Review of Slamfest’s 2 Year Anniversary

*Note: I was not able to stay for the entire matinee. And I forgot my memory card, so I have no pictures to link to.

A lot can happen in two years. Companies can form, people can start a life together, families can grow.
But on Sunday July 28th, 2 years was marked as an anniversary for Hammer City Records and their Sunday Slamfest matinees.
Always 4 or 5 great bands at an awesome price, Sunday Slamfest has been giving Punk Rockers in Hamilton somewhere to go at the end of every month for 2 years now.
I attended this past Slamfest and it was fantastic as always.
Before I dive into my quick review, I want to thank Craig and Leah, the staff at Hammer City Records, Jaime Problem, and everyone at This Ain’t Hollywood. They all do such amazing work.

1st Band: Sketchbooks.

Sketchbooks is one of those bands that make my personal top 30, and I was really happy to see them. (Before, I had only heard their mp3s.)
Their live set only adds to the experience if you’re a fan. Their set ignited the place. Fast, ferocious, fuzzy Hardcore blared out at me from the band and it was awesome.
Adding to the set was that the singer stood in the pit and let people join in. In my opinion, that’s important. Let your fans join you, and you’ll only see good results.

10 out of 10.

2nd Band: System System.

System System were a completely new band to me. I had never heard anything by them, so it was a nice surprise to see and hear this great band that reminded me of 80’s Hardcore.
The whole band worked as a great unit, playing hard and furious.
My only complaint is I had some problems understanding the lyrics, but other than that their set was great.

9 out of 10.

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Thunder Issue 17

Thunder Issue 17
Created By Kristine Wales.

The following are my opinion only and covered under the Canadian Charter Of Rights and Freedoms, Section 2.

After a hiatus of almost 8 months, it feels good to be writing this zine again.
Alot happened in those 8 months, both for myself; and in the province’s musical landscape.
Bands broke up, they held shows; and much to my delight released music.
This is going to be an all album review edition, from some of my favorite bands that no longer exist; some that are old favorites; and some that I just recently got into.
Hope you enjoy.

REVIEW OF RACKULA’S OVES OF STEEL.

Track 1: G20

Beginning with a thumping, thudding bass; this is a heavy song in more ways in one.
It’s about oppression, but it’s also raising to meet that oppression.
This is political Punk at it’s best.
P.S There is a bit with a loudspeaker and that’s just kick-ass.

Track 2: H.P Sauce.

With gravy train riders in mind, this track has great pacing and makes me want to dance. (No one wants to see that.)
But that’s what makes it a good one, that lighter tone that still maintains it’s heavy presence in the background.

Track 3: Insecurities.

Back to the bass heavy side of things, this song talks about hating insecurities, and how they are voices in our heads.
It’s an every-person kind of message, which I think is great.

Track 4: Silly Girl.

This track is by far my favorite. Rackula shines through as a cohesive unit, and the lyrics speak of a very
relevant yet little discussed issue. (One person not quite loving the other as much in a relationship.)

You can download for free at: http://rackula.bandcamp.com/album/oves-of-steel. It was Rackula last album.

REVIEW OF DISMANTLE’S ASSORTED TRACKS

*Note this is not album on Bandcamp. Dismantle released their cassette tape tracks individually on Bandcamp.

Track 1: Passive Resistance/ Smash Yr T.V

A combo track, this is Punk in a nutshell. (To me.) Fast vocals? Check. Fast song (s)? Check. Making a statement in each
song? Check.
Passive Resistance message is clear. ‘Know what you’re fighting for.’ ‘Smash Yr T.V’ is Smash your television.

Track 2: No Prisons, No Borders

Opening nice and heavy, this song’s message is it’s title. It’s a solid track, making a nice wall of sound in your head.

Track 3: Action P.I.G.S

This track is, I assume, about police brutality. (Some parts go too fast for me to understand.) But if you listen to the track, it becomes obvious. Its swift, hard-hitting, and comes with a side of truth. That’s the Dismantle way.

Track 4: Don’t Forget (DISTAPE Bonus Track.)

This song is 51 seconds of equal spookiness, (to me), and common sense. It says to not forget your mothers words when you’re older. (Except a lullaby-like melody and this extraordinary voice do it. I think it’s spooky, but I think it’s awesome.)

Track 5: God/dog

This track opens slow and steady, and only builds. I think the topic matter is something everyone can get something different from. To me, I think the band was trying to say that God is a man-made idea.

Track 6: Plastic Islands.

Back to the fast paced, this song speaks of plastic islands and how the subject of the song would rather be in a plastic hurst. This song made me think about vacation resorts where they only show you the good side of things.

Track 7: Humanity’s End. (The Manatee Song.)

This song takes you for a roller coaster ride. From ferociously fast, to heavily slow breaks; it’s message is if we don’t
stand together, we’re doomed.

You can download for free at http://dismantle.bandcamp.com/ The band put these tracks up after they broke up.

REVIEW OF DISGUSTI’S DEMO 2013

Track 1: Disgusti

This has to be the bands anthem, (in my opinion). As they start the song fast and heavy, then chant ‘disgust!’ for the
chorus.
I think it’s pretty cool. More bands need anthems to announce themselves.

Track 2: No Great Mischief.

Starting the track off with some feed-back, it builds to a heavier, faster song that I admit I can’t understand the lyrics. Just the sound is awesome though.

Track 3: Nothing Ever At All.

Much like the first song, this track starts off quick and has anthemic, fist-pumping lyrics. (Its title are much of it’s lyrics.)
It’s only 32 seconds in length, but the band still got in alot for the track.

You can download for free at http://disgusti.bandcamp.com/ I don’t know if the band is still active or not.

REVIEW OF BURN VICTIM’S SELF TITLED TAPE

Track 1: False Entitlement.

This is my favorite Burn Victim song. It’s basically a feminist track, saying that just because you find a woman
attractive, you can’t treat her like an object. The song is completed by the perfect mixture of 80’s hard-core and metal.

Track 2: xXTuffGuyXx.

This track; which starts off slow and builds beautifully, is about macho-ism. There was such a Black Flag resemblance on
this song it’s unbelievable.

Track 3: Existential Crisis.

This song is pretty raw. The subject describes having an existential crisis, and it’s not for the faint of ears.
The accompanying music is perfect raising at the appropriate moments, and lowering when needed.

Track 4: I Can’t Be Friends With You Because I’m Not An Elitist Prick.

Touching on an important subject, (division and judgement within the Punk community), Burn Victim are spot on lyrically and musically.

You can download for free at http://burnvictummmmm.bandcamp.com/album/s-t-tape They’re a new band.

REVIEW OF MERCER AND THE CRANES’S LIVE AT THE ROCKPILE.

Track 1: Fisherman.

This song is very light and jaunty. So much so I could imagine at a fair or seaside. As the title would suggest, it tells
of a fisherman. But it also asks ‘When do the brilliant get their time?’ (I’m paraphrasing.)

Track 2: Crazy. (Gnarls Barkley cover)

We’ve all heard Crazy before. But never like this. The tempo is down considerably, it’s trance-like, and it’s almost
heart-breaking. (In a good way.)

Track 3: Seven Seas.

I could see this track working as an anthem.
It’s got grand music, lyrics that speak of not backing down, and it all works well together.

Track 4: You Oughta Know. (Alanis Morrisette Cover.)

You Oughta Know is a furious song, and this version retains the anger well.
It’s a more indie version, but that only adds to the greatness.

Track 5: Cold Nights.

A very intimate track, this is a slow track that wants you want to dance with and cuddle with your significant other
at the same time.

Track 6: Insignificant.

Another stirring Alt-Rocker, this song speaks of mistakes and moving on. It’s a little more down than Seven Seas, but it is still incredible.

You can download for free at http://mercerandthecranes.bandcamp.com/ They’re another up and coming band.

REVIEW OF ADELLEDA’S DISTRESS

Track 1: Innocence.

Opening with chugging instruments, this track speaks of defending what’s important and not letting people take those important things away.

Track 2: Taking Shots (With Todd Bertuzzi).

A solid Punk moshing song, the lyrics talk about living life wisely; but at the same time having fun. I have to say,
it’s my favorite song on the album. (I like a balanced approach.)

Track 3: 5 Months In England.

Taken from the E.P ‘Let’s Talk About Adelleda’, 5 Months In England covers the breakdown of a relationship. I confess, I prefer the E.P version, but this version has it’s merits. The lyrics are clearer and the instruments are sharper.

Track 4: Distress.

Another Punk mosher, this song is all about change and making it happen. (‘It’s time to make a change in my philosophy/ Won’t happen overnight.’)

Track 5: Roller Coasters.

A track about trust, Roller Coasters is literally just that. The instrumentation changes so much from fast to slow it’s insane.

Track 6: Something In The Water.

Opening fast and staying strong, this song is about a relationship that is not exactly the way the subject wants.

Track 7: Numbers.

The 3rd song you could easily mosh to on the album, Numbers examines different ways that numbers affect us. Time wasted, people that are deceased, etc.

Track 8: So Long.

A very political track, the lyrics in this song discuss war and guns.
The music backing it is powerful, with all instruments going all out.

You can download for free at http://adelledapunk.bandcamp.com/releases

REVIEW OF FRANKIE AND JIMMY’S LP APPETIZER 2013

Track 1: Maggie Campbell Blues. (Tommy Johnson cover.)

A cover of a Tommy Johnson song, this version is reimagined by combining Punk with Blues. (Frankie and Jimmy’s specialty.)
The lyrics talk of two women. One who is Maggie Campbell, one who is not. And the love the subject feels for each.

Track 2: Smokestack Lightning. (Howling Wolf cover.)

Another cover, Frankie and Jimmy’s version is quite unique with harmonica, tambourine, and Punk Rock vocals. The lyrics
appear to tell of lightning, but it also tells of a love story.

Track 3: Midnight Special. (Lead Belly cover.)

The final song on the album, Midnight Special is about a special light that shines down and how the subject wants it to
shine on him. It’s a cheery track, with a lighter instrumentation.

REVIEW OF GATLING’S PASSIVECLIMACTIC (Scheduled for released July 2013. Check on http://gatlingonline.bandcamp.
com for more information.)

Track 1: Vulcan.

Opening strong, this track is heavy, hard-hitting; but also anthemic. (‘Honestly you’re strong enough to turn all these negatives/ into something you can use’)
It’s new, but it’s also classic Gatling.

Track 2: Mercenary Tao!

This song is pure Metal. The instrumentation is sharp and precise, and the vocals are loud; but not overpowering.
The track is multi-faceted, covering alot of lyrical bases.

Track 3: Eleven Days To Zero.

This is a stand-out track. And for it’s lyrical content. Why? Because it’s got that hint of post-apocalyptic doom that I like.
That doesn’t mean the music is any less of a contender though. It’s makes you think of that vast, gray wasteland with joy.

Track 4: Vertigo. (Demo Version.)

Anybody who listens to Gatling knows they can throw out the Metal. But on this version of Vertigo, you are thrown back and forth between a full band; a soft acoustic guitar; and this superb breakdown that is a Jazz Ska hybrid. There are no lyrics, just this snapshot of music.

This issue I would like to thank all my family, all my friends, and all my readers. Thank you.

Review Of NOT’s ‘Demo’.

NOT have changed a lot in the times I’ve seen them and heard their music. Their last few releases were more of a milder Hard-Core (to me). And they included more Ska and other influences.

This release, ‘Demo’, is rough, raw, and ragged. But that’s all in a good way. Think 80’s Hardcore.

A few things has always remained consistent, by the way.

-Their ability to put out amazing music

-Their ability to play beyond their age (All members are under college-age)

-The way they ‘own’ the stage when they are on it, so to speak.

 

1st Track: Pin.

Building up from a slower melody, ‘Pin’ gets going into a heavy thrasher. It seems to be about severed friendships and the feelings that go along with that, from what the lyrics are.

 

2nd Track: Species.

‘Species’, from what I take from the lyrics, is about violence. (‘Shoved in a bag/ Smashed to bits….)  It’s one of the angriest tracks on the album, and certainly speaks volumes; in both words and musical accompaniment.

 

3rd Track: Shivering.

A song that tells of a fight and fear, I found this third track the most relatable. The words, oddly enough, describe parts of what my panic attacks feel like. And the music had that chaos-y feel that my mind does while experiencing one.

 

4th Track: Larkhill.

 

I would have to say ‘Larkhill’ is a vindication track, just because of the lyrics. (‘You’ll think once/ you’ll think twice/ But now I know in the end I was right.) It also, to me, feels like the most ‘structured’ song on the album, despite what sound like laser effects and a chaotic undertone.

 

The 2012 Thunder Music Awards.

I think by now, most people who know me know two things:

1: I have a zine called Thunder.

2: Every year, I compile a list of what I personally think is the best in Ontario’s Punk and Alternative Rock. Whoever wins gets my unwavering support and some kind of candy in a golden wrapper to mark the occasion. (If I had the money for actual trophies, the zine probably wouldn’t exist.)

This was a, pardon my language, a fu*king fantastic year for music in Ontario. Metal, Punk, and much more filled the clubs, streets, and headphones. Whether you were taking in a free show this summer at one of many festivals, or taking in a show in the colder weather, you were sure to be in awe. (I know I was.)

Now, a few things. I’ve added some new categories for this year; I allowed for more ties, and I vow to hand out the momentos. (So bug me if you don’t get your gold-encased chocolate.)

Best Album (Punk) Tie:

Adelleda ‘Let’s Talk About Adelleda’

Born Wrong/ Klein96 Split 10″

Best Album (Non-Punk) Tie:

Gatling ‘Beforemath’

The Barettas ‘The Night Is Young’

Best Album Not From This Decade:

UXB ‘Tick Tock Boom’

Best Bassist (Female): Lindsay Campbell Beaudoin. (Rackula.)

 

Best Bassist (Male): John “Uprise” Kedini.   (The Pre-Nods.)

 

Best Guitarist (Female):Candice Skullian.    (Skullians.)

 

Best Guitarist (Male): Brandon Kummer.     (Web Society.)

 

Best Drummer (Female): Justine Cowie.                                                                                                                                                                                        (The Boys.)

 

Best Drummer (Male): Alex Sallas.                                                                                                                                                                                                (Gatling.)

 

Best Vocalist (Female): Samantha Rutherford.                                                                                                                                                                            (The Boys.)

Best Vocalist (Male): Glen Faulman.                                                                                                                                                                                                (The Steeltown Spoilers.)

Best Musician Who Plays An Instrument Uncommon To Their Genre:

Female: Alisun (no last available) Band: The Saints Are Coming. Instrument: Violin.

Male: Jim Fitzgerald. Band: The Pre-Nods. Instrument: Harmonica.

Best ‘Intense’ Performer: Nathan Ivanco. Band: NOT.

Best Duo: Frankie And Jimmy.

Best Band (All Members Under 25): NOT.

Best Band (That Sounds Like Another Decade): Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Best Band (Mixed Gender): Skatalyst.

Best Band (All Members Over 25): The Steeltown Spoilers.

Best Band (Female-Led): Rackula.

Best Band (Male-Led): The Safety Collective.

Best Band (From Outside Of Hamilton): Armed And Hammered.

Best New Band: The Sketchbooks.

Best Band (Cover Band): The Krumones.

Best Band. (This Year. Period.): Web Society.

Best Song (Tie):

‘Champion’ Adelleda

‘Threat From The Deep’  Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Best Band Name: Nothing Helper.

Best Album Name (Tie):

‘Lets Taco Boat Life’ NOT

‘Summertime Blues’ Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans

Best Solo Project (Tie):

Steve Hanson In Transit

Nathaniel Blizzard

Best Reunion:

Razor Eater.

Best Record Label (Tie):

Schizophrenic Records

Rebel Time Records

Best Event: Rebel Fest.

Best Way To Spend A Weekend: At a show.

Best Store (Punk Rock): Crash Landing.

Best Store (Non-Punk Rock): The Button Pushers.

Best Place For Rare Music (Tie):

Hammer City Records

Cheapies

Best Venue (Indoors): Crash Landing basement (R.I.P!)

Best Venue (Outdoors): Gage Park.

Best Festival (Tie):

It’s Your Festival (New Music Expo)

Burlington Sound Of Music

Best Venue Outside The City: The Horseshoe Tavern.

Best Idea: Zines Becoming Widespread Again.

 

Even though they did not win, I would like to thank the following bands/ artists. I’ve been listening to them all year, and I think they’re fantastic. I encourage everyone to check them out!

Stick and Bone

Nanochrist

Weekend Riot Club

T.V Freaks

Thunderdykes

Trampled By Turtles

The Cola Heads

The Stragglers

Paul Federici

Theatre Crisp

The Waterbodies

The Snips

Sondra Du Ville

Snakecharmer

Poison Spur

Gag Order

Bourbon DK

The Safety Collective

Slender Loris

Swords Of Texas

Sailboats Are White

Paper Lions

Senile Feline

Social Club No. 27

Ophelia Syndrome

Mean Tangerine

The Lucky Ones

Gabrielle Papillion

Emma Hill And Her Gentlemen Callers

Greasemarks

Devils Hotrod

Charlotte Cornfield

The Balconies

The Rebel Arms

Alert The Medic

Aetherborn

413s

Hold A Grudge

Nine Eleven

The Dinner Belles

Brixton Robbers (R.I.P!)

Jesse LeBourdais

Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra

Darcy Hepner Jazz Band

Problem Children

Hockey Teeth

Sexbeast

Review Of The ‘Punk In The Creek’ Matinee.

(*Note: Everything contained in this review, whether details of the musical performance or the reactions of the audience, are as written. There have been no exaggerations.)

I acknowledge this review is late.

Usually, I write a review a day after a show. (If I have received a migraine from the glorious noise, it will be 3 days. At most.)

The reason for the delay?

I couldn’t think of what to say to fully describe what I saw and heard.

So below is the best I can do. But I don’t feel as if I’ve captured how spectacular the Punk In The Creek matinée was.

Last Saturday, I went to Stoney Creek for a Punk show. And it was one of those shows that had to be experienced in person. The bands were in great form. The sound was terrific. The atmosphere was amazing.

But mostly, the people responded in a way I would expect of a huge concert, and I saw that Stoney Creek is another place in Ontario that can be a fertile home for Punk.

This was easily one of the 10 best Punk shows I have EVER been too. I hope host Brandon Kummer organizes more matinees, as the audience was a force that seemed eager for more Punk Rock. (And I include myself in that count.)

1st Band: Web Society.

The vocals were clear and sharp. Brandon Kummer’s guitar shredded. Stephen Petrina’s drums pounded. And the bass of Jeffrey Mills thudded. And yet something was different this time.

There was a ferocity and drive that seemed to present itself at unprecedented levels, and it was incredible to witness. Web Society were superbly in their element, and at the best I’ve ever seen and heard them.

For a long time, Web Society was known as a Pop-Punk band. But to see their set on Saturday was to hear a band that was Punk Rock and nothing else.

This was an amazing home-town set, and of a variety I’ve seen all too rarely. (Guest Simon Marshall, of Adelleda, joined the guys for a song and added a cool touch to the already great set.) For people who don’t believe hometown shows make a difference, this was proof.

10 out of 10.

2nd band: The Rebel Arms.

I’ll admit, I was surprised when I heard that the Rebel Arms would be playing this matinée. I thought, for his first effort as an organizer, Mr Kummer would stick with Stoney Creek bands.

But he didn’t, and the Grimsby four-piece took to the stage in one of their most intense shows.

Lead singer Bobby Dell was red in the face and yelling some of the lyrics. While remaining melodic, the music was at the most Hard-Core I’ve ever heard it. The rest of the band was at the best I’ve ever heard them. But coolest of all, Adelleda’s Steve Vos guested as a stand-up drummer. While the Rebel Arms drummer and singer beat on other parts of the kit. That was a hint of the craziness to come later in the evening.

10 out of 10.

3rd Band: NOT.

NOT has always been a great band.

They’ve got a unique sound. (Ska-Punk-Jazz. Skapazz?)

They’re from Stoney Creek, but they come to Hamilton and play killer shows.

And they’re young, but they put more into their shows than some people who are older than them.

But last Saturdays set? HOLY F**K.

Lead singer Nathan Ivanco, who seemed to be taking a cue from the Snakecharmer school of intensity, actually dove into the crowd and yelled lyrics into the face of a friend/ fan.

And the sheer movement of people!

They had massive mosh pits. They came on-stage to guest on songs. And they dove off stage. Nothing stopped moving until the band’s music was done.

This was NOT’s best set, by far. No question.

10 out of 10.

4th Band: Adelleda.

While they tout themselves as a Hamilton band, the fact remains that some members of Adelleda are from Stoney Creek.

So it was interesting to see what they would play like in a home environment.

But while they seemed excited to be playing a home show, they did as they always do. They gave the set their all.

Guitarists Steve Vos and Chris Allan were, as they usually are, the formidable guitar duo providing great riffs.

Drummer Simon Marshall threw out his infectious, thunderous drum beats. (With a ton of energy, despite doing guest vocals on a few sets and moshing much of the night.)

Lead vocalist Adam Shea took a different approach to the night, and spent much of the set in the pit. Even with the going, Adam’s vocals came out great.

Bassist Kevin March’s work was impressive. His bass pounded the air loud and clear.

Alot of craziness ensued with Adelleda’s set. I got to guest on some songs. People threw a couch. Everyone in the audience came on-stage to sing the final song.

In short, Adelleda didn’t disappoint.

10 out of 10.

I would like to thank Brandon Kummer for organizing this show, the interview he gave, and the treatment I received as the photographer. It was an awesome show Brandon , and I hope to see more!

Review Of Destroy Music/ Imants Krumins Day.

(*Note: Some items in this article are meant for humor. They are intended for that purpose and that alone. They, and all other material, are covered under section 2 B of the Canadian Charter Of Rights and Freedoms.)

(**Note: Unfortunately, I missed the first band of the evening, which was the spectacular NOT. Sorry about that fellas!)

July 1st, 2012 was an epic day.

Music was destroyed. And rebuilt the way I and so many others have been waiting for.

A new issue of Thunder came out on paper. (Call me biased, but this was the best event of the day. It beat out ALL the celebrations. What country had a birthday again?)

The all-Hamilton compilation so many have been waiting for was finally released. (Yes, Brantford’s Nothing Helper. And yes Stoney Creek’s NOT.  I count all of you one of us.)

I’m divided as to what the most spectacular part of the day and night were.

On one hand, of course the music. It featured a boatload of bands that are my personal favorites, and the style variations were phenomenal. Hangman Pinata’s Jazz-infused Punk to the Krumones reinvention of classic Ramones tones? (And’s that’s just one example of the evening.)Stunning.

On the other, getting to be a part of something so amazing while it’s happening. I used to read, and still do, about Punk Rock when it began. And I wished I could have been a part of what took place.

When I go to an event like this and have so much fun with my friends like I did, I feel like we are in the midst of what’s happening’s for Punk in this great city.

1st Band I Saw: The Pre-Nods.

There is small minority of people within the Punk community, (and let’s face it we all know at least one), who say that ‘Punk Is Dead.’ (Despite being involved with it themselves, and there being Punk bands today.)

I would invite anybody who believes that statement to come see a Pre-Nods show. Especially when they are in a fantastic mode of playing, like Canada Day.

With the Pre-Nods, you can not only see Punk is alive and well. You can hear it too.

10 out of 10.

2nd Band: Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans frontman Erik Begg often jokes he is getting older and losing his memory. (He turned 40 earlier this year.) A lot of the time, we as an audience joke back with him, and know it is just that.

But I think Mr! Erik has talked himself into having some of his symptoms, because on Canada Day, he forgot two important elements of the usual performance.

1: Tiny Red Human and Tiny Blue Human.

2: The stage.

Instead, Mr! Erik performed an acoustic set outside.

Early memory loss aside, the set was superb. It was nice to get outside and see something different. (The Tiny Humans are more recent additions to the Wiggler!?! music project.) There was plenty of singing along, prompted or not. So it was a lot of fun.

10 out of 10.

3rd Band: Steeltown Spoilers.

One of the bands that could get me on my feet, (and pirating the stage for ‘I Love Livin’ In The City’) even if I had smallpox.

The Spoilers haven’t been playing a lot of late, so it was awesome to see them again. What made it that much better was that they had new material, as political and Hamilton as any fan would expect.

There was some small, but admirable; mosh pits going while The Spoilers played. Which tells me I wasn’t the only one happy to see the band onstage again.

10 out of 10.

4th Band: Hangman Pinata.

I hadn’t seen Hangman Pinata in quite some time, so when I heard that they would be playing the Destroy Music release party, I was ecstatic.

They are one of the most original bands coming out of Hamilton, (combining Jazz, Hard-Core Punk, and Ska to great effect), and while nothing can ever recreate ‘that moment’ when you first see a great band live; Hangman Pinata nearly did just that.

Their set was fantastic. They played their music well, it was original, and it was good as the first round.

No wonder people talk about them so much.

10 out of 10.

5th Band: Nothing Helper.

While TECHNICALLY not a Hamilton band, (they are from Brantford), I consider Nothing Helper one of us.

They share our humor. They share our love of Punk. And the music backing their lyrics sounds as good as any Hamiltonian could produce on bass, drums, or guitar.

As much I love the music though, I have to love the lyrics and show that accompany a Nothing Helper set. Wackiness ensues, and I’m clapping and laughing at the same time.

It really is the mark of true showmanship when you not only get a set. You get a show.

10 out of 10.

6th Band: Rackula.

I can’t count how many times I have seen this marvelous, all-female Punk band.

But every time, I walk away from the set thinking how great they were.

Their Canada Day performance was splendid, as they broke out a ton of their old songs, and their newer material.

What I thought was really cool was to see all the young guys, listening to Rackula’s brand of Punk. (Which includes a feminist message.) It’s always good to have a message, but it’s even better to have people who listen and cheer it on.

10 out of 10.

7th Band: T.V Freaks.

T.V Freaks…. T.V Freaks…. T.V Freaks….

This is a band that leaves my music-loving ears ever divided.

I LOVE their sound. It’s very raw, it’s very early Punk, and it captures the city in it’s sound somehow.

But the onstage antics Canada Day? (Shivers and claps at the same time.)

First came the remarks about male organs. I don’t need to hear how you would like to have a bigger…. appendage. Humor and antics are fine, but it’s the wording that gets me.

The redeeming moment? When the T.V Freaks frontman climbed on one of the amps. This was a moment of sheer brilliance, and reminded me of Teenage Head’s late Frankie Venom.

When all is said and done; I see a lot for the T.V Freaks. If they could cut SOME of the R-rated stuff.

9 out of 10.

8th Band: The Krumones.

I have never attended a full tribute set. (A lot of bands I see will play covers. But they will be by various artists.)

The Krumones were the first, full tribute band I had ever seen. Mercifully, they did a spectacular job. (You hear horror stories about these things.)

The keys, I think, to the band’s successful set was that:

1: They didn’t dress up like anyone in the Ramones. If they had, I would have jumped out the nearest window.

2: They didn’t perform all the obvious songs. I appreciated this, because it led to some new favorites.

The Krumones got a great reaction. People were dancing, people were singing along, and people looked liked they were having the time of their lives.

I would love to see the Krumones again.

10 out of 10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here, There, Everywhere, and Nowhere. All The Music I’ll Be Taking In The Next Few Weeks.

Tonight continues my massive intake of music. (3 out of 4 days at Burlington Sound Of Music was awesome.)

I’m seeing Crystaline at the Casbah. They’re a new band, and it will be interesting to take in their sound.

Then tomorrow, I head to St. Catharines for the S.C.E.N.E music festival.

In a lot of ways, I’m excited. I’ve never been to S.C.E.N.E, or St. Catharines for that matter.

I’ll be interviewing 10 bands tomorrow for the paper zine Thunder and this blog; it’s virtual copy. And of course I’ll be taking photos.

The bands I’ll be meeting range from well-known Canadian favorites (Die Mannequin) to recent up-and-comers (The Rebel Arms.)

It’s going to be an amazing day, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Then next weekend, I have assigned myself two tasks:

1. Cover It’s Your Festival in Gage Park.

2. Cover the Destroy Music 7 hour concert that celebrates the release of the comp, and the life of Imants Krumins.

I feel grateful that I get to take in this music, and that it’s happening in Ontario.