Review of Adelleda’s ‘Let’s Talk About Adelleda.’

Let’s be honest. Most of us have things that happen on our birthday that we would rather ignore or forget. (There’s a lot associated with September 25th that doesn’t hold the best memories for me or others, including an 8.0 earthquake that hit Japan nine years ago on the date.)

But this year, one of my favorite bands released a 4 track album on the 25th.

Adelleda, Hamilton and Stoney Creek’s Skate Punk sons, gave everyone ‘Let’s Talk About Adelleda.’ It is an E.P that better captures what an enjoyable, loud chaos their live show is, despite not being a live record. It also covers a lot of ground in it’s lyrical content, as you’ll read.

1: Just A Shame.

Originally appearing on Herkimer Street, this track has had a complete re-do. But in a way that compliments and enhances it, not so that it’s unrecognizable. The drums hit harder. The dual guitars do battle and compliment at the same time. The bass keeps a fine anchor. And the vocals are clearer and more furious.

Going by the lyrics, I’ve always thought of this as a love song; (‘We can never be in love), but there is more going on than your average Punk song.  (‘Watch you slip away’ ‘A mess of tubes’ and ‘Can’t you see/ You are slowly dying?’ make the case to me.)

2: Don’t Worry I’m Drunk.

This is song was made into Adelleda’s first professionally directed music video, (view here on Youtube http://youtu.be/JsHqcwUKJng), and the band couldn’t have written a more timely song.

The lyrics concern drunken encounters and the children that come of them.

On the instrument side of things, it’s like one of the band saw a Hamilton mosh pit and put a tune to it. The music is aggressive, and doesn’t let up.

3: 5 Months In England.

Going a little easier on the listener’s ears, this track tells the story of a couples break-up after one of them spends 5 months in England. (That was what I got from the lyrics, at any rate.)

The instruments vary on this song.  They are the slowest of any track on the E.P, but the speed up and go to their original state nicely.

It’s a great rest point on the album before it gets out one more blast of fury and finishes.

4: Champion.

Fact People Probably Already Know Me: I’m Hamilton proud. I love living in this city, and I will never live anywhere else.

Fact People Probably Don’t Know About Me: I practice Krav Maga. I decided to learn after a startling event at a show, and like most things I do, I listen to music while practicing.

Just Plain Fact: This song is a ferocious, pounding sonic ode to Hamilton with pride and thrash vocals in all the right places. I find it the perfect track to practice to, to write to, etc. But it also encapsulates my feelings for my home city perfectly.

Call it ego, call it silliness. Call it whatever the hell you want, but this track is my new personal anthem.

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Thunder Issue 11. Part 1.

Lately, Thunder is becoming something of a real publication.

Me and my partner are adding more graphics, adding more options for covers, making sure there are photos, and the like.

But the part I am most proud of is how we’re branching out interview wise. We’re taking more opportunities as they come to us, and we are interviewing bands outside of the Punk genre.

Take this issue. The interview is with two members of Gatling. Gatling is a four piece, Progressive Metal band from Ontario who released their album Beforemath in April. The two members I spoke with are Alex Sallas, the drummer and Alex Crosty, one of the guitarists. I spoke with Alex Sallas after his solo show at Absinthe, and Alex Crosty shortly after an injury to his hand.

Here are the interviews, finally in there finished form.

(*Note: The opinions are those of the people providing them, and are protected under the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, Section 2 B.)

Interview with Alex Sallas:

KW: How did Gatling form?

AS: Me and the guitar player who cut his hand were talking on MSN. We both played in cover bands, and we didn’t really like it. So we started talking and ended up forming a band. And I went to his house, and he has a recording studio in his basement. We ended up recording 19 songs in one night, because we were so ‘musically inclined.’ This would have been 2007, because we were 13. And basically, it went from there. We kept playing as a two piece for two years, played a couple shows, realized we needed to get more members. Added a bass player, played more shows, added a singer. When we added Elliot, the singer, it kind of changed us. We became more progressive. Whereas before we were just throwing a bunch of stuff together. Because we would play anything. Techno, opera, as you heard tonight, Metal, anything. Basically, we played anything. But when we added him, we became unified. The current status is I’m playing a solo show and they’re all at home. (Laughs.)

KW: How would you describe the sound of the band, yourself?

AS: Four monkeys. One of whom is beating on pans really hard. One of whom is kind of yammering chords out on a ukulele, but it’s a guitar that sounds like a ukulele. One who cuts his finger so he only plays with three fingers. And a bass player who texts during our shows. Because he is so bored, he’s playing and he’s texting. (Laughs.)

KW: When did you learn to play drums?

AS: I started when I was about 10. Just on a kids kit you get from Lo*g and McQua*e. I started playing on that, and I really liked it, so I kept playing. I never actually took a drum lesson, I sort taught myself how to play and moved up to a bigger kit. And I practice for about an hour a day.

KW: When did you start playing guitar?

AS: Around the same time, actually. I took guitar lessons for like 7 years, and I kind of did both at the same time. That’s when I started playing guitar, and I still play it today.

KW: I know that you play Metal, but what kind of music are you listening to right now?

AS: Oh my God, I listen to everything. It’s really kind of weird, I listen to albums by year and I’ll keep track of a list of albums I’ve heard. So last year, I listened to about 85 albums. And my favorite ones were ‘The Collective’ by Scale  The Summit, which is a really awesome instrumental band. There’s a band called Septic Flesh, who are from Greece and they play Death Metal with an orchestra behind them. And right now I’m listening to Faith No More, they’re always on my list. I listen to all new music, and I give it all a chance. So I have a lot of favorite ones.

KW: Is there anybody that you look up to as a drummer?

AS: Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree is one of favorite drummers. Also Martin Lopez from Opeth. He has a lot of Latin rhythms in his playing, which I like.

KW: I know you guys have recently played a show at the Mod Club, and now you’re doing some smaller-scale shows here in Hamilton. Is there a type of show that you prefer to play?

AS: Hum… The ones with the most people are the best to play because you’ll get the biggest reaction. So, generally, bigger venues are more fun to play because they can fit more people. But when you’re as unknown as we are, it really makes no difference. So the more people there are, the more I love playing the show.

KW: I know recently you guys released Beforemath. But you guys went about it in such a way that it was unique. (Releasing the songs through Xbox’s Rockband, etc.) What do you think the reaction has been?

AS: I’ve found a couple of reviews and they’ve been pretty positive. And from perusing random YouTube comments, people seem to like it a lot. So it’s been positive in regards to it. But even if they weren’t, I’m still happy anyway.

KW: Why are you a musician?

AS: Because I love music. It’s definitely not for anything but the passion! Haha. I certainly make no profit at it, financially that is.

(Some changes have had to be made for clarifcation. You can listen to the entire audio interview here: http://youtu.be/P2DVbkZT_QA)

Review Of Gatling’s Alex Sallas And His Solo Show At Absinthe.

What do you do when you have three band mates, but they can’t play a show that you’re due to play?

What do you do when you’re scheduled to do an interview for your zine, but a key member of the team is off for Fathers Day?

The solution to both problems is you do the best you can.

I shot plenty of photos. I listened and evaluated in my own way so I could review the show. I did the interview for Thunder with voice recorder in tow. (And, Lord help me, I tried my hand at grabbing some footage. My partner who’s far better at video will have to examine it and see what can be used.)

Alex Sallas had even tougher challenge. Usually the drummer for Gatling, he found himself without three band mates and a show to play this past Sunday.

But music prevailed. First Alex got behind his kit and kicked out some impressive sounds that ranged from the great but simple; to infinitely more complex. (With the aid of three others holding up more cymbals and drums, Alex worked with an even bigger kit.)

Next he worked marvelously with his guitar while another person was behind the kit.

This was probably the most interesting part of the evening for me, as I have never seen Alex play guitar live. But  I have to say I was impressed. The playing was in the vein of Hard Rock and Metal, and I enjoyed it a lot.

The final part of the set came when Web Society’s guitarist Brandon Kummer and bassist Jeffrey Mills, plus some others, joined Alex and they played a tried and true Web Society number.

All in all, fantastic for a man without a band. (For a day.)

10 out of 10.

 

Review Of Rebel Fest. (Part 1.)

Note: I know. Rebel Fest was last weekend. But that doesn’t change the fact that I want to give the review that gives credit where it is due.

I’m not an easily excitable person. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy things, but something has to be pretty spectacular to get me waiting eagerly in anticipation. And letting loose once said event comes to existence.

Every year, Rebel Fest gets me waiting and acting less restricted. It is a celebration of the current Canadian Punk landscape, and a lot of people turn out to support the vibrant scene. Bands, individual performers, and of course fans; were all part and parcel to the 2 day marathon of Punk music that took place at This Ain’t Hollywood on April 14th and 15th.

1st Band: At What Cost.

I can no longer see this band and see just ‘a Punk band.’ Instead; because of time and circumstance, I get nostalgic. I know that sounds silly, but I am serious. I have seen the band three times. But the first time I saw them, I was new to Punk shows. And every time I have seen them since, I am reminded of that time. Their music is still cool, politically driven, and socially conscious. And I am still a fan. They still put on kick-a*s shows that make you think. The best part about seeing them live though is how I feel like I’m 17 once again. And how fresh and inspiring everything in Punk feels once more. 10 out of 10.

2nd Band: The Rebel Arms.

It wasn’t that long ago I saw this Grimsby band, and I took an immediate liking to them. Sure they play Hard-Core, but it’s melodic, appealing, and has political overtones. It also has it’s funny moments, making for a wild mix of Punk. This band has an insane amount of energy, which made for some difficult shooting moments, but it all turned out in the end. I love seeing Punk from other areas of Canada, and The Rebel Arms teaming with Rebel Time Records to help produce this festival help provide a great opportunity for that. 10 out of 10.

3rd Band: The Rotten.

Yes, their original songs are brilliant. (They concern the state of modern Punk Rock, Canadian politics, and other topics.) But then; Steeltown Spoilers guitarist Chris Crash was called up to assist on a cover of the Dead Boys seminal ‘Sonic Reducer.’ And everyone in the audience went crazy, myself included. We sang along too,  and it made for some wonderful chaos. 10 out of 10.

4th Band: Brutal Youth.

An already speedy four-piece,it’s like this band took the exquisite craziness left over from the Rotten’s set and transplanted it into theirs. People were literally climbing over one another to sing the bands lyrics up front, and it was amazing to take it all in. Lead singer Patty O Lantern is an especially energetic performer, so it’s interesting to see that manifest in the audience.  But their set, amazingly, has it’s more poignant moments too. Like in the song ‘Postman’, which is about Alzheimer’s affecting a band members grandparent. 10 out of 10.

5th Band: Class Assassins.

Even though they are from Hamilton’s rival city of Toronto, The Class Assassins are always greeted with enthusiasm. And with such timely lyrics, and great music that provides the right amount of punch, it’s easy to see why. Their music talks about a lot, and they perform wonderfully. It’s a fantastic combination, and that is why I remain a fan. 10 out of 10.

6th Band: The Rebel Spell.

Since last year’s Rebel Fest, I have not been able to get this band’s music off my mind. It’s staunchly political, highly opinionated, and full of irony. And yet, it is not preachy. If anything, it’s insanely likeable. Their set was as incredible as the previous year. They exploded into their songs, and the audience responded like they were hearing Punk for the first time. I could not believe it when they performed my favorite song, as it was not on the set list, but myself and a bunch of others were cheering like crazy when they did. (And some of the more nervy ones, like me, went onstage and sang along.) 10 out of 10.