Matt Lee is a musician, writer and bon-vivant based in Montreal, Quebec. He divides his time rocking out in DIY spaces around the Northeast Canada and USA while running his micro label Talking Skull. He writes about music as well as publishing the odd short story and lives with a rabbit of surprising character named Walter Matthau.
The protracted nature of this album perhaps weighs it down, melancholy is easier to receive in fits and starts, the ear and soul are easy to load down to the point of inertia. But, that too is something I’ve learned to respect in Odd Limbs. They are NOT inviting, they are simply dwelling within the somber and beautifully colored temple and it’s up to us to enter. Not being chased after by an aesthetic is refreshing, it’s brave and deliciously subjective.
If this is what “emo” has become, praise the fucking music gods that these kids really know how to turn their emotions into living, breathing beauty in song. Beauty that can only come from pain and crushing struggle, you hear the tears, joy, depression and hope in every well placed line.
Gratifying and disorienting, like any challenging music should be, the musicality on display giving fucked up wings to the mutant children of punk and no-wave. Sacral Nerves could be the soundtrack to a stabbing… or the best night of your life.
Many people may hold their ears and run from that, as they might from Crabe, but those that remain are like the first 5 people that thought Primus was the shit and bought a tape. The prescient among us might twig to what obvious genius and true punk sorcery is being offered in the oeuvre of this phenomenal band.
Notta Comet has so much music in them I doubt that many could even survive a full length from this disgustingly talented new band.
A truly and authentically fucked up album with stunning artwork by monsters of the considerable Quebec psych/garage/punk/whatevs scene that lingers in the mind’s ear like it’s been branded there.
There is a gift at work in the songs that you have to squint to see sometimes, but damn if this album isn’t something that should be considered an underground legend, a sun-damaged Love Tara for this generation.
The trio make assured and destructive steps with every crushing track on this album, a new watermark in menacing, cathartic neo-doom.
When free jazz met the moshpit, Shining Wizard was born, it’s a powerful first offering by two musicians ascending to the peaks of their wizardly powers, perfectly in step.
There is a gorgeous hue to this album, a very conscious shading and nuance that draws equal inspiration from Rick White era Can-rock as it does the angelic harmonic layering of Harmonium.
The music of Weed gives the mind and soul wings, as if you were soaring high above the glaciers and mountains.. a real triumph and excellent addition to the renaissance of Canadian DIY music.
There is magic at work here, a very organic kind that transcends the wood, steel and electricity of the instruments. The guitar, the drums, they are more lightening rods for the spirit world than mere instruments.
Feet planted firmly in a base of shoegaze, the vocals are appropriately muted and understated and the guitars in a layered, fuzzy sheen.
Univox are a brilliant quartet of players who have always provided creative, complex and challenging music while never compromising the baseline of total abandon and rock and roll.
The effect overall of Only Friend is a very deep aural experience, you can either intently lose yourself within it’s folds or allow it to shimmer in the background of a midnight drive or a hazily intimate evening.
Arrington is one of those artists (like his obvious compositional hero Captain Beefheart ) whose work must be taken in as an arc, a traveling trajectory moving through different spaces and examining the muse from myriad angles, some down and rock n roll, some more hypnagogic and trance-worthy.
Oriented squarely at devotees of the noise/improv scene, The Jazzfakers Here Is Now culls from a mercifully diverse sonic bag of tricks so the ear never quite gets worn out by one set of elements stretched to the point of over-endurance.
Veteran Montreal pop rockers return with a sparkling new collection of sweaty tunes.
Slouching sideways out of the backwater town of Valleyfield, just west of Montreal, Crabe is a fantastically unpredictable duo of dudes laying down some of the freshest tunes that defy any attempts at categorization
The Yips’ first EP is already a triumph, managing to infuse older sounds with new attitude and succeeding fiercely while achieving the rare feat of being a party band with depth and complexity.
I’ve been eagerly dancing around this stunning li’l number from Cambridge’s Hands and Knees, enjoying it as heartily as I would a great huge fucking sandwich.
Taken as an album, “Sparcity Blues” does not smack you about the face with immediate gratification, but instead invites the patient, the worthy and the intrepid among us into it’s heady, sensual and darkly shaded world of wonders.
A work of singular beauty that triumphs in it’s ability to evoke deeply archetypal allegories out of relatively simple imagery and opening perception in it’s glyph-laden but still easily epistemological view of the “natural” world as it scrapes trippily across our human need for compartmentalization and supreme control.
There is so much to love on this tape, it bursts with bright and diverse color and a totally original and exuberant take on psychedelic roads previously traveled by similar visionary heavies.
Downtown Boys , one of Providence’s most exciting bands emerging from an already rich scene has just dropped a raw piece of timelessly intense and exuberant punk in their debut, self-titled release.
When I heard about Northern Haze , a metal band from Igloolik (a tiny town in Nunavut) who’ve been making stoner-y heavy rock with lyrics sung in Inuktitut I was appropriately intrigued.
Unabashedly earnest, while maintaining an aura of strength and barely constrained power, these four songs roll out before the ears like a dark and complex diorama.
Pulling liberally from every good genre of rock, N.N. really sound like true believers, paring down the riffs and songs to a gloriously sludgy essence, the drums and bass a pillar of stone, the guitars burned and rough, the vocals dangerous and full of pathos.
A comfortable punch in the face that reeks of basement tours and beer, Nubians , though sloppy and no-fi, can’t hide the fact that there are some capable-ass musicians behind the murk, ready to party and make plenty more gratifying and edge-kicking punk tapes.
Just a tick on the “fi” side of lo-fi bedroom beats, the songs weave a dark and seedy path through the various stages of urban concern and pathos.
There’s a way to pull off a sweatily awkward sense of the icky and inappropriate, and P/DO P/DRO are easily masters at elucidating the profane, from their live satanic invocations to their trashy and irreverent circuit-bending sound.
This nicely packaged gem of a 7” is a real mind voyage laden with some tasty concrete/actuelle treatments just this side of “too cool” for serious electroacoustic chin-strokers.
Though closer to the Mississippi River of Eastern Ontario than that of the Southern Delta region, catl have that muddy water in their bodies and souls, and that’s what makes their newest album shine.
Philly’s sunny sweetheart Shorty Boy-Boy drops some grit into his pop machine with an auspicious single, a debut from the maverick party animal culture explosion that is BITBY.
Gleeful lo-fi pop-punkers Rabbit Troupe are from New Jersey and are the breezy and fun summer high kick of 2012.
Astral Gunk are four Sackville-based musical miscreants blazing out of New Brunswick and just being totally fresher than anyone.
Jawdropping new cassette-only release from all around badass Nashville label Jeffery Drag. Ghost Dance, from small town Missouri are captured here spitting blood and starting fires in the infamous confines of underground Nashy venue, Mt Swag.
This album is loose enough to feel human, yet tight enough to please the IDM nerds, bangers and post rockers alike.
Ottawa has a surprising amount of great bands, and has contributed mightily to the collective Canadian tinnitus in it’s generous offering of seriously heavy bands. One band I’ve been enjoying for a few years, Biipiigwan, have perfected the sludgy viking side of things but injected with a very uniquely Canuck vibe, speaking to the hugeness of vast empty space, the inherent doom-feel of the frozen expanse of our ravaged, snow-covered wasteland.
Having talent and creativity to spare, this new album shows a new level reached, a plateau where Crunk Witch have reached a commanding zenith of the electronic rock drawing in everything around it like a giant, rock and roll tornado.
It was with a sense of great revelation and mystery that I unpacked this simple, spartan new CD from iconoclastic Cleveland songwriting legend Bill Fox .
Every time I think I’ve plumbed the depths of this city’s wellsprings of great music, something like cassette labels Kinnta and Hobo Cult pop out, all explosions and rainbows with a whole batch of amazing.
Shape Shifter is truly a jewel in the craft of Komodo’s (nee Matthew Burton) oeuvre. Originally known as Subluna, Burton’s established a global reputation for roof-raising live sets and enjoys a local rep for nurturing an aspect of the dubstep/bass scene since it’s inception into the Canadian east coast scene.
Identical twins from Ottawa, Rob and Peter Johnson wove a heavy duty tapestry on this tasty little four song 7” EP as Shahman. Occupying and interstitial space between math-y and slow paced Shellac dream-time and burned out early Mogwai post-rock, the corona of cathartic but eloquent screaming and metallic breaks in each song drive this boat over the proverbial mountain.
This exhaustive compendium of prolific punk weirdness documents 25 years of uncompromisingly off kilter songs by The American Devices.