Monday, August 27, 2012

Secret Agent - s/t 7"

Returning with yet another Kevin Rips: stuff not found anywhere on the internet, stuff we gladly dig out of obscurity and rip for your knowledge and listening pleasure and to curb your hunger for it.

Secret Agent hailed from the same scene and era in Toronto that spawned the likes of labelmates Smallmouth and our major favourites Pecola. (In this case, I'm talking about Skull Geek records and the very early stuff on Teenage USA). Secret Agent weren't quite as Slint-y as Smallmouth, nor near as innovative as Pecola, instead running more in a vein of something more similar to Jawbreaker.

I've had this 7" tucked away for years. The thing about it is, I've kept pulling it out all this time. Just two great lost Canadian punk songs, plain and simple. Doesn't have to be a game-changer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Facel Vega - The Body

Usually when people compare a band to Rites of Spring, what they're generally referring to is the band's tendency for a more thoughtful approach to DC-styled hardcore: the introspection, the personal themes, the more pronounced melodies - but so often overlook the sheer dangerous and raw character that Rites had. Just watch a video of Guy running around the stage and falling ass-backwards on his head. Well, Wales' Facel Vega captures that more than any band I've heard in a long long while. I generally don't say so until the year's end, but this is the one record that has really floored me this year. (Yes, I know it's technically a 2011 release, but that doesn't change a thing). Champion this.

The Body is seriously jam-packed. Packed with jams. An embarrassment of highlights on this record: Stick the changes from "Gertrude" next to "End on End" any day, or the channeling of HR in said track, or the almost Big Country-like guitar line on "Copycat," the wide open catharsis in "Car Crash", the East Bay Ray surf on "The Body," the final bass charge in "Beyond Laws" - In a lot of ways, it's hard to really pin down what sets Facel Vega apart, and it's simply that there are no gross missteps. The vocals are on the verge of breaking at any moment, guitars cutting and soaring, bass with charging lines, drums at their most solid. They know how to ride that edge: barreling forward, but never frantically off the rails; smartly built, but raw enough that you know it's real. I don't wish to have you dismiss this as throwback with the Rites comparison, because I assure you, this is immediate. It's angry and cool and perfect.

Give this band your attention. They're one of the few newer bands who deserve it. 

I've got a few of these from our buds at Art for Blind in the ReWin distro at the moment (along with a bunch of other great stuff from them). So either grab one from me, or get a bunch of stuff from that great Irish label, Art for Blind.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Black Love - s/t tape

Whoa! I never post on here anymore. Apologies. Babies, bands, work, tours and everything else seems to get in the way. I'll try and keep up...or not....whichever.

I came across Black Love through a friend who was spending time in Montreal for a few months. I guess he caught Black Love opening for Calculator, Prawn and Veneers (hell of a line up) and figured it would be something I'd dig. He was right! I've been looking for something like this for a while. It's been so long since I've really sat down and dissected why I like a band, so bear with me. Black Love just gets me where I like it...hard hitting, fast, loud, maybe a bit snotty and of course, catchy as hell. I even love the wankey guitar solo, something I'm normally very much oppose. The vocals are gritty with just the right amount of melody thrown in at perfect times. Not sure if anyone remembers (or even heard) Black Print from Chicago, but Black Love is really carrying the torch those guys ran with.  (Black Black...someone start that band!)

I don't really know what else to say, this band plays a rad style of punk rock/post-hardcore and I'm really stoked to hear more from them. I sure hope we can get them out west soon!