Thursday, April 29, 2010

Planes Mistaken For Stars - Fuck With Fire

So a few weeks ago I found a box in my basement full of CD's. On top of the box was some seriously embarrassing and heinous stuff that I won't even bother mentioning...all I will say is ska...yup...ska. And not the legit stuff, but awful 3rd wave pop punk bullshit ska. Ugh. Anyways, as I dug deeper into that box, I started finding some real gems from my teenage years. I already posted The End a week ago, but I thought I'd hit on another record I found, Planes Mistaken For Stars' Fuck With Fire.

I find that bands I had to really seek out and discover for myself are a held a little closer to my heart. Planes Mistaken For Stars was a band that I had always heard people talk about at shows, but they were a huge mystery to me. If they even had a website, it was incredibly vague and only cloaked the band in further shadow. The funny thing about them is they were kind of a big deal, signed to one of the bigger punk labels out there, No Idea. Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough, who knows....but when I saw Fuck With Fire sitting on the shelf in the Millwoods HMV my heart skipped a beat. "How do they know about this?" I thought looking around for some resemblance of a punk kid working behind the counter. It's all so ridiculous now knowing how music stores work, but to my 17 year old self, it was like finding a fucking pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I hadn't even heard the band yet but I bought it without even thinking. (God I miss expendable income!)

Most of you have either heard this record or have stopped reading by now. All I have to say was the record lived up to all my self hype. It was dark, gritty and raw. Hidden under all the grit was this incredible sense of melody and atmosphere. I don't want to ruin it if you haven't heard it, so I'll stop blathering on. If you have heard it, you probably know what I'm talking about.

Enoch Ardon - S/T 12"

Serious writers block! I've been trying to write this entry for a week. So rejoice! You get no essay from me today. Anyways, Enoch Ardon is a rad band from Spain playing mid 90's screamo/hardcore. They actually sound a lot like Orchid....sort of an updated Orchid for 2010. The band is named after a Reversal of Man song, so that influence shows through a bit as well. Definitely worth checking out...also, the album artwork rules.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

York Redoubt - S/T 12"

True story: I get an email from my friend Joey in Saskatoon that says something to the effect of "Dude! The best band just played here. You'd love them. They're playing Calgary in a few days!" which happened to be Sled Island that year. So when York Redoubt are scheduled to play, Liars are droning on the mainstage. I tried to convince everyone I knew to forget that and come see these kids. Well, I only managed to convince 2 pals (who I know are totally legit) despite my track record for doing the same the year previous and having everyone regret it (Enablers anyone??) - We get to the show and no one other than the bands playing are there, while the kids in York Redoubt pretending they are of age so they can be there and drink beers. York Redoubt set up and play the most incredible set of the entire festival and we absolutely flip out. After, we gather around them like little fanboys.

York Redoubt hail from Halifax and they sound like they were weaned on the best of that city's music from that last few decades: early Sloan and all manner of Pop Explosion , but it's also pretty obvious that they've all been to about a hundred North of America shows. The guitar playing is disjointed and noisy, but the melodies (and the vocals!) are heavenly. I guess it just gos to show that if you immerse the youth around the best things, they'll respond in kind and release one of the best things recorded in 2009.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The One Up Downstairs

I've been on a massive post rock kick lately. The One Up Downstairs is my favorite Kinsella band (omg, did he just say that?!?!) and needs little introduction. Whenever I go through these post rock phases, this EP gets some pretty heavy rotation and now is no exception!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Republic of Freedom Fighters - 12"

How have I never heard of this band until today!?! One listen through and I can already tell it's going to get a ton of plays! Great mid 90's screamo from Victoria, BC. It actually reminds me a lot of Shotmaker in terms of melody and structure, however, where Shotmaker seemed to favor bass heavy songs, Republic of Freedom Fighters is definitely more focused on guitars and feels a bit more frantic. The vocals are fantastic...just the right amount of screaming balanced out by the somewhat whiney shouts. I don't even know what else to say about this. It's a fantastic piece of Canadian emo history, and another example of how amazing this crazy country of ours is for music.

Seriously, go download this RIGHT NOW. It's so so so good. For fans of Navio Forge, Shotmaker, Funeral Diner, Etc.
PS. Sorry about the pic, it's the best I could find

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I have been away for a long time, but I'm back and I'll do my best to be more consistent.

In the nature of coming back after such a long absence, I figure I should post something I should have put up a long time ago.

Creeper is a band from Toronto playing awesomely hard hitting hardcore/d-beat. I had the pleasure of playing a few shows with them last fall, and I'm looking forward to getting to play a few more this summer.
Please, enjoy.

Chinese Dama - 7"

Chinese Dama is a really rad emo/skram band from Italy. The Italians have this style of punk on lock, with bands like La Quiete and Raein really leading the pack. Chinese Dama sounds like these bands, but one thing that stands out a lot on this 7" is the bass. It's pretty heavy and loose sounding. It definitely gives the record a lot of texture. The vocals are really frantic. If this music has taught me anything about Italian culture, everyone there is super intense and yells a lot! I know that's not true, but how I wish it was.

I wish I knew more about this band. There is very little info on their myspace and the record label that released this 7", Dance Tonight seems to be sold out of everything! It's a shame, because that silk screened cover looks so pretty. Death Playing Chinese Checkers! Awesome. Anyways, download this if you're into bands like Raein, Heads and Heads or Daitro.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rain - La Vache Qui Rit

When someone recommends you a band by saying "Dude, this band sounds like Dag Nasty colliding full speed with Rites of Spring" you know you're in for a treat. I only became aware of Rain this weekend, but since getting the 6 song EP, I've been listening to it non stop. Great Revolution Summer style punk rock with a bit more of a pop reality I think it sounds more like One Last Wish than Rites of Spring. Regardless it's fantastic.

The record was produced by Ian Mackaye and released on Guy Piccioto's record label, Peterbilt Records so it definitely fits well with the rest of the stuff coming out at that time. You need to check this out if you like the DC/Dischord sound or late 80's emo.
(PS. Thanks to Rodney for the tip!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The End - Transfer Trachea Reverberations...

There isn't a lot of music that legitimately terrifies me anymore, so when I found the first the End record in a box in my basement the other day I figured I'd toss it in to see if it still held up after all these years. I borrowed Transfer Trachea(...) from a friend in High School and made the mistake of listening to it one night when the house was empty and especially dark. It was the most tense and terrifying 22 minutes of my teenage years up until that point. Somehow this bunch of weirdo hardcore kids from Ontario had wrangled a complete nightmare and captured it on tape (Digital...whatever...I dunno).

This record is so off the wall. Spazzy and heavy as hell with these strange moments that, had they not been so dissonant and weird, lull you into a false sense of calmness only to be destroyed again by absurdly aggressive blast beats and screams. The singer in this band is for lack of a better word, fucked. His scream is so intense and punishing. It's the type of scream that can't be taught or faked and you know the guy has probably coughed up more than his fair share of blood. He eventually quit the band and went on to form Mare, but I was lucky enough to see the End before that. If he was terrifying on record, it was magnified 100 times live, careening around the stage assaulting his band mates and the audience. At one point he grabbed a friend of mine, flipped his long black hair over his head and screamed right in his face. Later I asked my friend about this, and he told me that the singer had rolled one eye back into his head, followed by the other. Seriously....a fucking nightmare!

Anyways, check this album out. It's definitely not what I usually post, but I think it's strange enough to capture my attention despite not really loving metal that much.

P.S. It still scares me as much as it did when I was 16.

Kevin Rips: Tiny Hawks - People With Out End

"myths are made of elm street houses with the shoes hanging from wires outdoors"

Two-pieces are a dime a dozen. Two-pieces that don't sound like every other two-pieces, or a two-piece at all... that's a little harder to come by. Most two pieces often deliver really standard blues-rock riffs that really would benefit from low-end counter-point and somehow never bothered to even fill it out. Snooooozers. Or - they are so busy that you end up getting dropped off in noodle city with out a ride home leaving you with a strange sense of violation. Somehow Tiny Hawks don't do either. Instead they do something so rich and compelling and listenable, you've just gotta keep coming back to the well, try to quench that unassailable thirst.

Tiny Hawks hailed from Providence and did two records. Their first record is pretty decent, but their second "People Without End" is about as perfect as an album like this can get. It both rocks and rolls. It's incredibly intricate and mathy, but not alienating. It's got angry, gruff shouts but the songs never stray from major keys and remains really listenable, even for the uninitiated in the world of post-hardcore. It's like if a thrash band played emo. In fact, I wouldn't doubt that's exactly what it is. It's just the way this record sounds... Exuberant is the only word that really describes it. I know I've put "Tornado Children" on so many mixtapes, but really it could have been almost any jam from this record.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The obligatory "We're not Dead"post

Yeah...we're not dead. Just haven't had much time lately. We'll get this back up and running on a much more consistent basis in the near future! Sorry!