Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Indigenous Labour

For those of you who have been following Toronto's Indian Handcrafts for some time... rejoice. After blowing up the local scene with their EP, they've now set their sights on a broader audience.  Somehow, this two-piece of fuzzy awesome seems to have gotten louder (perhaps it is the influence of all the Melvins they've got packed in the control room).

In closing... ALL HAIL THE RIFF.

-Oh my arms are so tired from holding up this heart

Monday, July 30, 2012

Light My Fire

When I was living in England a few years back, I went through a huge stoner metal phase.  While this part of me has laid dormant for quite some time (just like those strange rabbicidal tendencies), I recently stumbled across a band that revived my dormant, inner sludge (time will tell as to whether the rabbits are safe).

Torche has been around since 2004 with a grimey, grungy, thick and juicy psych-rock sound. They balance their thick sound with nimble, riff-heavy songwriting that produces sing-along-able anthems and head-banging good times. In short, yes Jesse, this is a "Shane band."  Sounding like a more badass, modern-day version of Fugazi, Torche has just released their 3rd LP Harmonicraft, and it fucking rocks.

Also, their videos are really, really weird.

-So I'll kill the music and bury it at sea

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pop Quiz

How do you destroy a guitar without actually breaking it?

Jordan... take it away.

-I loved you more than I ever refused to

Monday, July 23, 2012

Refused & Off! @ Sound Academy

As I grogily dragged my sorry ass into work bright this AM - bones creaking, stomach grumbling, liver working overtime and muscles feeling like they'd been beaten by... well, by a mosh pit - I almost... ALMOST said in my head, "I'm too old for this shit." However, last night was so much fun that even if I would have been 63 and broken a hip, it still would have been worthwhile. Let's start at the beginning. After a wonderful preperatory meal of sausages and duck-fat fries, we strolled on down to cherry street to catch a band that had been nearly 20 years in trying to get to Toronto.

 Opening however, was OFF! - the project of Keith Morris (Circle Jerks, Black Flag), Dimitri Coats (Burning Bridges), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) and Maria Rubalcaba (Rocket from the Crypt). This was one of the strangest punk shows I'd been to in a while. At the core, the music was true to the roots (especially considering the resume of members), loud, agressive and unrelenting. They were as tight as I think I'd seen nearly any punk band and when I closed my eyes, I could almost feel like I was a teenager sitting in my bedroom, feeling rebellious just for listening to this music. That was part of the weird part; it dawned on me that the bulk of that crowd were all 30 somethings who knew bands like Refused and Circle Jerks from high school and suddenly over a decade later, were reliving their jilted youths. The music was amazing, but there was something odd about the whole scene. Maybe it was just me.

However, after the most epic, 20 minute long anticipatory build up EVER (see below), Refused would take the stage and strip us of age, affiliation and sense of ourselves.  From the moment the first note dropped, their set was simply a series of musical assaults, interspersed with brief moments to catch our breath. The crowd surged and swelled with the drop of every breakdown and the pit seemed to grow with each song.  By the end of the set, you had to be back near the sound booth if you truly wanted to be safe from the insanity.

They played it all.  It was glorious. It was long awaited. It was tight. It was powerful. It was mind-blowing to stop and think that those songs were all written 15 years ago - truly the shape of punk to come.  30 or not, even I couldn't hold back from the pit once I heard the siren-esque intro to New Noise. I joined the sweaty masses and suddenly didn't have the near-feeling of being a teenager, but instead could have been my 16 year old self, losing my mind and moshing along to music that, as far as I was concerned at the time, defined my existence. Then, we heard the glorious violin/cello of Tannhauser/Derive and just like that, it was all over.

Let my bones ache for days and my ears ring forever.

-Boredom Won't Get me Tonight

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Birthplace of my Musical Life

Whether you realize it or not, this room has probably created a good chunk of the music that has defined your musical life:

-Did it stop when we told it to? Nah, it kept on goin

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Are we all?

If there was any question in your mind regarding how incredible Mutemath is, please allow me to remind you:

-Is there enough to hold us back for long enough?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Forerunning Music

A few weeks back, I promised you the introduction to more wonderful Toronto music. Just a few weeks ago, I saw this band play the Bovine... or excuse me, tear the Bovine a new anus (ewwww... that saying really doesn't work this one particular venue) with a good friend holding it down behind the kit.

That band was none other than one of Toronto's newest progressive hard rock bands, Harbinger. I'll come clean: the first time my friend asked me to check out his band, I had apprehensions. After seeing too many shitty chud metal bands in TO take themselves way too seriously and thrash their ass-length hair around a depressing stage, I'd developed a healthy skepticism towards live heavy music.  However, upon the first dropped note of Harbinger, I could tell they were something different.  They took the approach to heavy music the right way; keep it interesting, keep it dynamic, keep it powerful, keep it impossible to play on the drums (thank you Serkan) and try not to take yourself too seriously. Each member of this group brings unparalleled talent to the stage, however, they wisely see that their greatest strength should be in songwriting and allowing each other the room to shine where necessary.  In one moment, Harbinger can go from something ethereal to another moment of ripping a riff designed to absolutely destroy a crowd.

In short, I'm a fan.  They rightly compare themselves to Periphery and I would argue that they have a bit of Porcupine Tree in them too.  If you don't believe me, check below or go to their bandcamp to check their EP.

-Traveling two feet behind trying to get in a fight with your mind

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fit it all in

I know it's been a while, and for that, I apologize profusely. I've been caught in a turmoil of moving (the new place is awesome!) and drinking with amazing friends. While I didn't have any time to write, that doesn't mean I wasn't still hard at work finding new material for my intentionally-incorrectly spelled namesake website (so stop sending me emails already... I know how to spell shenanigans... it's a play on words people!).
But I digress, you didn't come here for a rant. You came here for some tunes.  This week all discovery nods (and subsequent profits... HA!) go to Willsy for sourcing out Kram. Years ago, I used to follow this awesome Auzzie alt-rock band called Spiderbait, of which Mark Maher (aka Kram) was a founding member, singer and drummer. Songs like 'Buster' and 'Fucking Awesome' still pop up on my player now and then when I'm randomizing through the 90s.  However, once Maher had some time during a Spiderbait hiatus, he worked on a solo project that is worthy of many commendations. The result was 2009's Mixtape, which was an incredibly ambitious album which Maher describes best himself: "I wanted it to be like a radio station where all the songs sound like different bands but its all played by one person. The premise of the whole album was to be constantly changing your approach musically."

So, check the tune below, but also be sure to delve into some of his other tracks since, as indicated above, they all have a very distinct feel to them.

-I could get lost with today in my eyes