Friday March 17, 2023


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.

Dark Trip: "Anxiecity"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Dave Tyson never steers me wrong, and his sinister new single as the garage-punk act Dark Trip is no exception. You'll hear shades of Ramones-worshipping lunkheads The Spits in the urgent "Anxiecity," the first track from the Hamilton-based project to surface in over a year. If it furthers your experience to watch Dave stumble around in the woods to the audio, head over to YouTube.

As a member of the heroic Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs, Tyson's no stranger to this publication. He also recently surfaced in the gooney punk trio Golden Shitters alongside Anxious Pleasers' Matt Ellis and The Dirty Nil's Kyle Fisher. That group issued their self-titled debut EP last October, and I understand there's a full-length on deck for this year.

Love Language: "Indian Cowboy"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Montreal's Love Language returns this month with a five-song EP. Last week the group, led by Anishinaabe vocalist Tashiina Buswa, shared the lo-fi slack-rock title track of Indian Cowboy, paired with a charming video from director Sasha Khalimonova. We've seen Sasha's work here before, visualizing songs from the Nora Kelly Band and Marlaena Moore. If you're a fan of the cooly detached Toronto quartet Packs, you'll certainly dig the languid vibes at play here.

The band provided some background on the hooky single in a press release, stating:

"'Indian Cowboy' takes the old Hollywood trope of Cowboys and Indians, and injects it with nuance. Growing up with a foot in two worlds, one where Indigenous identity is held sacred and one where colonialism works to tear it down, Buswa muses on the duality of organized religion / Indigeneity, and staying connected to your culture in a world designed to destroy it. 'You want it? You got your Indian Cowboy!' she sings in exasperation at the end of the track, defeated, yet with a secret, triumphant sense of beating the system at its own game."

Love Language features Tashiina on vocals and guitar, backed by drummer Lan Thockchom, guitarist Billy Riley (Blooming Season), and bassist Lucas CA. The group recorded with Faith Healer's Renny Wilson at Value Sound.

Prosthetic Bung: Futureless Throb: Live In Japan, 1983

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Let's clarify a few things regarding Futureless Throb: Live In Japan, 1983, the new release from Toronto noise-punk/no-wave duo Prosthetic Bung. Mainly, the group likely hasn't recorded anything live in Japan, and certainly not in 1983. The best I can tell, they first surfaced online just this past January. The group's lo-fi thump lends itself well to the fake live shtick, though, and somehow even the crowd noise piped over the 5-songs never outlasts its welcome. It helps that I find the group's grimy racket wonderfully endearing. You can find the five-song, 19-minute set in one unbroken digital blob at Bandcamp or dubbed to tape by The Hills Are Dead Records. If you grab a cassette, you'll find the band's debut single, "Hey Baby, It's.... Prosthetic Bung," tacked on as a bonus track.

Prosthetic Bung pairs guitarist/vocalist Steff and drummer/bassist/synth-player Zach. Futureless Throb is precisely the type of gnarly nonsense this newsletter exists to share.

Smaller Hearts: "Belts and Braces"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Dartmouth electro-pop duo Smaller Hearts recently announced Rock and Roll Was Here to Stay, a new 11-song full-length due out April 21. It clocks in as the band's fourth LP, following 2021's Attention. We've already heard the album-opening "Sleeper Agent," but you can now preview the brisk "Belts and Braces." The band shared a bit about the song's construction and inspiration in a press release:

"Belts and Braces is a departure from our usual songwriting approach: most of our songs are created by starting with synthesizers — a line or a sound that we create or noodle out on a keyboard. This one was written first on bass guitar, jammed out in our basement in the summer of 2021 shortly after our last album Attention was released. We added synths and drums until it became more of a Smaller Hearts sound.

The title came much later, when Kristina was talking to a friend who described someone as taking a 'belts and braces' approach to something. She'd never heard the expression before: the act of taking extra—probably unnecessary—steps to make sure something goes as planned or to prevent a problem. (In other words, wearing both a belt and suspenders to keep your pants up)/ But as a sometimes-obsessive overplanner, she found it relatable. There's an intentional urgency in the bass line; the keyboard part that comes in halfway sounds like a bit of an alarm—an attempt to mirror the anxiety of thinking and thinking and thinking through the same thing. But then the song turns that on its head by coming to a short quick conclusion, intentionally kicking that endlessly anxious churning by decisively, confidently ending."

You can pick up a copy of the LP through the Halifax label Noyes Records. Smaller Hearts features Kristina Parlee (of The Maynards and, most recently, Shoulder Season) paired with Ron Bates, a veteran of Moon Socket, Orange Glass and Elevator To Hell.

Mononegatives: "Cro-Magnon"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

London, Ontario synth-punks Mononegatives unexpectedly slow it down on their new single "Cro-Magnon," an incredible stretch given that the group almost exclusively delivers their electro-fuzz at breakneck speeds. The track's our second preview of the forthcoming Crossing Visual Field LP, due April 21 through the UK's No Front Teeth and LA design collective Dowd Records. The band comments:

"Cro-Magnon is a bass driven cacophony of sounds new and old. If you have seen us live anytime since shows came back you have heard this track, if not you will hear it here for the first time. Pre human expression in these almost post human times. Listen on a phone while living in a cave."

Dowd again went all out with the 7" release, and the game included with the record will surely throw audiophile gear nuts into a tailspin. The wax comes packaged with cardboard cutouts of the band (and some skeletons) which you stand upon the spinning record. It's your goal to rescue the group from their looming demise with the help of a tiny metal hook. To keep things interesting, the "easy mode" a-side of the 7" features the song cut at 33 RPM, while the flip has it racing by at 45 RPM for added difficulty. Dowd's collecting social media videos of fans playing the now-sold-out game for prizes --- perhaps the most laudably whimsical marketing campaign I've seen in ages. Hat tip to them.

Mononegatives features Robbie Brake (Isölation Party) on guitar, synth, and vocals, with drummer David Cereghini, and bassist Aaron Wallis. The new record follows up on a pair of recent EPs from the trio, namely Counterclockwise Interjection and Frequencies Rotating Clockwise, as well as a split with Albany's Mystery Girl. Mononegatives issued their debut full-length, Apparatus Division, in 2020.

Brutal Youth: "Moonstones"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

It feels like an eternity since we last heard from Brutal Youth. The St. John's bred, Toronto-based melodic hardcore band last put out a record in 2016, and suffice to say, we've all been through some shit since then. The group returns on April 21 with the appropriately-titled Rebuilding Year, a new 14-song collection for the venerable Stomp Records. You can preview the new set with the single "Moonstones," a song steeped in early 90s west coast punk influences. On it, vocalist Patty O'Lantern revealed:

"I was listening to a lot of Dag Nasty Can I Say at the time. This was inspired by 'Values Her'e' in a lot of ways. Lyrically it's a personal anthem about when the intimate promises we often make to the ones we love can just fall apart no matter how much you're doing to try to hold them together. Thematically I think that's in line with the entire record."

Michael Crusty (The Black Halos, Danko Jones) directed the "Moonstones" video, playing now on YouTube. The band recorded with Steve Rizun (The Flatliners, Choices Made) at Drive Studios in Toronto. Rebuilding Year lands as the group's fourth long player, following up from their 2016 Stomp LP Sanguine. Brutal Youth finds O'Lantern backed by drummer Dustin Campbell, bassist Kyle Hynes, and guitarist Greg Hounsel.

Double Date with Death: "Labyrinthe"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Last week Montreal psych rockers Double Date with Death offered a third preview of their new LP Portraits through the hypnotic "Labyrinthe." Inspired by the famous hedge maze from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, the track arrived alongside a trippy video from LA-based neo-psychedelic artist Vinyl Williams.

The tune also features a notable collaboration between DDWD and Anna Frances Meyer of Montreal's Deuxluxes. She plays the transverse flute here, colouring the song in shades of Jethro Tull.

DDWD features vocalist/guitarist Vincent Khouni, bassist Julien Simard, drummer Mathieu Guay, and guitarist/synth player Stephen Baird. The band recorded with Guillaume Chiasson (Ponctuation, Bon Enfant) at The Treatment Room. Look for Portraits on March 17 through La Shoebox, supported by a Canadian tour in the Spring alongside the French punk band We Hate You Please Die.

Symphony Orchestra: "Intersection"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Max 'Twig' Turnbull of Toronto's Badge Époque Ensemble has a new project with singer/songwriter Michael Rault. The pair have a seven-song collection of slick psych-funk tunes on the way under the name Symphony Orchestra. Their debut album, titled Radiant Music, lands May 12 through Telephone Explosion.

You can preview the set now through the buoyant lead single "Intersection." In a statement, Rault likens the song to the early work of English art-pop legends 10cc.

While the pair's collaborated before (notably on U.S. Girls' In A Poem Unlimited), these tracks mark their first official outing as a duo. The pair commenced recording in 2018 at Michael's studio in Montreal, tracking three sessions before life and a global pandemic got in the way. Interrupted by Rault's move to Los Angeles and the birth of Turnbull's twin sons, the duo resumed work in the record in 2022. Symphony Orchestra self-produced the album, with Rault serving as the project's rhythm section and lead vocalist while Turnbull handled guitar and lyrics. Steve Chahley and Tony Price mixed the results.

Citizen Rage: "What's It To You?"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Calgary hardcore act Citizen Rage has teamed up with Cursed Blessings Records to issue their new LP Harsh Reality. Before that set arrives in May, you can get a taste of what's to come through the unrelenting pre-release single "What's It To You?." Speaking to The Punk Site, the band commented:

"'What's It To You' is a direct response to anyone who thinks they get to dictate the way other people live their lives. It's our way of standing up to them. Whether it's the government, the clergy or anyone else who wants to say, 'my way is the only right way and my morals should decide how you get to live.' It's a 'fuck you' to those bigots who are so scared of things they don't understand, that they'll yell and scream and protest people's right to exist as themselves."

The band recorded with Jamie Kovalsky at Calgary's Prohibitor Studios, with Real Sickies' Rob Lawless mixing and mastering at The Physics Lab. I do believe the cover art bears the distinct cartoon style of Forbidden Dimension's Tom Bagley, whose work for Chixdiggit and Huevos Rancheros in the 90s I hold in the highest regard. Look for a west coast tour this May, pairing Citizen Rage with No More Moments - cumulating in a matinee hometown release party at Modern Love on Sunday, May 28, supported by Iron Tusk, Prohibitor, and Mixed Blame.

Single Mothers: "Head Shrunk" / "Sad Dumb Game"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Drew Thomson's long-running southern Ontario punk act Single Mothers has a new album on the way, a 10-song set simply titled Roy. You can preview the introspective album-openers "Head Shrunk" and "Sad Dumb Game" online now. While the former clearly grapples with matters of therapy, the latter bears some explanation:

"I wrote 'Sad Dumb Game' as a reflection of our intentions versus our actions. We're in a weird spot where two identities exist: your online persona and the real you. Lots of people get to see the online you, the one that's carefully crafted, massaged, edited. A small fraction get to see the real person that exists outside the algorithms and edited rewrites. 'Sad Dumb Game' is about that performative dance, that editing process. It's about the you that only exists on a screen somewhere versus who we really are."

Thomson remains the band's only constant and openly questions the project's future in the same press release, stating:

"If the band is done and this is the final record, then I'm happy with this one being the last one. Some of the best and worst moments of my life are tied to this band. Part of me has been trying to get out of it since I started it, but it always drags me back in. I've realized that I'll probably never be able to walk away from it completely. Single Mothers is tied to my soul at this point, for better or worse. It has its claws in my heart."

Thomson's restlessness was on full display during the pandemic, through which he emerged as a prolific home producer. Over the last few years, he issued dozens of recordings under an ever-shifting list of stage names, including The Drew Thomson Foundation, No Idea Head, SM WorseWorld, and SM Worldwide.

Hippie Hourrah: "Pinceau au tombeau"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Montreal psych trio Hippie Hourrah unveiled their new LP this week. Exposition individuelle features 14 psych-pop explorations, including the recent "Or aux dents" song cycle and last fall's "Les murs" single. The news arrived alongside a dizzying video for the 60s-steeped "Pinceau au tombeau," directed and animated by Philippe Beauséjour. The band describes it as a reflection on the life and death of an artist. On that note, you may recognize the cover art of Exposition individuelle as the 1972 painting "Onibaba" by abstract Quebec painter Jacques Hurtubise.

Hippie Hurrah features the core trio of Cédric Marinelli (of Les Marinellis), Miles Dupire-Gagnon (Elephant Stone), and Gabriel Lambert playing with several collaborators. The group's following up on their self-titled 2021 LP, released via Simone Records.

Bad Egg: "ACTIVISM™"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

The acerbic Kitchener/Windsor hardcore act Bad Egg has a new single in the wild dubbed "ACTIVISM™" (that's a sardonic trademark symbol in the title, in case you missed it). It's the band's first new material to surface in years, following their 2019 EP Serotonin Flush #10301985. They promise it's the precursor to a "hell of a lot more" later in the year. You can check it out at Bandcamp.

Super Kill Me Now: The Day My Butt Went Psycho

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Irreverent lo-fi Toronto punk trio Super Kill Me Now quietly issued their second full-length collection this week, an eight-song set named The Day My Butt Went Psycho. It arrived on Bandcamp a full year out from the group's self-titled debut, mixed by Preston Lobzun of Saudade and mastered by the ever-present (in this newsletter, at least) Will Killingsworth.

The project brings together bassist/vocalist Matt Post of the noise-punk duo Deathsticks, drummer Alex Wood of the iconoclastic WLMRT, and guitarist Luke Trotta. The band's one of several recent projects from Post, who's issued several electronics-heavy recordings over the past few years as the Matt Post Band and another low-fi punk EP with The Gunge.

Motherhood: "Dry Heave"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Fredericton art-punk trio Motherhood is on the road touring between festivals in the USA, and they celebrated the southward trek with a new single. You can hear the brash "Dry Heave" at Bandcamp now, with the b-side "Wandering" on deck for a May 1 release. The new tunes, recorded in Memramcook, NB with Mike Trask, follow up on the band's 2022 LP Winded. That record surfaced last summer through the Forward Music Group.

Motherhood features vocalist/guitarist Brydon Crain, keyboardist Penelope Stevens, and drummer Adam Sipkema. The latter's taking some parental leave from the group, so their US venture features Gabe Camarano pitch-hitting on percussion.

Kristian North: "The Masked Singer"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Montreal sophisti-pop artist Kristian North returns May 19 with his third LP. debuting the latest evolution of his slick retro-futurist soul sound with "The Mask Singer." You can hear it at Bandcamp now or see it captured in a new animated video from Jordan 'Dr. Cool' Minkoff (Teenanger, Suuns). On the suave, nocturnal track, North revealed:

"If there is time travel on the album, we arrive in the future. Maybe there is an idealized future and then the real 'future' but of course the future is always idealized, and so is the past, and all there is is the now. This song itself time travels, and speaks to the travel."

This album's the third North recorded in close collaboration with Renny Wilson at Value Sound. While the pair provides most of the record's instrumentation, it features over a dozen guest players. That cast includes (but isn't limited to) Cindy Lee Woland on guitar, Joe Grass on pedal steel, Ari Swan on violin, and Andrea Mercier on sax. Celluloid Lunch players Hélène Barbier and Joe Chamandy (Tha Retail Simps) both appear, as does their labelmate Elle Barbara, who performs on the duet "Mercy."

Pseudoscience Fiction again finds North working with Mothland, following up on 2021's Passion Play. As I have no self-control, I can't let you forget that, however far he's journeyed from that sound, North once performed loud and scuzzy punk with the band Babysitter.

Octoberman: "Can't Rush Time"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Nearly a decade from 2014's What More Want More, Marc Morrissette's folk-rock vehicle Octoberman return with their sixth full-length this Spring. There You Were lands April 28 through Ishmalia Records. Featuring a slate of songs written following the sudden death of Morrissette's mother, the album's described as "an elegiac and urgent ode to resilience in the face of loss." You can hear the wistful alt-country single "Can't Rush Time" now, paired with a video directed by Dustin Seabrook of Still Creates.

Now based in Ottawa, Morrissette worked on the project with producer Chris Stringer (Bruce Cockburn, Great Lake Swimmers, The Weather Station). The band features returning platers Marshall Bureau (drums), Tavo Diez de Bonilla (bass), and J.J. Ipsen (keyboards, guitar), with additional contributions by Stringer (synths, guitar, percussion), Rebecca Hennessey (trumpet), Kate Rogers, and Annelise Noronha (background vocals).

Octoberman returns to the stage in Toronto on May 26 at the Dakota Tavern, followed by an appearance at Ottawa's Red Bird Live on May 27.

Miesha & The Spanks: "Mom Jeans // Mom Genes"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Last week Calgarian duo Miesha & The Spanks shared another preview of their high-octane Mint Records debut. The hard-hitting "Mom Jeans // Mom Genes" grapples with the challenges of parenthood, as guitarist/vocalist Miesha Louie explains in a press release:

"It's more than just about the new mom-fit jeans that I'm wearing though, that's just the metaphor. It's also the super tough mom genes that get us through that day to day of ups and downs and emotional manipulations and breakthroughs and pure joy that come with our role as matriarch. My babies were a great gift to me and I wouldn't change anything, but as I try to balance motherhood with everything that I had before, things can't help but fall off the scales. Moms are just out here doing their best, loving their babies, and trying to make time for loving themselves too."

The 15-song Unconditional Love In Hi-Fi arrives on April 14. It finds Louie paired with drummer Sean Hamilton. The duo recorded this song during sessions last August at Chestermere, AB's OCL Studios with engineer Josh Gwilliam. Paul Rawson and Danny Farrant (modern-day drummer of the Buzzcocks) co-produced the new record.

Sean Hamilton and the Amber Hour: "It Did"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Speaking of Sean Hamilton, last month, the Calgary musician unveiled a new single from a project with Edmonton's Amber Byrne dubbed Sean Hamilton and the Amber Hour. The husband and wife pair issued a high-energy country rock tune titled "It Did," coupled with an absolutely adorable video (filmed by our pal Alan Hildebrandt from PRIORS). Here's how the group described the tune:

"A goofy one liner. It's hot in Montreal during the short summer nights and la belle provence is sticky with punch-drunk love, the kind so saccharine sweet it announces itself with a stupefied grin plastered on its face and a lopsided twirl into the room. Leather jackets, a rippling fringe and tattoos. Millennial love is wholesome af, shared memes and the heat death of the planet, but first, let's split an ice cream cone to cool down, to come down. Bikes, beers, babes. Rock and roll for modern times, for modern love. We may never know what it do, but 'It Did' effervesces and spills over in glee like a warm tallboy and what it do should keep going, spinning and spinning until the track is worn down."

You can check out an interview with the couple in a feature at Range. This is turning out to be a busy year for Hamilton, as outside of this project and the Spanks, his punk 5-piece Julius Sumner Miller just issued Nobody Cares, their fifth LP. Pick that up at Meter Records or catch the band at this year's Pouzza Fest.

Dogo Suicide: "Petit Prix"

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Quebec City punks Dogo Suicide takes a rather thrillingly eclectic turn on their busy new single "Petit Prix" - a song rather curiously subtitled "L'acte premier de la bagarre de Dogo Suicide." An awful lot's going on in these three-and-a-half minutes, and there's yet to be word if it's part of some future release. Perhaps we'll know by the time the band takes the stage at Pouzza in May.

The trio last issued the Sexe pour les yeux EP in September of 2021. Dogo Suicide features guitarist/vocalist Nicolas Côté, bassist/vocalist Emmanuel Canadian, and drummer Richard William-Turcotte.

Ryan Bourne: "Frenz"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

After teasing the album for the past year, Calgary singer-songwriter Ryan Bourne's finally unveiled details on his upcoming LP Plant City. The news arrived alongside our latest preview, a dizzying instrumental dubbed "Frenz." Bourne's homemade video for the track collages archival footage, including vintage shots of an Expo '86 roller coaster. Plant City arrives in full on May 5, promising a lush set of psych-pop tunes co-produced by Lab Coast's Chris Dadge and Chad VanGaalen.

Bourne plays with the Calgary indie rock troop Ghostkeeper and serves with Dadge as a member of VanGaalen's backing band, The Bleach Wipes. The trio all perform on this record alongside a host of Calgarian musicians from Ryan's orbit.

Chris Page: Tripping Against The Crowd

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Ottawa singer-songwriter Chris Page recently issued another set of new songs, keeping up with his reliable monthly pace. This latest batch features three versions of "Tripping Against The Crowd," presented in amped-up "Saturday Night" and chilled-out "Sunday Morning" acoustic versions, and this time coupled with a demo as well. I'm rather taken by the crunchy pop-punk variant of this one.

Like clockwork, Page has issued new digital singles every month for the better part of the past two years. Amidst that run, we saw Those Aren't Stars Above Your Head, an acoustic reworking of the self-titled 2016 Camp Radio album. With Leila Younis, Chris plays these days in the duo Expanda Fuzz. Before forming Camp Radio in the early 2000s, he played in the 90s-era Glengarry, Ontario garage group The Stand GT.

Fuudge: "On aime les Saints"

Watch on YouTube - Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

Montreal stoner/grunge combo Fuudge detailed their new album this week. ...qu'un cauchemar devienne si vrai arrives May 19, featuring eleven new songs the group describes as a dark and twisted return to form. Among those, you'll hear the sludgy album cut "On aime les Saints," that tune arrived online to preview this week. A video, which sets the song against some rather horrifying AI-generated devilry, is available on YouTube.

The new album features Fuudge principal David Bujold performing most roles in the studio, assisted by a selection of guests from track to track. He recorded alongside studio engineer Ryan Battistuzzi (Yesterday's Ring, Les Mains Sales, Conditions Apply). The new record follows 2021's left-turn acoustic live set Déplogué au Grand Théâtre de Québec and the band's 2020 LP Fruit-Dieu.

Fuudge has two album release shows on deck, a May 11 gig at Montreal's Quai Des Brumes and a June 3 show at Quebec City's Le Pantoum - both of which they warn are of limited capacity.

Rick White: Eric's Trip Demos (92-95)

Preview and purchase at Bandcamp

In case you missed it on Bandcamp Friday, Canadian indie legend Rick White recently shared a collection of early 90s demos from Eric's Trip. The 16-song set features nascent versions of material that later appeared on the albums Love Tara, Forever Again, Purple Blue, and The Gordon Street Haunting EP.

White shared extensive notes on Bandcamp, noting:

"With Eric's Trip, especially in the early days up to Love Tara, o didn't really record solo demos of the songs that i wrote for the band. I would write them and work them out with Julie and the other guys before we recorded. So the first recorded version of many of those songs is the one that got released. I did end up finding a couple though..."

You can find the collection and the full write-up over at the Rick White Archive. In May of last year, White issued Rick White plays The Sadies, a 14-song LP celebrating the career of beloved Toronto alt-country group The Sadies and the legacy of White's friend and frequent collaborator Dallas Good.

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!