Tag: music review
From the pedal-jammed meditations of Jesse Locke:
Encased in a squeeze box of screen printed palms, Ocular Gymnastics’ debut transmission is as lavishly packaged as it is blissful. Pedal-jammed Casio meditations cast ripples across the mind-pond while the mountain of found-sound percussion clanks and rattles down the cortex. Only Moduli TV could provide suitable visual accompaniment for these C.H.U.D. ravers in a tropical time-warp à la Bamboo For Two.
From the throat hissing of Pam Haasen:
Convenience stores emit sounds so high pitched that adults can’t hear to ward off young people from loitering (what we used to call “hanging out”). Reverse this hypothesis and lo, a sound that shakes soil and loam to drag up undergrounders from the deep who can dance with their eyes closed. Metal gates creak open in Sodom to welcome those shunned from the sidewalks and we fall, tripping over cracks. This overtly rude foursome can’t help but glue together weirdos and fun-boys, calling the rest of us a bunch of Taquito-eating old folks. If you think you’ve got it on the wrong speed, it’s right.
Crabe have unleashed a totally blasted and inexplicable artifact from the Montreal underground. Forging undefined links between Archimedean power pop and wasted Ramones covers, their unreadably-titled CDR gives the briefest glimpse into basemental prog conjured by the dialectically adventurous. Quintessentially bizarre. We’re not even sure if this is grippable.
From the teenage emergencies of Aaron Levin:
Taking their blown-out, wasted pop moves to a new level of blasted riff denial, the darlings of Lethbridge unleash another hyperbolic garage-psych monster within the Canadian ether. Spaced Out soars with wings of farfisa and splattered psychedelics, channeling enough Fred Cole and Ariel Pink to catalyze the ridiculous catch laying in concentrate within their reverberated debut. Finally, an album with enough pop-raunch to satisfy the rolling, sexual hills surrounding southern Alberta’s bleakest plateau. Grip++.
- Various Artists
- Khyber Compilation II
- (Self Released)
- Halifax, NS
From the monomythic archways of Alison Lang:
Halifax’s most endearing/enduring art space, the Khyber, has once again been feted with a compilation of tape tunes from local artists and musicians, most of whom have played/jammed/come of age under the archways, the ballroom, the turret. As with last year’s comp, this is a love letter to something fragile and beautiful and important – moreover, it’s massive (27 songs!), thoughtfully curated and brilliant. There are so many meaty, gorgeous gems here – Monomyth‘s “Anytime” is soaring sweetgaze, while scene vets Scribbler reach achingly fuzzed-out heights with “No Curtains.” The winsome youngsters of ISBN donate a slice of grainy, brainy twang-pop and there are similarly tasty outings from the now-defunct Long Long Long and its ashes, Each Other, risen in Montreal to smile and destroy. There’s a ripper Dog Day track too, and a song from local supergroup Green and Darnelle that nods at the city’s 90′s ghosts and then gnashes them to shreds. Look, I could go on for fucking pages about this tape, I really could, but in the end, I’ll leave with some words from a particular standout, the haunting lament “Wind Came Through” by Former Roommates (who, I think, actually are former roommates): The Khyber needs your love, always, and these songs do too. Listen and linger: this is a sound of a scene piled with riches.
- (Psycho Records)
- Toronto, ON
- Originally Released: 1979
From the hidden melodies of Brandon Hocura:
Loneliness, despite its title, is an album with a warm heart of wires and at its core is the long-term musical friendship between Don Stagg and Eric Simpson. The duo formely recorded epic home-baked prog under the name VIIth Temple, releasing one hideously rare burnt-orange LP release soaked in gentle Moog, Mellotron and Giant. On Loneliness the pair traded in their plumes, velvet and epic jam band for thin ties and a cheap drum-machine. The LP still carries a whiff of patchouli, but the sound stings of solder and electricity, and inhabits a nascent zone somewhere between krautrock and new-wave. The vocals are all clustered on the a-side, starting with an ode to the inefficiency of the T.T.C. (some things never change!). The dystopian sci-fi themes are par for the League, a highlight is love ballad “Anna King” that sounds like it could be an outtake from Trans. The instrumentals on the b-side feel decidedly more Teutonic, and have a certain CBC charm that sounds like JP Decerf recording for Parry Music. The side even opens with a slinky stoned Pink Panther. About the loneliest thing about this album is the incredible cover photo. Don Stagg told me that he climbed up on a rooftop in St. James Town to take a photo for the sleeve when he came across a young man doing crack. The man was surprisingly obliging and Don snapped this evocative photo as night fell over the cold city. Take hold of this preserved slice of Ontario sprawl if ever you get the chance, it’ll probably surprise you to know how little has changed in all these years.
Moments pass; Each Other persists. The Nova Scotian wunderkinds have traversed twisted trails to arrive at these amber-encased oscillations, cramming a Rundgren-esque treasure trove of hooks into two new insta-classics. Paradigmatic pop moves that transcend an already-flawless discography.
- Hey Mother Death
- Hey Mother Death EP
- (Self Released)
- Halifax, NS
From the gripsberg of Jesse Locke:
Down at the candlelit cabaret, Hey Mother Death are swaying onstage in spontaneous reverie. On their lavishly packaged debut cassette, this Granelli schooled duo hovers through an unclassifiable sound-cloud of spoken word, sleaze-guitar and haunted Hohner spectres. The aura of Isabella looms large. 50 copies. G.R.I.P.
From the destroyed nation of Jesse Locke:
Canada’s elder statesmen of ear-tickling anti-traditionalism have been a national treasure for nigh on five decades. Deriving their name and modus operandi from the found object street orchestras of New Orleans, the NSB has been tirelessly jamming (almost) every Monday since the late 1960s on a motley selection of modified noise makers. Nothing Is Forever proves definitely that they’ve dipped into the fountain of youth, as this four-song slab from Wintage finds the band sounding as mirthful as ever. The immortal foghorn of Bill Exley booms down from the pulpit, once again setting the stage for Art Pratten’s free-squealing “Pratt-A-Various” and the Sharrockified moves of guitarist Murray Favro. John Clement slides in on his fretless, three-string bass passed down by the late, great Hugh McIntyre, while John Boyle tosses in a kitchen drawer of percussion and well-timed cymbal splashes. Longtime adoptee Aya Onishi gets her time to shine on the instrumental title track, letting loose with a deluge of extraterrestrial squiggles on oversized kazoo. In the end, Exley sums it all up with a plainspoken credo: “Music is hard work. You must practice day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.”
- Bag of Waters
- (Self Released)
- Montreal, QC
From the howling lungs of Aaron Levin:
With insatiable pop addiction, Expwy forge wondrous anomalies between classic riffery and a future primitive brimming with mutant fuzz and choralic melancholy. Bag of Waters enslaves with every sonic ritual, finding wikked balance between jangled nuance and blasted harmonies; without warning, it’ll radiate cultic catchiness to every stalwart remover within the spectral radius of your dual blaster. Its ambitious existence remains a beacon to the brilliant creative energies exploding within our tundradic paradise. Totally and unabashedly awesome.