Monday May 29, 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.

You can rest assured that a chatbot didn't write this issue of Some Party, as a computer would at least be on time. I experimented by asking the AI to rewrite this mailing in the style of Lester Bangs, but the results read more like the work of Stan Lee — different flavours of hyperbole altogether, true believers. You're stuck with me for now.

Taxi Girls: "Sunshine"

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As an offshoot of established punk'n'roll quartet Pale Lips, Montreal's Taxi Girls hit my radar early - but until now, I've had little of substance to share. The band formed last year and, given their pedigree, hit the ground running with a respectable run of gigs supporting bands like Lost Love, Les Breastfeeders, Mononegatives, and The Sorels, among others - all without a shred of studio material to back it up. That drought's behind us with the arrival of "Sunshine," the first single from the Taxi Girls' forthcoming debut. The five-song Coming Up Roses EP lands July 7, available on vinyl through Italy's Wild Honey Records and on tape through Portland's Dirt Cult.

Taxi Girls features Pale Lips' rhythm section of bassist Jamie Radu and drummer Lynn Poulin - with the former picking up lead vocals and guitar. In this configuration, they're joined on vocals, guitar, and bass by Vera Bozickovic. The trio recorded with Ryan Battistuzzi (Yesterday's Ring, Les Mains Sales, Conditions Apply) at Le Stuzzio. Ryan Morey (Wares, Daniel Romano) mastered the set.

The high-energy "Sunshine" is celebrated in a new video directed by PRIORS' Alan Hildebrandt of Studio Del Scorpio (FRVITS, NOBRO). The band recently premiered the piece at RANGE. In that feature, Vera revealed:

"I wrote this song with my partner/best friend in mind. I'm also pretty sure it was written in the winter—hence the possible frustration underlining the song. It's funny actually because when I showed the video to him he was like, 'It's funny how this song is about good times with me but you're looking all badass and angry.' Well, now you have your answer. It was winter. In Montreal. During covid. That pretty much sums it up! As for the instrumentation, we're pretty inspired by Green Day and I was listening to Insomniac on repeat at the time. Jamie's bassline sounds like it could be off of that album too!"

The new band roots their sound in Ramones (but of course), also citing The Muffs and Veruca Salt as reference points. With Pale Lips, Radu and Poulin last played on the After Dark full-length in early 2019.

Bile Sister: "Generation Steam"

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Julie Reich recently shared details on the upcoming record from Bile Sister, her solo synth-punk outlet. Living On The Edge lands July 21 through We Are Time, the label helmed by Jesse Locke and Chandra Oppenheim of the revived 80s no-wave act Chandra (of which Reich is also a member). You can preview the album now through the lead single "Generation Steam," which features angular guitar work from guest player Nicholas Kerr. On the track, weary of the dehumanized grind of modern capitalism, Reich revealed:

"While recognizing it is a privilege to be able to access work and live, do we ask ourselves often enough if we're happy and thriving? If you're a person who's been stuck in the grind, do you question why you must conform to societal structural norms that don't support you, simply because they were embedded long ago? With the rising cost of living, can this work even sustain you? Why must we sell our souls, is there another way to live?"

The song comes to life in a terrifyingly absurd video from Leslie Predy, presenting one of the year's weirder visions of the increasingly inevitable robot apocalypse. Reich co-produced the new album with Josh Korody (Beliefs, Breeze), who also mixed at Toronto's Candle Studios. Sage Kim mastered the record.

The new Bile Sister album lands in a world still reeling from Bad Trouble, the 2021 debut from the convention-challenging microtonal rock duo Body Breaks. That group paired Reich with Montreal artist Matt LeGroulx (Expwy, Galaxius Mons). Outside of a few tracks contributed to the We Are Time compilations, this is the first significant work we've heard from Bile Sister since 2014's Faucet.

Mr. Power: "Outsiders Ball"

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Ottawa weird-pop enigma Mr. Power recently shared "Outsiders Ball," the first preview of their forthcoming EP Light My Cigarette Off The Sun. The track (described by the band as a "big boom boom beefy bean ballad") is featured in a new video shot at the track's launch party earlier this May, a semi-formal-styled spectacle of a show. The clip features live footage captured by New Swears' Sammy J. Scorpion and issued through the Clubhouse Recording Club.

Mr. Power is the stage name of Mikey Power, known earlier for making noise with Ottawa surf-punks The Thrill. The band's current incarnation plays a quartet, with Mikey backed by bassist Nick, keyboardist Ian, and drummer Brad.

Brain Candy: Demo 2023

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The BC punk archivists at Slow Death Records recently shared a set of demo recordings from the frenzied Vancouver hardcore act Brain Candy. The set clocks in with six unhinged tracks from past and present members of Punitive Damage, Juice, Flaccid, and Policy of Truth (among others). A limited run of hand-stamped tapes is available through the label.

White Collar: Demo 2023

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That's not all from the Slow Death camp. The label also recently unveiled White Collar, a new Victoria-based band featuring Bootlicker, Headcheese, Crosshairs, and Kraxxa members. A bruising four-song demo's available from the label, with a 12-song EP reportedly in the works. The band's first gig is said to take place in June, but that's all I know. Check your local listings for details.

Absolute Losers: "Sketch"

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Charlottetown post-punk trio Absolute Losers returned to action earlier this month with the single "Sketch," providing our first preview of a slate of upcoming material (look for "By Fright" dropping later this week). The tune stakes an instantly likable middle ground between the band's ever-present Talking Heads influence and a coolly restrained sense of garage-pop detachment. Fans of Kiwi Jr. and Dumb should take note.

Absolute Losers features bassist/vocalist Sam Langille, drummer Daniel Hartinger, and guitarist Josh Langille. The new material's their first since the 2021 singles "Coexist" and "Astray." Holy Fuck's Graham Walsh mixed the new track with Mikey Young mastering. Since issuing the digital single, the band's also shared a live performance of the "Sketch," filmed at their hometown record shop Howies Records. You can find that on YouTube.

SLIP~ons: "Heavy Machinery"

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Vancouver's SLIP~ons are the power-pop outlet of original Doughboys drummer/co-vocalist Brock Pytel and longtime Sarah McLachlan bassist Brian Minato. They're joined in the quartet by guitarist Rob "Shockk" Matharu of The Spitfires and drummer Shane Wilson. The group recently shared "Heavy Machinery," the muscular title track to their upcoming EP. It arrives June 30 through Scamindy Records.

The song carries the torch of early alt-rock legends like The Lemonheads, Hüsker Dü, and The Replacements, anchored by Pytel's gravelly lead vocals. Director R.D. Cane captures the band in a video featuring candid shots from their rehearsal space. On the clip, Pytel revealed:

"I've always been a bit iffy on music videos, so we just borrowed some grip gear and lamps from my film buddies and created a bit of a playground in our rehearsal space for RD to do his thing. Jam Space Confidential was the theme. RD was really working up a sweat directing traffic, and I love that you can see the crew moving around with us moving ladders and waving light wands."

The band recorded with Olivia Quan at Vancouver's Monarch and Vertical Studios, with former Skinny Puppy player Dave "Rave" Ogilvie mixing. Ronan Chris Murphy mastered at Veneto West.

SLIP~ons are following up on their debut 2019 EP Bad TV and a pair of solo recordings unearthed from Pytel's archives (most recently, the single "Anemic Heart").

Cluttered: "Connaught // Chebucto"

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Halifax punk quartet Cluttered recently shared a full-band reworking of "Connaught // Chebucto." Matty Grace first recorded the original in 2017, eventually issuing it as part of her 2020 solo EP Rumination Year. The group shared the song with the note: "changing neighborhoods as a byproduct of Capitalism is going to doom us all - tell your friends you love them."

The revamped song finds Grace on guitar, bass, and vocals, with Becca Dalley (Designosaur, Book Buddies) joining on vocals and Dylan Mombourquette (Alright Already) drumming. The track follows last fall's Transgender Dystopia Blues EP and the Enemy Us split issued last year with Toronto's Talk Show Host. Keep an eye on Cluttered later this week for news on their forthcoming single Two Tracks Before The Breakdown.

GAZM: "Unicorn Tattoo (Big Beach Mix)"

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Grimy Montreal hardcore favourites GAZM resurfaced a few weeks ago with the track "Unicorn Tattoo," the first new material from the group since their 2019 full-length Heavy Vibe Music. There's no word yet on the band's plans going forward, but this is the first we've heard from them on this side of the pandemic.

Tough Age: "Which Way Am I?"

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A third pre-release single from the upcoming Tough Age album is available now. You can preview the Vancouver band's fast-approaching Waiting Here LP with "Which Way Am I?" - a song sharing a title (and origin) with their last LP. Label Bobo Integral boats that the song "gleefully spreads confusion with the twisted world-building logic of Guided By Voices or The Fall." You can hear it at Bandcamp now.

Waiting Here lands June 16 through the Spanish power-pop label and the aforementioned We Are Time. This era of Tough Age finds guitarist/vocalist Jarrett Evan Samson again backed by the band's Toronto-era drummer Jesse Locke, with early Tough Age bassist Lauren Smith returning to the fold. Live the band's now a quartet, expanded to include Wade from Stress Eating and Corner Boys. The new album again pairs the group with Freelove Fenner's Peter Woodford at Montreal's Bottle Garden Studio, with Jay Arner mastering. A release show is planned for June 16 at Vancouver's Green Auto, with support from Be Afraid, TJ Felix & The ASAP Mob, and Sleuth.

Tough Age's final full-length in their four-album run for Mint Records arrived in 2020. They followed it with the Pizza Punks split 7", paired with Vancouver slackers Dumb.

The Dirty Nil: "Blowing Up Things in the Woods"

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Free Rein to Passions, the new album from Dundas power-trio The Dirty Nil, is out now, and the release day arrived alongside a video for the single "Blowing Up Things in the Woods." The clip, directed by Mitch Barnes, pairs the Nil with Hamiltonian A-lister B.A. Johnston for a demonstration on firework safety. On the piece, and the destruction documented within, frontman Luke Bentham jokes:

"We may still attempt to return that mannequin to Amazon... A good reminder of why we gave up on our pyro dreams for the comparably tame life of rock 'n' roll."

The 10-song LP is out now through Dine Alone Records. The Dirty Nil recorded with producer John Goodmanson at Jukasa Media, a rural studio in Ohsweken, Ontario, located within the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve. The record finds Bentham and drummer Kyle Fisher now joined by Captain Wildchild' Sam Tomlinson on bass.

If you missed Exclaim's recent in-depth feature on the group, it's well worth a read and breaks down their headspace coming into this stage of their career. Look for The Dirty Nil on the road in the US and western Canada next week, co-headlining with Daniel Romano's Outfit.

Fucked Up & The Halluci Nation: "Electroshock"

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Maximalist hardcore titans Fucked Up are on the road in Canada, co-headlining an outright spectacle of a tour with the celebrated electric pow wow duo The Halluci Nation. The pairing launched their shows with a collaborative single, pooling their many talents on a gleeful cover of the 1980 track "Electroshock" by the Mexican punk band Dangerous Rhythm.

In a statement, The Halluci Nation's Bear Witness commented:

"It took us pretty far out of our usual box... It's a really exciting thing for us to take on, not just because of the friendships involved, but because we're looking at the way we present music and the way that we tour and how all of these things are changing for everyone. We're doing that by getting together with a band that people wouldn't necessarily expect us to and are offering something that has more than just surface-level stuff going on."

The Here's the Unity Tour picks back up this week for its second leg through Ontario and Quebec.

Fucked Up issued the ten-track One Day in January through Merge, followed by the brass tacks Cops EP in April. The Halluci Nation, formerly known as A Tribe Called Red, last issued the One More Saturday Night album in 2021.

Suzi Moon & Billy Hopeless: Nothing Left To Lose

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I missed mentioning it earlier, but in case you've missed it be sure to check out the recent single pairing The Black Halos' Billy Hopeless and SoCal punk superstar Suzi Moon. The duo appear together on Nothing Left To Lose, a two-song 7" available through Yeah Right! Records. The set features the unmistakable Vancouver glam-punk veteran and the Civet member teaming up on "Love is a Stranger" and "Communicado." You can also check out a video for "Stranger," described by the pair as a "pirate ghost waltz," on YouTube.

In a press release, Moon revealed her Black Halos fandom that eventually led to the project:

"I've been a fan of Billy Hopeless / The Black Halos since I was sixteen. Working with him has been on my bucket list for a long, long time. We suffer the same kinda rock 'n' roll affliction that makes us different than other folks. There's a mutual respect between us that comes from being frontmen. I greatly admire his work...

Duets are such an interesting task. When it came to recording vocals for Billy's song 'Communicado,' I worked really hard to harmonize with him & give the song a bit of playfulness versus the somber tone of my track. It was a joy to sing on, and it gets stuck in my head all the time!"

The Black Halos issued their latest LP, How The Darkness Doubled, in the fall of 2022 through Stomp Records.

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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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