I thought that I hadn’t listened to enough music this year to justify a list, or at least not enough current music, or at least not enough current Canadian music, or at least not enough current Canadian music that was on this blog. Despite myself, I dug into a lot of great stuff this year.
Links to original reviews will be hyperlinked.
What follows is not in any order whatsoever.
The Betrayers – Treat Me Mean EP
Travis Bretzer – Making Love
Renny Wilson – Sugarglider
Wand – Mt. St. Helen’s
Tyler Butler – Violence
Jon Mick – Beard Milk
Mac Demarco – Rock and Roll Night Club
Expwy – Bag of Waters
COUSINS – The Palm at the End of the Mind
Freak Heat Waves – s/t
Feral Children – SunSon
Brenna Lowrie – The Body Electric
Knots – White River, White Lies
Jesse Northey and Doug Hoyer – Signs of Life (single)
will scott – …recordings
The Cable-knits – Twins
Nick Everett – Rocky Top
Field + Stream – s/t
Michael Rault – Whirlpool
Catgut – Fightpicker
Help – A Viper in the Mind
Oscillating between graceful decay and accelerating self-destruction, Fightpicker is a runaway train through dreams of garage rock vigor. Phil Holtby’s songs explore topics of youth through the figment like nature of reality. He treats the fret board with the respect of an undiscovered landscape, leaving no corner unscoured. The grunge punk passion of their live show is captured as best as possible here but it would be near impossible to fully realize the furious nature of this hurricane onto record. However, the real charm of the whole dramatic exchange is not this fury, it is the romantic and poetic nature of the sum total—not furious for fury’s sake, but rather inflamed with a true and formidable existential angst all too often knowingly or unknowingly lampooned by lesser bands of lesser ability. Take a deep breath:
***Catch them in Calgary tonight or in Vancouver on the 7th or 8th.
The songwriting genius of OLD UGLY’s Phil Holtby, last embodied by the appellation DoT, has returned in the 90’s grunge inspired Catgut project. These scrappy garage recordings capture the minimal straight ahead ethos Phil imbues Catgut with live. His guitar writing is endlessly interesting, delving into so many different corners of the riffosphere. And I have already spoken at lenght on his endearing croak of a voice but it must be said that when employed in Catgut, that croak takes on a saw’s serated edge and becomes something even bigger and more alluring! The CD release for this gem is tonight at Wunderbar where very limited copies of this record will be available for consumption! Here’s the event.
Jesse & The Dandelions are a pop rock trio from Lethbridge, Aaaalberta! It has occurred to me that a song only has to have come out ten years prior to start appearing on “Classic Rock” stations. With this in mind I would like to add a new category to the illimitable categorization of music by interminable music writers (like myself), that new category being “Classic Indie,” a genre to which The Lion’s Tooth is entirely indicative. Jesse Northey and his trio have channeled the catchy right-beside-your-ear songwriting and roped it onto the lulling guitar arpeggios of early Pedro and The Lion, The Shins, Death Cab For Cutie, and so on. At the end of the day, Jesse & The Dandelions are a great band that write great songs and play a great live show. Speaking of LIVE MUSIC, they are playing TONIGHT at the Wunderbar with Darren Frank and Catgut (Phil Holtby‘s new 90’s indie band! What a perfect match!). Join us for a Classic Indie Saturday! Facebook event right here, yaaall. Music right down there: