THE FUN STOPPERS.

2 05 2020

 

THEFUNSTOPPERS

 

I’ve had no desire to write anything recently. Work has wiped me out, but I’m glad that I am lucky enough to still have a routine where I can leave the house, and to work. And not be stuck with my own company 24/7. I slept until 4pm today, and I could have stayed asleep for the rest of the day but that’s probably because I’m allowing myself to be lazy and attempt to switch off. A routine is keeping me sane.

 I sometimes struggle to write about bands that are predominantly instrumental but a really great band from Alberta have been in touch called The Fun Stoppers have a really unique sound that I love. We’ve got a mutual love for another great Canadian band, The Gruesomes (of course) and if a band mention them to me- I’m likely to love them. And that’s exactly what has happened here.

 

 

The Fun Stoppers are a duo, but their strong and unique sound makes you think you’re listening to an orchestra of Garage Punk heroes. It’s just two of them here though; Glen and Dale. They are so good at what they do, and all you can do is became utterly enthralled in what you are hearing.

 They haven’t been around long (their Bandcamp page only has songs up from this year) but they have a sound that is really strong. They make you feel like you’re listening to The Beach Boys, The Gruesomes and The Cramps all at once. I thought I’d miss hearing vocals, but you get used to it pretty much right away, and you just enjoy soaking up how great they are as musicians. Glen is a solid guitarist, and you cannot help but end up being obsessed with the sounds he makes. That guitar is a lethal weapon, and you don’t even want to take cover- you don’t want to miss whatever he will do next. Mix this with Dale’s drumming, and you’ve just got the perfect duo. Dale plays like someone who has a point to prove, and that’s what hooks me on bands like this. There’s this passion in the music that you just find yourself gravitating towards. It’s so powerful.

 Their songs don’t really pass the 2-minute mark, and their newest song Sick For You is a proper gnarly one. The vocals have this wonderful snarly sound and the menacing lyrics mixed with the electrifying guitar and demonic drums just make it one of the most exciting songs I’ve heard in a while. I love that fuzziness to it that is found in a lot of songs/bands I love. This song is like a cheap Horror film (this is a compliment) and you can imagine it being featured when someone is about to meet a bloody and gruesome end, but they make it obvious that the blood is so far from being realistic.

 

 

The Fun Stoppers are such an exciting band, and with or without vocals- you cannot help but marvel at their talent. I’m sold on bands that forgo vocals; I think! I love their creepy sound and wild style; I love how you that make you feel like each song is like some weird experiment- are they musicians or mad scientists?! Who knows! Maybe we will never find out, and maybe that’s alright.

 Play them loud and freak out your neighbours!





MATT ELLIS: High Risk Assurance.

4 04 2020

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Matt Ellis, you absolute GOD! If you don’t know, Matt Ellis is in a band that I have been obsessed with for a few years now. I heard them whilst spending my lunch break at All Ages Records in Camden a few years ago- that band was Flesh Rag. I don’t know what it was about what I was hearing, but I knew it was something that was going to stick with me. I remember having a record already in my hands to buy, then I listened more and more to Flesh Rag being blasted out; the record in my hands was placed back where I got it from and I asked for a copy of the Flesh Rag record that was playing. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, musically.

 

 

High Risk Assurance was recorded in Matt’s bathroom last month. Some people take baths, others make great Punk records! There are only 4 songs on this record, but it still has that Flesh Rag feel to it, but it also has something else to it. It reminds me a little bit of the Ramones- the songs have that same pace of Blitzkrieg Bop and Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue. The songs are short, and fast. They are super lo-fi, and I love that he’s done this all by himself in a typically small space. The songs are heavy, and although at times his vocals are little quiet- you can still hear everything that’s going on, and the fact that the vocals are quite low just gives it that much vulnerability to it in a way. I just think it’s a really great record, and if this is what happens when we’re all stuck indoors- then keep it coming!

 The songs mainly hit the 1 minute 30 second mark, and the record opens with the face-smacking Poison Holiday. I would love to hear this live- can you imagine just how ferocious and rowdy it would be? It’s got everything you’d want from a real gnarly Punk song. It’s got the snarly vocals, the intense sound- everything you could want and more. I just love the sheer passion that comes through on this, and it really sets the mood for the record. It feels like with every song on the record, it gets louder. All By Myself is a touch louder than Poison Holiday, it’s an ode to self-isolation and Matt’s done it in such a great way. Sure, it’s easy to stay indoors and feel sorry for ourselves, but I’d rather stay indoors than risk make someone feel poorly by going outside for no good reason. To be honest, as an introvert who is partially shit with people I don’t know really well, staying at home (aside from going to work!) isn’t so bad.

 Missing You has a real Ramones feel to it; you can easily imagine Joey singing to this and I really love that about this song, and Matt’s style in general. He and Flesh Rag have a really authentic Punk sound that makes you want to start your own basement Punk band then make a record in your bathroom. My bathroom is too small to do this, but you get my point! I just love the DIY feel to this record, and it’s something I’ve always admired about Matt and the music he makes with Flesh Rag; they’ve always had this consistent DIY feel and you know they always do it THEIR way. High Risk Assurance is a great cure to the isolation blues some of us are feeling. It sucks to not be around people and to be able to go to shows, but records like this can ease the loneliness slightly.

 The record ends on Bad Day, and it’s the perfect song to play after you’ve had a bit of a shitty day. You can blast this super loud, and when the song ends, you’ll feel as if a massive weight has been lifted. Or you might feel angrier. It’s all on you, but just keep on listening until that nagging feeling disappears. It’s a great song, and the record truly is made up of a strong selection of raw Punk songs to just get you through the day.

 

 

Also, any money made from the Bandcamp sales of this record will go to the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society, so thank you to Matt for again being a great human being and making a difference. We need to help each other out now more than ever, and gestures like this go a really long way.





NIGHT CHILL.

29 03 2020

 

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Ready for some creepy instrumental noise? Good!

Night Chill are an instrumental band straight from Ontario via the dark, eerie underworld of a time forgotten. Their sound is made for horror films and dirty backstreets. Their music is made to freak you out and fall deep into their world.

Their music is for those who like to be creeped out and to expand what they listen to, and how they listen to it. It’s a real experience when you listen to Night Chill. You focus on everything that’s going on from the drums to the theremin. Everything is so vital, and you cannot help but get hooked on this.

 Their music isn’t what you’d expect from a band, oh no! Their sound is like a soundtrack to a film. You can imagine someone being surrounded by werewolves, vampires, witches or bats as they try to escape. They are the prey, and their predator catches up to them quickly as the prey stumbles and falls every so often out of fear. As they draw in to draw blood, the prey lets out a yelp- but no one can hear them. There’s something beautifully sinister about Night Chill, and the use of the theremin just gives them extra creepy tones. They are a band to truly be in awe of, and songs like Theatre of Blood (sounds like a film) really show us how great they are as musicians. The way Thea captures you with how she uses the theremin along with Denton on guitar and Adam on bass to add this slick groove. Then you’ve got J.J. Daggers on the drums to add this cutthroat tension. How could you not love this band and everything they are about!

 

 

Burial Ground is an example of their heavier side, and for me it’s another prime moment on how they all shine. As they are an instrumental band, it is easy to just soak up how great they are without the distraction of vocals and lyrics. I mean there’s nothing stopping you from making up your own words as you listen to them, but let’s be honest you’d want someone with a Vincent Price type of voice narrating this. Can you imagine! It’d be a seriously spooky trip! It’d mess with your head for sure. I love how their songs give off this image of someone being chased, like I mentioned above. There’s this fear of the unknown in the music and it’s part of their charm. Creepy’s Bite is a brilliant introduction to the band if you’re looking for a place to start. The drums on this are a step up from what we’ve heard before, and the guitar and bass are heavier and fuzzier. Everything on this song oozes the right ingredients to make an occult anthem. The theremin is there in full force to give you the heebie jeebies too!

 You can really hear a wealth of influences in their sound- there’s the beautiful oddness of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to a subtle Surf Rock feel. There’s this distorted tone too that is a key factor in hooking you right in. They take on you a really intense journey as you listen to them, and you find yourself slipping deeper into their world. The demonic sound is wonderfully executed here, and what I love about it is that they make it sound so effortless. They aren’t doing it to be cool or to be different; they are doing it because this sound belongs to them, and you can truly tell that it is something they love. When you pick up on that, it makes it easy for the listener to really get where the band are coming from.

 Night Chill are an utterly fearless band who are here to put some fear into your bones and wake you up. I love this part of the bio that they sent over to me, and it really does sum them up perfectly: “Night Chill play music for all audiences: horror kids, occultists, art fiends, masked maniacs, weirdos, connoisseurs of unwritten horror soundtracks, trash culture enthusiasts, cosmic abominations, and all other dwellers in the darkness! All are welcome to join in on the unholy symphonic rites and dig on Night Chill’s rip-roaring rock & roll black magic ritual!”  If that doesn’t sell it to you, then I don’t know what will. It’s the perfect description of the band.

 

 

With one listen you’ll feel like you’ve been possessed, and when you accept that there’s no going back, you’ll find yourself right in the pit of the Night Chill cult. Everything about their sound is an utter spookfest, and I cannot get enough of it. The sounds they have up on their Bandcamp page are there for you to let seep right into your soul and takeover every thought and emotion you have. Let them do it, don’t be afraid. Do not be afraid and don’t look behind you.





SPECTRES: Nostalgia.

13 03 2020

 

spectres

 

Today I had the day off work, and I’ve done nothing. Absolutely nothing, so it’s only right I try do something with my time. There’s a new record out today by Canada’s finest Post-Punk heroes, SPECTRES. They create intense atmosphere again on their new record. I wrote about Utopia which came out in 2016. Either on here or for Heatwave- I can’t remember. Either way, I’m a HUGE fan of theirs and I’m super excited to write about this record.

 Nostalgia is a sublime record, and for me I hold it as highly and as dear as I did with Utopia. I adore this dark and eerie sound that is delicately flowing through the record, and there’s a load of devotion too which you pick up in the vocals, and its devotion that just melts your heart. It’s the perfect record to listen to if you’re wanting to escape the news, and such. Or if you just want something to fill your heart up with something really pure and honest.

 There’s something about this record that reminds me so much of early Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy, which for me is nothing short of perfect. I love the moody sounds of the bass and the guitar. I love the urgency in the drums, and the vocals are delivered in a way that makes you realise that this band are not to be messed with. They are the best at what they do, and this record firmly shows us just how much they’ve grown and how bold they are in experimenting in their sound.

 

 

Songs like Pictures from Occupied Europe have this pace to it that make you really soak up the urgency and brutality in the songs. When a bad is this unafraid to show us what they are made of, you cannot help but adore it and respect it. This is my favourite song from the record so far, but like with Utopia, you cannot just pick one solid favourite. The whole damn record is divine.

 The 9 songs on this record were made to pause you in your tracks and to just make you really think about what you’re listening to. You cannot help but feel that the ideal setting for listening to this record is in the pitch black whilst the rain falls hard and taps at your window. The alternative is taking a walk on a grey, foggy day and just play the record over and over; clear your head and free your mind. Fate and Insurgence are the perfect songs to do this to. I mean, the whole record is but these 2 songs in particular just feel like they made for this. I just love the sheer strength in this record and how you can truly hear and feel the growth in this band. I love how they can channel Seventeen Seconds by The Cure (similar eerie atmosphere) and go spooky like early Bauhaus too. There are nods to Joy Division too I think- the rhythm section oozes it, and it sounds so wonderful.

 Nostalgia has songs that are made to be chanted back at the band with such passion and vigor. I love everything about this record, which I’m sure you can sense. The Call sounds like the song they’d end their set on, there’s something about it that feels like it could close the show in such a majestic fashion. Again, it’s another highlight on the record and it’s met with Along the Waterfront which closes the record. This has a finality to it that’s perfect to closing the record. When the record ends, you feel like you need to take a deep breath, and as you breathe out you start the record all over again.

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a sullen record, but also one that will be a source of comfort- Nostalgia is for you. From start to finish it is nothing short of exceptional, and so worthy of all of your love and attention.

 Nostalgia is out now via Artoffact Records.





THE GRUESOMES: Someone Told A Lie/Make Up Your Mind.

25 02 2020

 

The coolest thing has happened- NEW MUSIC FROM THE GRUESOMES! Well, it isn’t exactly new music but it is two unpublished songs, and that’s enough for me. For now!

If you’ve had the misfortune of ever reading anything I’ve ever written, you’ll see that The Gruesomes are a band that I will mention at any given opportunity. I just idolise them- they’re everything I want from music and more, and these two new songs are just incredible. I’m not just saying this because I am obsessed with them but, okay, I’m probably saying this because I AM obsessed with them. And also, the songs are great. I’m getting the same feeling I did when I first heard them.

Also, another super cool thing about this release is that is comes with an 8-page comic. Could The Gruesomes get any cooler? Probably, but right now I’m just happy to have this.

 

 

First up we have the tougher than old leather boots song, Someone Told A Lie. It’s a typical sound of theirs, and it will just make you want to have it on repeat and as loud as you can handle. You’ll have hold of the lyrics in no time! It’s such a snarly based number, and it’s part of the reasons as to why I love the band. I love that snarly tone in the vocals and how it has this obnoxious snotty feel to it- a proper Punk-esque feel with all things I adore about Garage Rock. It has such a powerful sound that I just want to listen to over, and over again.

Then we have the second song; Make Up Your Mind. It sounds divine right after Someone Told A Lie. That guitar solo- my GOD that guitar solo! It just sets you off, and before you know it you’re in this trance, right in the groove of this beautiful song. It’s enough to make you cry over how amazing it is. The Gruesomes are one of, if not probably my favourite band of all time. Their sound is just heavenly to me, and these two songs are everything I could possibly want from a band that are such a massive part of my life.

The Gruesomes need to somehow find their way to the UK and play some shows. I would pay pretty much anything to see them- it’s that vital to me. I just love them, and I really do hope they do a tour. If not, then I’ll just have to keep on playing the records to death continuously.

 

 

Someone Told A Lie/Make Up Your Mind has been released via the Spanish label, KOTJ Records. Be quick though- there aren’t many copies left on their bandcamp page!

Play it loud!





BOOJI BOYS: Tube Reducer.

23 09 2019

boojiboys

 

 

If you want something to listen to that sounds like a thousand cymbals crashing all at once, and electrifying shocks invading your body in an unapologetic manner, then you really need to get hold of the new record by Booji Boys. They are Canada’s finest, and will deafen you with their snarls and their thumping drums. Along with groove-filled bass and slick guitar. They are one of the most fascinating bands around, and what they’ve done on Tube Reducer is everything you’d want from a Punk record and beyond.

If like me, you regard the Dead Boys as being one of the greatest bands of all time- then you’re going to fall crazy in love with this record. The distorted vocals, the gnarly snarls and the aggressive music is something to really blow your mind here. The songs are short and right to the point; sure we want it to last longer, but there’s nothing stopping you from playing this over and over. The record consists of 15 mighty fine Punk tracks to your fry your brain. I was going to go to the gym to clear my head, but I’ve sacked it off to play this record loud. Tomorrow night I’m heading out to see Jacuzzi Boys but right now it’s all about my other favourite boys- the Booji ones.

 

 

The songs are fast and the kind you lose your shit to. New Replacement isn’t even two minutes long, but it sends your body off into a whirlwind, allowing your limbs to move freely and questionably. Is this one of the year’s best Punk records? Damn right it is. If it doesn’t turn you on, then that’s okay. There’s a whole bunch of brilliant Punk records out there but what Booji Boys have done with Tube Reducer is bring back that raw essence of Punk. They make you feel like you’ve gone back a few decades with their sound, but also blow your mind with this really refreshing sound. Songs like Nothing Good, Calling and Honeyboy are just insanely brilliant. Booji Boys are effortlessly cool, and you cannot help but love them for it. This is the kind of music that makes me want to write about music, even if most of what I write doesn’t make sense/is bullshit.

Tube Reducer has been released on Drunken Sailor Records which is the home to some of the best records you will ever own, trust me. They stock the best and are worth having no money over. Booji Boys are the type of band that you know would put a wild show on. Maybe not the extent of say, Iggy Pop smearing himself in peanut butter amongst a sea of bewildered people but they’re up there. They give you this notion that their live shows involve drinks being thrown (out of excitement not stupidity) and everyone just moving however they want to these incredible songs. Life As A Fed is one of those songs for sure that you can imagine the band going nuts to, and the crowd getting even more out of control. Part of you feels like you’re listening to a band who are playing this in a rehearsal space/garage, and the other part feels like you are listening to a band who are completely ripping apart a basement dive bar or something with their sound.

There is so much going on in this record, but in the best way possible. You cannot help but be in awe of Alex’s vocals and how Steve and Cody compliment each other with how loud they are. You’ve got Adam adding a subtle laid-back feel, but all of this comes together in the most beautiful and chaotic fashion from Justin and his insane drumming. This band truly know how to blow your mind, and they all do it in the most divine way possible. Using gentle words to describe such an annihilating record is probably wrong, but when you listen to this record you really hear everything that not only makes you love Punk, but music in general. It is really one of the most fascinating records I’ve heard this year.

 

 

Tube Reducer was made to be played constantly, and loud. It is made to be heard in whatever capacity you want. Play it through headphones or play it super loud so the whole world can hear this deviant and raw record. However you play it, just make it loud. It’s probably what they want you to do.





BAD HOO: What Is When.

11 03 2019

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Aside from The Coathangers putting out an incredible record on Friday, Bad Hoo also put out something truly remarkable.

If you’re looking for a record to get drunk to, break stuff to, have a good time to or just do a whole load of nothing to- then you’re going to love What Is When. It’s a proper smack in the kisser kind of record. It’s just a brilliant noisy record, and it’s fuelling my obsession for them.

The lyrics and music on this record are hard-hitting. It’s a take on what’s going on, and what is messed up in the world. But you can’t help but be comforted by the music. You kind of feel at ease with all that’s fucked up in the world, and you just throw your cares away to the music. Bad Hoo are definitely a band that are here to be seen live, listening to this record you truly hear how brilliant they are and how their music is meant to be witnessed live. Shit kicking songs like Confuse Bouche and Rootbeer, NZ are the ones you know will set off any crowd. The songs on this record are beautifully wild, and these two are definitely a prime example of this. The songs are made for a good time, all the time. The record will get you to loosen up, and it’ll also charge your mind up when needed.

I love how they make this record a collection of songs that show us all that they are so sure of their sound. When you listen to this record, you feel at times you’ve stepped into a Spaghetti Western or into a dive bar. They give you these brilliant images and situations, and for a band to do this so early in their career is nothing short of genius. I’m in awe of them. I just love Bad Hoo a hell of a lot, and I love how they just have this unfiltered approach to their sound. Nothing is overproduced, no one outshines the other. It’s just a bunch of pals making music for us to believe in.

The best thing to do with this record is this: on your first listen, be alone. Do it through headphones. Second listen: play really loudly and do whatever the hell you want to do as you listen to it. Third listen onwards: play it so your neighbours hear, play loud and just go nuts to it. Oh, and make sure you really let go to Banana Splat- especially the instrumental break. It’s insane. It’s such a great moment on the record, and it’s definitely one of the liveliest songs on the record.

Whatever you’re into, you’ll get into this. It’s such a great record, and the more you listen to it the more you hear how great the band are. Songs like Blind Dolphin just leave me in awe every time. I just really love this band, and I cannot help but praise this record. Everything about this record is all I want from music. It’s rowdy, it’s loud and it’s unlike anything else I’ve heard before. What Is When is such an exciting record to listen to, over and over again. I’ve played it a lot the past few days, and I keep finding different parts to love. The record has this wonderful ability to make you see with every listen, just how brilliant they are as musicians. There is so much going on but by no means is it overbearing. It’s just an absolute pleasure to listen to. Most certainly one of the year’s finest records for sure!

Please go out and buy this record so they can afford to come do a UK tour.