Friday, 26 February 2016
When we did this month's Unspooled podcast on Lab Coast, we edited out Gene Poole's twenty-minute intro on why they're one of his favourite local bands ever. We've had to lock him in the closet to get this post up without a similar incident, although as we listen to this tape again, we're realizing we're totally on his side.
With just two new tracks (and a pair of tracks from Edmonton's Diamond Mind), this tape is everything we love about this band: that low-fi pop sensibility, David Laing's half-mumbled but super-catchy melodies, and Chris Dadge's "I can play everything well enough" musicianship. We especially like how the two songs blend into the band's free-form improv.
Word on the street is that the band has a new full-length in the works that should be out in a few months. We're listening to these songs on repeat until then, and suggest you grab the tape from the Lab Coast bandcamp.
Thursday, 25 February 2016
Apparently we've been around so long that all of our favourites from when we were 20 years old are now being discovered by bands who are now in their 20's. And, thankfully, it's the good stuff. Milk Toast are mining that great, almost-forgotten, naive mid-90's indie pop that made labels like K Records and Creation so great. They're equal parts Heavenly, Pastels and Pooh Sticks. Okay, maybe mostly Heavenly. It's amazing to hear a band with those influences - it makes for some super-catchy, unassuming songs and a great time. The low-fi production on this tape is perfect - it's like we never left Britain's 90's indie scene. Wait, we were never there to start with...
We also like how this tape is on (mostly) hardcore/garage rock label Pee Blood Records, for an extra bit of incongruity. But don't let that deter you - grab it from the Milk Toast bandcamp.
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
We honestly forgot we'd ordered this tape just before Christmas, so when it arrived at the CCPS offices a few weeks ago, we were puzzled at first (before we remembered we'd ordered it), then excited (because we remembered we'd ordered it!), and then confused again (because we listened to the tape).
Bog Bodies sure haven't mellowed at all with this, their fourth tape (their THIRD to come out last year). But maybe our ears have caught up with them, because we're starting to hear the pop and melody in these guys' demented songs. Listening through this, we get how well constructed this is - and it makes our brains hurt. As crazy as this stuff is, it's not sloppy noise - there are SONGS under there (even it they do have bizarre titles).
The tape's sold out now, but you can download the digital file things at the Bog Bodies bandcamp.
Sunday, 21 February 2016
Thanks to Evangelos Lambrinoudis II (of techno/noise outfit Corinthian) for getting in touch with us and passing us copies of his first releases on his new tape label, Deep Sea Mining Syndicate, which is "focused on ambient, noise, drone, techno, electro acoustic and experimental music."
The tape we're holding in our hands right now (okay, between our knees, because we're actually typing right right now) is gorgeously designed and features compositions by Matt Harrison that completely fit the description above. Yep, it sure does. Actually, our intern says that this tape sounds like the label name - a bass drum thumps away like a mis-tuned sonar, while drones and groans fill the silence as the submarine crawls along the bottom of the sea. Or something.
Get the tape from the Deep Sea Mining Syndicate bandcamp.
Saturday, 20 February 2016
We're really not sure how this one slipped past us last year - maybe we were too busy listening to the
Our favourite local weirdo, Chad VanGaalen (actually, we have a couple of favourite local weirdos, he's just one of them), teamed up with Haligonian Seth Smith to make this experimental, free-flowing abstract audio landscape. It's the type of thing you'd expect as a soundtrack to one of those video games where you explore alien terrains (ed: we think they're called free roam video games, but we're not entirely sure).
Staying true to his style, VanGaalen produced a teaser video for the tape:
Get it from the Fundog bandcamp.
Friday, 19 February 2016
Not sure how we missed this one back when it came out, but it's in our collection now and, boy oh boy is it ever fun! In a kitschy-but-honest sort of way. This is (as you probably can guess from the title), a bunch of, uh, dad rock, covered by bands from the Bart Records roster. The bands show a lot of restraint and pay tribute rather than taking the piss - our favourite tracks on here are Slates' take on Dire Straits' "Walk of Life" and Stalwart Sons' new take on the Kiss anthem "God Gave Rock and Roll."
Apparently this was available by donation only - you can find out more over at the Bart site or the Weird Canada write-up.
Monday, 15 February 2016
Here's the last tape we got from Joshua Wood. We wish we had more of these - we fell down a rabbit hole of watching videos from the Live Wire, and seeing the remarkable effect that the grunge explosion had on hair metal. By the time 1992 rolled around, many of the bands playing that stage looked more like Soundgarden than Motley Crue - and Raw Trixx were no exception:
Sunday, 14 February 2016
Our metal tape weekend continues with another regular of the Live Wire, the tragically-named Xrated. We were kind of scared to put "xrated Calgary" into Google, but Google gave us only the choicest links to, uh, not as much porn as you'd think.
In fact, we found out that:
The year was 1991 the band XRATED out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada set a record by being the only all original band in Calgary to play the local club scene without being signed to a major record label. The band "Rainbow Warrior" would play cover songs and be the opening act. XRATED went on to record 12 songs but only released a indie 6 song limited edition EP. XRATED also played with acts Alias, Chrissy Steel, and Blue Oyster Cult. XRATED disbanded in late 1992. Chris Challice went on to play drums with Calgary's 'Raw Trixx", unfortunately timing is everything and "Hair Metal" was on it's way out to the Seattle music scene, Fast forward to 2011 and Chris Challice now plays drums with SONY recording artists KILLINGER.This was apparently the only video the band made:
Get it tonight!
Saturday, 13 February 2016
Whoa hey! We almost forgot at that we're supposed to be finding and digitizing old tapes here at the CCPS. Well, thanks to Joshua Wood, we can celebrate this longo weekendo fiesta in style. He's passed along a few tapes from the early 90's featuring some of the best metal bands to grace our city's bar stages.
We'll start with Sweet Lucy, featuring Gil Tougas on lead vocals and guitar - who's still playing with schtick-metal party boys Broken Toyz (we're too lazy to add the umlauts). We couldn't find too much about this band online - except for some videos, which actually tell pretty much the whole story:
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Hot off the press (hot out of the studio? hot off the mp3? not sure what the exact right thing to say here is...), here's this month's episode of Unspooled. We talked to Chris Dadge and David Laing from the tape-friendly Lab Coast about Pictures on the Wall and why making tapes still makes sense in the 2010s.