There are very few instances where I’ve been blown away by a band live while having little-to-no expectation going into a gig. This story is about one of those memorable times. I’d known of Topanga and found their early releases catchy, and I also knew the band had recently changed their name to PUP – but that was about it. Immediately […]
The year: 2016. While many thousands are rewriting 20th century classics (blatantly or otherwise), some artists aspire to look forward. For an example of this underground breed of artist, we go deep into a home-recording studio in Fenwick, Ontario. Away from the bustling city and the ‘Music Man’ he grew tired of years ago, this location seems an unlikely place to find an artist ahead of, or at the very least, distinctly of his time. But the artist in question is Daniel Romano, and Daniel Romano has never been one to do what others feel he is supposed to, or be (either physically or artistically) where he should be.
We’ve all been to “the party”. A special occasion (or no occasion at all), with friends (or a bunch of strangers), mini ecosystems where anything and everything can happen. Any gathering where a gaggle of people Reach varying levels of intoxication has the potential for ugliness or beauty, but one universal truth about parties is that, even at their dullest, most boring moments, there’s always an interesting story unfolding. As Andy Shauf puts it, in “a city the size of a dinner plate,” over the course of one night, the whole spectrum of human emotion can occur; while many may gather in one little, drunken bubble, each person leaves with a totally different experience. Shauf’s new album, The Party, revolves around his keen observations and feelings. As he sits at the centre of the dinner plate, guests spin around him, feeling love, feeling lonely, dancing, being laughed at, dying and eventually go home.
I shouldn’t like Wild Rivers. For the most part, I do my best to avoid acoustic guitar-based earnestness in favour of freakier, noisier, louder, darker sounds sprinkled with self-hatred, regret and a bit of tongue-in-cheek. Wild Rivers self titled debut lacks just about all of those elements but, much to my surprise, I found a […]
Hardcore is a tricky sell, especially on record and to those who aren’t fully committed to the genre. The hardcore albums that were my staples in high school and throughout university have lost the time they used to take up in my headphones. There are several notable artists that are exceptions to this for me and […]
Peace Be Still could be one of the most underrated bands in the GTA. They’ve been a band for almost ten years, albeit with a rotating cast of drummers, are noted road dogs and have played countless shows in and around their hometown of Mississauga. Yet, they seem to remain a well-kept secret. With the […]
Aesthetic can cloud vision, “cool” can stifle creativity and every once and while it’s refreshing to find a band that can create music that is vital, interesting and beautifully original without the baggage of being hip. By that logic Toronto’s Bart is a revelation. Every part played by each instrument and every melody matched with a perfect cluster of harmonies is wholly intentional and with every listen the sum of this intent becomes all the more pleasing. It is also intentional that you won’t find any photos of the band staring longingly at the camera on the Internet or elsewhere. Bart is about the music, and we are better off for it.
For long time fans of The Dirty Nil, it’s hard to believe that Higher Power is their debut album. Luke Bentham, Kyle Fisher and Dave Nardi have played the long game perfectly. With every release over the past five years, their fan base has become more rabid and the momentum they have managed to wrangle has felt ready blow for sometime. The screaming feedback at the onset of “No Weaknesses”, the album’s lead off track, is like smoke from a volcano that is ready to burst, sending a warning to listeners: you’ve got no choice but to brace for incineration or run as fast as you can out of the way because at this point nothing can stop The Dirty Nil.
Being too ambitious with your sound can be dangerous for a post-punk band. Personal flare is essential but the groundwork laid by Joy Division, Sonic Youth and the like is particularly solid. Toronto’s Casper Skulls knows this well and they showcase that knowledge expertly. Just one listen to the King of Gold 7-inch will suck you […]
Being a musician in the modern era is hard. People want their music for free, records don’t sell and often musicians and bands rely almost entirely on profit from ticket sales and t-shirts to keep their stomachs and gas tanks full. That being said, people who have made the decision to play music for a […]