Thursday, 29 December 2016

We Knew - Not My Circus (2016)

We think this is the last tape we're posting this year. It's been a banner year for local tapes, and this one has become a favourite. We Knew play a taught, understated pop that is as dark as it is melodic. In other hands this might come out emo or hardcore, but this quartet have something special that pulls back from the brink to deliver something that's more like Galaxie 500. These are the perfect songs for a dark room and a a bottle full of regret.

You can get this tape via the We Knew bandcamp. More precisely, you SHOULD get this this tape.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Bog Bodies - Gnawed Hose (2016)

Every time Bog Bodies put out a new tape (which is ridiculously often - by our count they're averaging two per year), we shrug, sit down and strap in for what we expect will be a hell of a ride.

And, yup, this new tape is not much different than their previous releases - drum machines clatter along a frantic pace, guitars and bass pick out head-scratching tunes, and frontman Ivo Musa snarls incomprehensibly. You either get it or you don't. We're still pretending that we get it.

You can still get this tape from the Bog Bodies bandcamp, if you get it. Get it?

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Valiska - Healer (2016)

We're not sure what happened to the past few weeks/months, but we've suddenly found ourselves in the awkward position of having just a few days left on the calendar and a pile of tapes on the desk. So, let's get back to things, shall we?

Valiska's new tape sees Krzysztof Sujata further mining the excellent mix of ambient drones and more formal compositions. There's less (no?) piano on here, with synths dominating the palette along with layers of Sujata's own voice creating a tremendously warm and atmospheric soundscape.

Looks like the tape is sold out, but you can grab the download from the Valiska bandcamp.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Unspooled: Episode 11 - Citrus Park's "A Pretty View"

Whoops! Another month, another late post of this month's Unspooled podcast. If you missed the shorter version on Saved by the Bell last week, here's the full version. This time around. Stephen Bandola and Jeff Burns talk about their band Citrus Park, the three tapes they put our between 1989 and 1992, and their song "A Pretty View."

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Tinderbox - no, really, let go (1996)

We're veering off from our last post, at least in terms of musical styles. The smarty-pants folk-ish tunes of Tinderbox are a far way from Britpop, but this is the starting point for the work of Kris Demeanor, so, uh, take note, will you?

We posted the band's tape a few years ago, and a few songs from that outing are also on here. In fact, reading back to our post for that tape, we don't know that we have too much more to say about Tinderbox. Quirky storytelling, check. Manic guitar playing, check.

Download link, check.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Red Autumn Fall - Debutant (1996)

So, the weirdest thing has happened to Gene Poole over the past nearly ten years of running the CCPS: he now claims that he has come to like Red Autumn Fall. In fact, when we pulled out this CD, his eyes lit up and he said, "that one! That's their best It's super good!"

And we actually have to agree - this is an absolutely solid CD that really shows what Red Autumn Fall were about. Sure, Simeon's vocals are over-wrought, but that's what it was all about. "Josephite" and "The Revenge of the Blazer Boys" are near-perfect pop songs (so good, in fact, that the band re-recorded them for 1998's Departure CD). And the closing track, "Leopard Skin Seat Cover" takes us back to the Republik and the giddy heyday of Calgary's Brit pop scene. We really need to go to Ming for cocktail now...

Get the Debutant here.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Lotus Galaxy - Lotus Galaxy (1996)

We may as well carry on with posting a few CDs that meet our guideline of being more than 20 years old. Mostly because we have no old tapes to post right now. Hey, if you want to fix that and donate something, drop us a line, will you?

Anyways, this CD was hiding in our collection in its slimline case. Very sneaky. But we're glad we dug it out, it's a pretty great sample of how good Britpop got in our city. Buoyed by Sheila Mann's ethereal vocals, Lotus Galaxy redeemed a lot of the stuff out of that part of the scene. The track "Butterfly" still holds up. Although it does make us want to go grab a cocktail at Ming.

Get the Lotus here.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Various - 11 Objects Lost and Found (2001)

We received an email from a CCPS follower an embarrassingly long time ago, in which said reader asked if we wouldn't mind getting off our asses and finishing the work we starred in 2012 and post one of the remaining Catch and Release compilations. We said we would, and then didn't. Until now!

So here it is: 11 Objects Lost and Found. In the usual Catch and Release fashion, this is an excellently packaged compilation with a weird-ass mix of bands from Edmonton and Calgary. Kicking off with the excellent slanted pop of Shecky Forme (this is a band that has weathered the test of time exceptionally well), the CD veers off north for Edmonton's Parkade (not to be confused with The Parkades), Laura Palmer and a very early set of songs by Whitey Houston (that sound pretty much nothing like the band's other recordings thanks to the layering of a few samples/loops).

But the highlight for us here is the pair of songs by Rayovaq that close out the CD. We're pretty sure we've mentioned how much we loved this band and their scrappy, quiet-loud-quiet-loud guitar pop, the closest thing to Bettie Serveert our city ever saw.

Get Lost here.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Unspooled: Episode 10 - Bart Records

Well, we accidentally slept through yesterday, and missed posting this month's episode of Unspooled. We decided to take a slightly different approach this time around, and sat down with Kevin Stebner to talk about his work with the mighty cassette-only label Bart Records, as well as his many and varied musical projects.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Knots - Four Years In The Shade (2016)

Bart Records is on fire this year (metaphorically, that is), and this new Knots cassette is a great addition to the label's already impressive discography.

Where the first Knots tape from a few years ago was a sparse affair, this new release sees Neal Moignard leading a full band for a tape full of pop goodness. There's a great balance between Moignard's folk tendencies and power pop that works really well here, delivering songs like "Higher Ground" as hooky gems.

Get it from the Bart Records store or listen via the Knots bandcamp.