Sunday, February 27, 2011

Segwei - Dancin' on the Verge of Twilight

~AB: In my infinite stumble through life I accidentally put this as my post when in reality it's a KS joint. Apologies to him. Also, we'll no longer be listing KS's post as 'Kevin Rips'. That was always a special guest post type thing, and since Kev is a full on poster now, it seemed redundant. Thanks.

"Yet motion hinders devotion"

I have just been given word that Segwei are hard at work on their first LP as we speak, so I figured this would be the perfect time to up their first EP

I had the distinct pleasure of catching Segwei play in Tokyo - and truth be told, being able to catch Segwei was a large part in determining the scheduling of my trip. I managed to find the venue they were playing at thanks to googletranslate, but arrived early. I sat on a curb and waited, when after a while one guy came up and as he passed, noticed the Rites of Spring shirt I was wearing. "I like your shirt," he said to me in English. "Who you here to see?" I told him I came to see Segwei, and with marked excitement he exclaimed, "Segwei my band!" And thus, friendship was born!

Segwei are highly influenced by Revolution Summer-era Dischord (and I know for a FACT that the guitarist has Dag Nasty records in his collection!) and are pretty much the modern Japanese equivalent to Rites of Spring. Lyrically, Yookie's vocals are incredibly evocative and poetic, and considering English is not his first language, it's really incredible that his wordplay and use of English is more inventive than the large majority of vocalists that grew up with English tongues. The show was incredible, just super passionate and exuberant. It was a wonder to see.

I can't really describe how this band makes me feel. All I can say is Segwei are one of my favourite bands, and I feel blessed to share them with you.

"But I feel so alive"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Desk Ark - Loose Lips Sink Ships

This is a post that maybe doesn't fit into the general theme of this blog, but after hearing a few friends say they had never heard Des Ark, I figured it was worth posting. I'm not even sure how to describe their sound. The instruments are played hard, loud and fast and show that members of Des Ark probably grew up on a healthy diet of punk rock, but there is a twangy/bluesy side that shows through under all the noise. Some of the slower songs almost remind me of Pygmy Lush (who Des Ark recently toured with). The vocals are probably the most distinct element of this record though. Vocalist (and for a long time, principle member of the band) Aimee Argotte has a disarmingly sweet and beautiful voice with a hint of a southern drawl, but she's not afraid to scream, wail and howl her dark and sometimes overtly sexual lyrics. Not many vocalists can cover the range of emotions that she does in one song, let alone a whole record.

This may be a bit of a slow burner for folks but I really urge you to give it a hard listen. With it's heavy blues influences on many of the songs I was definitely taken back a bit upon first listen, especially having heard the bands later stuff, which takes on a bit more of a folk vibe, but I've grown to love this record quite a bit. Check it out!

Black Magic Pyramid - Metronome

Black Magic Pyramid really shouldn't be new to anyone, but just in case you haven't heard one of the best bands to come out of the prairies in a long time, here's your chance. To be honest, I've been trying to write about this record for about a month now, and I keep coming up short. I just find it hard to explain this band and my love for them...and that's a good thing. Black Magic Pyramid plays fast, heavy and loud, but to label them as an emo or hardcore band really discounts the complexity of their music. While most of the songs barely break the 2 minute mark, there is a lot going on in those 120 seconds of punishment. Black Metal-esque vocals, drumming that borders on animalistic, and strange moments of poppy know-how that make these songs stick in your head for days.

I truly miss this band and their insane live show. However, like most great punk rock bands their time on this planet was short and they ceased to be last summer. The last show at Sled Island in Calgary was a spectacle to behold and I'm really grateful to have witnessed it. However, in death comes life and I'm happy to report that they've gone onto form some great new bands. (See: Auld Beak, Night Danger, Pimp Wing)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kevin Rips: A History Of - Victory Atlas EP

We had a request for A History of - and even though it's been months and months since then, rest assured we do not forget.

I was listening to A History Of's newest LP Action in the North Atlantic - which you'ns should grab from the great Halifax label NOYES while it's still in print (and while you're at it, order most everything else from them!) - but digressions aside, I was listening to their new record and have been getting into it more and more. I first witnessed A History Of during the filming of the 6015 Willow St. DVD about 5 or so years ago, a teaser from which you can cop here. At the time I couldn't get past the all too apparent North of America aping going with A History of. Since their drummer, Lance Purcell, used to also drum in The Plan, and there's that connection there, I guess I should have been more forgiving. After all, if you're going to rip off a band, it may as well be Norts, aka the best band ever. I mean - yeah, they want to sound like Norts - what's my problem?

Maybe what I remembered was the silly nonsense lyrics in Low Level. But who cares, the opening Recruits & Defectors is a rager that stands with the best of them. Obviously the drumming is really solid (especially in The Truth About Youth), and there's quite a few interesting guitar lines to be found. Post-hardcore highly informed by Halifax pop-explosion-era indie rock. A History of are still active, and I'm thankful that someone is still jamming this style, and doing it so well.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

End of a Year Self Defense Family - Caroline Corrigan Alternate Versions

This is becoming sort of a theme for me, but again, I apologize for the lack of posts. Life has been busy, busy, busy, but really fulfilling and awesome. Really though, you folks don't care about this onto the tunes.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I really (really!) like End of a Year. They're an incredibly polarizing band, but something about them just clicks for me. You Are Beneath Me was probably my favorite album released last year, and Jeni Leigh continues to be my most played song. So I was really excited to hear that there was alternate versions of a few songs on the bands blog, even more interesting was the idea that Caroline Corrigan, an artist from Albany, was doing vocals. I'll admit it, upon first listen I was not hooked...but much like my first time hearing End of a Year, the tracks grew on me. Musically, the tracks are identical, but with the change in vocal style, the songs take on a totally different life with the smoother hooks. Definitely a much different delivery than what fans of the band will be used to, but still really awesome.

You have to respect a band for trying new things and playing with the idea of what is expected of them. Read their post on these tracks, it's really interesting, and full of the blunt honesty they've become known for. (See also: Fucking hilarious)