Saturday, 28 December 2019

Bitter Fictions - Walker (2019)

After those two nice bits of Huevos content, here's a guitar hero of a completely different bent, the sonic wizardry of Devin Friesen and his Bitter Fictions. What can we say about Walker that we haven't said about Bitter Fictions before? Oh, there's some nice, delicate piano on "Forget It" (alongside the usual guitar noise/drone/syrup), which makes us think that Friesen's time in Montreal has served him well.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Huevos Rancheros - John Peel Session (1995)

Well, we can't just leave you with one Huevos Rancheros-related gift this Christmas, can we? This one we CAN put a date on: in the spring of 1995, looks like our favourite trio hopped across the pond and recorded a session at BBC's Maida Vale Studios for the legendary John Peel.

While we don't get any ridiculous between-song banter with this set, we DO get a solid recording of six favourites, including their versions of the classics "Telstar" and "Rumble." While yesterday's CBC session reminded us of how much fun Huevos were, this set reminds us of how good AMAZING they were.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Huevos Rancheros - CBC Sessions

As an extra special (and early!) Christmas gift, we have this little gem that's been kicking around our offices for a few years: a set that local heroes Huevos Rancheros recorded for the CBC at some point (maybe around 1995? we this this might have been a RadioSonic session but have zero evidence to back that claim up).

The best part of this session isn't the amazing guitar/bass/drums work - it's the ridiculous between song banter. AND a rare (mostly) a capella track. Don't believe us? We wouldn't lie to you! This session reminds us how much fun Huevos were, and how much we miss them.

Happy holidays!

Monday, 23 December 2019

Sunglaciers - Foreign Bodies (2019)

We're not sure how/why this has happened, but suddenly we're in the position of posting THREE tapes by a band in one year, and for once it's not a Craig Storm-related band. We had bought Sunglaciers' excellent new LP earlier this year, but they've just put it out on tape as well, and we're suckers for well-packaged things like this (silver metallic cassette! acetate insert for the j-card art!). Plus, as we may have mentioned, this album is quite excellent (don't believe us? CJSW has this pegged at #4 on their Best of 2019 list).

Each release from Sunglaciers sees them getting sharper and tighter, and this tape - the first with Helen Young on synth - is, uh, sharper and tighter still. This inhabits a happy space that's somewhere between power pop and shoegaze - "For What" is our pick for one of the best Calgary tracks of the year. But here's another sample from the album, opener "Through the Screen":

As of right now, only the LP or download are available from the Sunglaciers bandcamp; keep your eyes in your local record shops for the fancy cassette.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Rotten Crutch - Intrusive Behaviour (2019)

Sometimes you're at the Palomino, and someone (in this case, Dan Northfield) makes the universal symbol that they're about to throw something your way (which is always appreciated, speaking as people who have been clocked on the head by an unannounced "gift" one or two times in our lives), and suddenly you have a tape in your hands, and you have no idea what the tape is because you don't recognize the band, and you shrug and say, "okay, thanks Dan?"

Having listened to this tape, we can report that Rotten Crutch play a throaty, thrashy sort of punk that we imagine would fit in well at, say Vern's. They uphold the long-standing Calgary tradition of making sure there's a healthy dose of metal in their punk.

And you can get it from their bandcamp.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Slut Prophet - Pity Party (2019)

We've been big fans of Audrey Nicsik and her ever-evolving Slut Prophet since we first saw them a few years ago. They've taken their time putting out their first tape, and it's a real treat. The opening track, "I've Been Waiting For This Moment" is amazing, and not just because it means we'll never be able to go to the dentist again without at least a little bit of discomfort. And as much as it's Slut Prophet's shorter bursts of angular, quirky punk that drew us is, it's the epic, 9-plus minute closing track, "Cyclops," that smashes us over the head and makes us true believers. Smart lyrics combined with quirky, well-executed arrangements - this is super good stuff.

Get if from the Slut Prophet bandcamp.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Purlicue - Dip N Dot (2019)

We're doing a bit of year-end cleaning here at the CCPS, and realized that we've been sitting on a few things... one of which is this posthumous (maybe?) tape from Purlicue. This tape seems a bit more serious than their first outing - but no less, uh, good. Probably what we like is that they keep these songs short and sweet - or bittersweet, like the excellent "Tangerine."

You can get this via the Purlicue bandcamp - or, as we've just discovered, via

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Power & Light - Chastity Is Rebellion (2016)

As you've probably figured out by now, we don't always get tapes in the most timely manner. So here's one from a few years ago, by former Lunatique member Liam Zanin. Power & Light fuses industrial and experimental electronic musics in a manner similar to Edmonton's Rhythm of Cruelty.

Get it from the Pseudo Laboratories bandcamp.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Neutral States/Salt Horse - The Kitchen is Where the Knives Are/Sick Transit (2019)

Note: the following post has been edited to meet the CCPS's Ethical Standards of Practice Policy (CCPS-AP-047b)

It's been a while since we heard from Lee Shedden and his Neutral States, so it's great to see them giving a posthumous physical release to their final recording - even if it is one of those dreaded split tapes. Their side of this tape captures the band in its final form - an excellent mix of folks from 90's-era Calgary bands, claiming members from Placebo, Massive Ferguson, and Hot Little Rocket (along with Fire Engine Red, 'natch). The songs are - in true Shedden form - well-written, catchy, and, shall we say, eclectic in style.

We understand Salt Horse is Shedden's new venture, with all of the Neutral States in tow except for Andrew Wedderburn (who damn well better be working on getting novel number two published - we're longing for a follow-up to the Milk Chicken Bomb). Replacing Wedderburn is {REDACTED} who {REDACTED} and {REDACTED}. Salt Horse is {REDACTED} and ultimately {REDACTED}. {REDACTED}.

Get it from the the Neutral States bandcamp or {REDACTED}.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Stripmall - Surrounding Area (2019)

We were really sad a year ago (more?) when one of our favourite bands, We Knew, called it quits. So to hear that frontperson Geneva Haley had a new band was welcome news - and finding out her bandmates included members of Hag Face, the Shematomas (who are reforming for Femme Wave this year!), and  Ultragash made this something we knew we couldn't miss.

We're not sure where to start describing Stripmall, they're unlike anything else in the city right now. Maybe the closest thing local we can come up with is the very-overlooked Doris Day Film Festival. Or maybe No Limbo Lasso? But those bands go way back - someone described Stripmall as "very 1980's Los Angeles," something along the lines of X. Primal drumming, deft bass lines, angular guitars, and Haley's purr-to-howl vocals carry songs that seem to change direction mid-path, or careen to a halt just as you're getting settled. Scrappy punk blends with country and then turns to post-punk. It's wholly unique and remarkably good.

Get it from the Stripmall bandcamp.