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.

Friday 4 October 2019

Selci - Effervescence (2019)

Whoops, here's a bit of a left turn for us. Effervescence marks the debut full-length for mononymous electrochanteuse Selci. When we first saw her, we compared her to Kate Bush or Bjork, but then we realized that we're old and our touchpoints are horribly outdated. Elements of ambient electronica and R&B are splashed across this tape, along with a heaping of dramatic tension.

Curiously, Selci's bandcamp only has the vinyl issue of this. But we have it on tape, so you must be able to get a copy somehow...

Thursday 3 October 2019

Pill Crusher/Geoff - SPL/TS (2019)

Ah, our old nemesis, the split cassette. How do we meaningfully talk about this, especially when the bands on each side are kinda different but also really good?

Screw it, we're going with Geoff's side first. Geoff is propelled largely by the amazingly loud guitar of former Placebo/Breathe Knives noisemonger Kieran McAuley. This is excellent, heavy stuff, with the lead track, "My Heart Blisters When You Are Near" setting the bar pretty high for the rest of the tape.

Good thing it's Pill Crusher they're paired with - we've already declared our like for this band and their 90s revival sounds (is that a thing now?). This trio have been honing their craft since their first tape, and their Dinosaur Jr-esque sludge pop is a fitting contrast to Geoff's side of the tape.

We really like how the bands each cover a Hüsker Dü song at the end of their side of the tape to help tie things together; we like even better that they're Grant Hart-penned selections.

Looks like you can grab the download from either the Geoff or Pill Crusher bandcamp, depending on your mood.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

No Brainer - No Brainer (2019)

Sometimes you need straight-up, no frills punk. Stuff like Knucklehead, the Motherfuckers, or, well, pick another Calgary band in that vein. We're too lazy to dig a third name out. No Brainer delivers nice tight blasts in that fine tradition - which isn't surprising since they boast members of PMMA, Paradise, The Special Edisons, and X-Ray Cat. At least two of those bands, PMMA and Paradise, have been past and/or current faves of ours, so suffice to say we quite enjoy this band as well.

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Lucid 44 - Sunday at Rosie's (2019)

Of all the important things that Kevin Stebner and his Bart Records do, one of the things we most appreciate it their issuance of new Lucid 44 recordings. Mark Overland is quite possibly one of the most overlooked and underappreciated. We always default to the tag "sad bastard folk" when describing this band, but some of these songs really haul - "Love Octagon" is full of boogie in a, well, sad bastard sort of way. Good thing there are tracks like the quiet "Sleep (26)" to temper things.

Looks like there's an excellent CJSW session from a year ago on the youtube, featuring a bit of older stuff as well as this tapes "Midnight Move":

At the time of writing, this wasn't up on the Lucid 44 bandcamp (maybe because the official release is a few days away?) - but you can do what we did, and grab a copy at your local record store.