Tuesday 31 May 2022

Crystal Mess - Crystal Mess (2022)

Here's another tape courtesy of Wasted Wax. This brings together two older sets of recordings from local thrash metal outfit Crystal Mess - a 2014 studio set recorded with Casey Lewis and a few tracks from a 2013 live show at the Palomino. We're not sure of Crystal Mess' current situation - they were active pre-pandemic... but that was a long time ago. At least we can enjoy some video of them at the immortal Vern's:

Digital downloads are on the Crystal Mess bandcamp, but you'll probably want to order the tape from Wasted Wax.

Monday 30 May 2022

Brain Bent - Obligatory Icebreaker (2020)

Brain Bent play a hyperactive garage-y punk rock that reminds us of a lot of Man Or Astro-man? side project Servotron. And their matching outfits remind us of Devo. So they've already got a lot going for them. This tape is a physical release of the bandcamp recordings they released about two years ago - just ahead of the pandemic. D'oh! There is a sassiness and contempt for normalcy that we really like about these tunes - and they're pretty fun live.

You can grab a copy of the tape from their merch table - or grab the download on the Brain Bent bandcamp.

Sunday 29 May 2022

Forbidden Dimension - Somebody Down There Like Me (1995/2022), Window's Walk (1997/2022)

Well, the good folks over at Wasted Wax are bleeding us dry with their ongoing series of Forbidden Dimension reissues. Following up on their reissues of Shivs & Shrouds/Our Martian Heritage and Sin Gallery are these two tapes (with accompanying vinyl versions), the band's second and third Cargo Records releases. With new and improved artwork! Casey Lewis has done a loving job of remastering these - which maybe doesn't come across as super impressive on tape, but the vinyl pressing of Widow's Walk (Somebody is still to come) sounds suitably monstrous.

It's great to have these in our hands - even if they are wreaking havoc on our pocketbooks and tape storage space. You can visit the good folks over at Wasted Wax Records to get your copy.

Sunday 15 May 2022

Penn Poutanen and Lorrie Matheson - Rebels United (2008)

So if we thought yesterday's Lorrie Matheson 7" was niche, this one is totally weird, seeing the songwriter teaming up with the elementary school-aged son of Saved By Vinyl empresario Dawn Loucks for four short, kind of random songs. Matheson supplies short, catchy tunes and Poutanen supplies stream-of-consciousness lyrics that befit his young age. If you're thinking that sounds like a strange mix it is - but it's fun, and "Sometimes You Have To Be Alone" is in fact quite good and makes this single worth checking out.

Saturday 14 May 2022

Lorrie Matheson & the Brass Tacks/The Maykings - Tolerance. A Tribute to Grant Hart. (2005)

This single is an excellent idea, though maybe a niche one. Get two bands, one from Edmonton and the other from Calgary, to each record a Grant Hart track. The Maykings' take on "Keep Hanging On" is pretty decent, rootsy take that's far less frantic than the original version on Flip Your Wig. But it's Lorrie Matheson's that keeps us coming back - largely for Brooker Buckingham's excellent guitar work on the last half of the track.

Get it here.

Friday 13 May 2022

Azeda Booth - Pink and Lime (2008)

While many great musicians passed through the mighty Azeda Booth (including Women's sadly departed Chris Reimer), this 2008 single-sided single is - we think, based on its bandcamp listing - the work of core members Morgan Greenwood and Jordon Hossack. Azeda Booth were an amazing, singular band - their experimental sound blended organic and electronic elements in a way that few other locals could match. This track highlights that sound and their skill with its delicate, almost fragmented song structure.

Azeda Booth have their work up on bandcamp for streaming/downloading, including this single.

Thursday 12 May 2022

¡Olé! - ...lost it all on Slepnir in the third (2008)

Alright, let's get loud for a bit. These four doomy and sludgy tracks from ¡Olé! are pretty great - and considering the band's membership, we shouldn't be surprised. With Placebo guitarist Kieran McAuley bringing the riffs and future Mares of Thrace frontperson Thérèse Lanz adding the growling, guttural vocals, this sits in a comfortable place somewhere between metal and hardcore. Oh, and we shouldn't neglect to mention the contributions of drummer turned experimental vocalist Mark Fleischhaker and punk rock bingo host Beau Barker. 

You can still order physical copies of ¡Olé!'s 7" from No List Records, but we'll also park the download here.

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Sheglank'd Shoulders - The Final Grind (2008)

While the Motherfuckers are his bread and butter, Sheglank'd Shoulders are probably our favourite Dan Izzo band (although, to be honest, we're also quite fond of the Spastic Panthers). This band lined up Izzo's hyperactive antics with the equally hyperactive guitar of Tiemen Kuipers, the rock-solid drumming of Adam Oberg, and Todd Harkness' no-nonsense bass. These are songs to skateboard to - assuming one knows how to skate. Which, as we've covered before, we do not. Sigh.

The download (and physical copies of this single!) is over at the Sheglank'd Shoulders bandcamp.

Monday 9 May 2022

Motherfuckers - I Wanna Be a Cop... So I Can Fuck You Up! (2008)

This great little 7" from Dan Izzo's Motherfuckers crams in six tracks of, well, hardcore punk. What else do you expect from Dan, piano ballads? The title track on here is worth the price of admission alone - actually, scratch that, the cover art is worth the price of admission on this one. Pretty sure it was based on a true story.

Anyways, this is available for download over at the Motherfuckers' bandcamp - you can grab the digital version there.

Sunday 8 May 2022

Ex-Boyfriends - It's Christmas, Baby/ It's Your Birthday, Baby (2007)

We've waxed on and on about the brilliance of Djewel Davidson and the Ex-Boyfriends, so here's a fun single that we're almost tempted to classify as a novelty record. Side one is a fuzzed-out garage rocker, "It's Christmas, Baby," while side two... recycles the music, switches to a more classic rock and roll arrangement (featuring Kenna Burima on keys), and changes up the lyrics for "It's Your Birthday, Baby." We certainly appreciate the economy of the approach. 

It's worth noting that this features Summerlad drummer Dean Martin and the Ostrich's Chris Milne on bass - while the core of Djewel and Michael Paton has stayed constant, the rhythm section has been in flux in recent years. We have NO recollection who the bassist was in this clip:


It looks like this isn't available thru the Ex-Boyfriends' bandcamp, so you can grab the download here.

Saturday 7 May 2022

Summerlad - Carnus Magi/Everone Scolds The Wolf (2006)

This Summerlad single has always struck us as a bit of an oddity in the band's discography, though it's one we certainly like as much as the rest of their releases. Unlike the shoegaze-tinged sounds of their other releases, the two tracks on here are a blast of what the kids might call punk rock. Fast, furious, and concise, this is the antithesis of their epic City of Noise LP/High Performance Rodeo piece. Maybe what we like so much about this is its direct line to early Primrods tracks like "Feraltine." And the fact that this gives us an excuse to invoke the name of the Primrods.

We're unclear if the membership on here includes guitarist Sean Grier or keyboardist Liz Collins; either way, you can grab the download here