matthew Wiewel at Sudbury's Deadpan Studios. Harris Newman mastered. Surely Travel comes on the heels of Status/Non-Status' 1, 2, 3, 4, 500 Years EP, and follows up on Sturgeon's final record under the name WHOOP-Szo, 2019's Warrior Down. The new album, due September 23 from You've Changed, is also notably the first from Sturgeon in the wake of Sewn Together: his Polaris shortlisted full-length team-up with Zoon's Daniel Monkman, jointly billed by the Anishnaabe songwriters as OMBIIGIZI.

Shadow Folk: "House of Mirrors"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

In case you missed it in late July, the Halifax psych-pop group Shadow Folk shared "House of Mirrors," a haunting new song slated to appear on an upcoming 5-song EP dubbed Rob/Steal. The evocative track features Justin McGrath (Walrus) on guitar and vocals, guitars from J. Rann, bass from Ian Bennett, Keith Dorion on synth, and A. Ledrew on organ. Look for the new EP on tape soon from Atlanta's Human Sounds Records. The set follows up on the band's 2021 record Holiest of Days.

Nic Fit: Steganography

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Vancouver queercore four-piece Nic Fit has a new EP in the wild dubbed Steganography. It's their first new work after a considerable break (their prior collection, Vietnam Never Happened, landed way back in 2016). The five-song set's firmly rooted in 80s Californian hardcore and should resonate with fans of fellow BC bruisers like Chain Whip or Bootlicker.

Nic Fit features Lex on vocals, Alice on guitar, Camille on bass, and Clem drumming. The group recorded with Jack Thomas engineering (you may have seen him profiled on the CBC or YouTube in recent years - he's the drummer who lost an arm in a workplace accident as a teenager).

The Discarded: "Thoughts and Prayers"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Orangeville garage trio The Discarded recently returned with "Thoughts and Prayers," a hard rocking, politically charged single. The song's part of the soundtrack of The Getgoes, an animated film directed by vocalist Joel Wassen for which the band provided the soundtrack. The accompanying video showcases Peter Guindon's animation from the project. The band commented:

"'Thoughts and Prayers' explores the narrative of gun violence in the States and the ongoing inaction of the political powers to take meaningful action. Where all too often the platitude of 'Thoughts and Prayers' is offered from the very politicians receiving lobby money from the NRA. Although animated, the video and song pulls no punches in regard to illustrating this hypocrisy."

The Getgoes is currently on the film festival circuit, showing at events in Amsterdam, Berlin and New York, with a Toronto screening slated for December 3. The Getgoes soundtrack found The Discarded working with producer John Critchley at Green Door.

The Discarded features brothers Caden Jax (drums) and Jared Dean (bass) performing with their father, guitarist/vocalist J.P. Wasson. Wasson's a scene vet, having drummed for the Toronto punk act Fifth Column in the early 90s. He also appeared on drums and vocals for punk act The Snowdogs during that era.

Tripper and the Wild Things: "Get Burnt"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Hamilton rock group Tripper and the Wild Things issued an energetic new single last week titled "Get Burnt." It's the first preview of their new EP Fever Dreams, due September 30. Speaking to From The Straight, the band revealed:

"The entire EP's theme deals with the transitional period between adolescence and adulthood. The tune is about making those mistakes, learning from them, and reflecting on it all afterwards when you find yourself further down the road. Get Burnt aims to remind listeners of the times growing up with friends where you'd try to squeeze as much as you can out of those last, dog days of summer."

The four-piece features vocalist/guitarist Josh Keillor, bassist Eric Tarquinio, guitarist James Puntillo, and drummer Brian MacMahon. The band recorded with Simon Austin (Incase We Crash), with the new set following up on their 2021 EP Boomerang Kids.

Still Insane: "Black Sheep"

Watch at YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Last week Quebec City punks Still Insane shared a video for "Black Sheep," the title track to their recent EP for Thousand Islands Records. The set delivered five salvos of riffy metallic skatepunk, showcasing the group's first new work since 2017's Friends & Family EP.

Nearly 15 years into their career, Still Insane features vocalist Eric Dorval, guitarists Jean-Sébastien Arsenault and Steeve Rock, bassist Jean-Philippe "Bub" Bérubé, and drummer Sylvain "LabWreck" LaBrecque.

Mobina Galore: Live from the Park Theatre

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Winnipeg punk duo Mobina Galore kicked off September with their first live album. Live from the Park Theatre captures the band in July of 2020, playing their hometown at that precarious moment early in the pandemic when the province first permitted indoor shows (although under tight safety protocols). The band comments:

"In 2020 when everything shut down, Winnipeg had a small window that summer where indoor venues could put on extremely limited capacity, fully seated shows so we and our local best buds, The Ripperz, decided to throw a fundraiser show for The Park Theatre who, like so many of us, were going through a tough time.

It turned into two sold-out nights in a row so I thought, well this is going to be weird and amazing and beautiful, let's record both nights and see what we can create from it. Those two shows turned out to be the only shows we played that year.

It was a strange time for live music, but the feeling in the room those two nights is something we will never forget and we are so thrilled to have those memories pressed to spin at 33rpms."

The twelve-song set notably captures the first live performance of the band's recent single, "Whiskey Water." Mobina Galore features guitarist/vocalist Jenna Priestner and drummer/vocalist Marcia Hanson. They last issued the acoustic EP Waiting in 2021 through New Damage and Gunner Records. Expect both labels to stock vinyl pressings of the new live LP in their respective online stores.

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.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license

Enjoying the newsletter? You can now also support Some Party by buying me a coffee!