Archive for Canadian music

Album Review – Mares of Thrace “The Pilgrimage” 2012

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , , , on October 3, 2013 by Lightning Slim

335141  Any fans of Death From Above 1979, Rush or even Danko Jones know that we Canadians have so much angst in our souls that it only takes a couple of us to create a full-sized rock band. Mares of Thrace bear out this theory on The Pilgrimage, with only two young ladies on drums and baritone guitar making a hellish and compelling amount of noise.

Sonically, the album bears a good deal of resemblance to other prog/sludge acts like Baroness, with abrupt time changes, whisper-to-scream vocals and lyrical paeans to the uglier side of human nature (in the case of The Pilgrimage, the narrative framework is the story of David and Bathsheba).

Mares of Thrace will be ones to watch in the years ahead. Any band that can tour in a minivan and still have their own driver has the opportunity to cultivate a fanbase nationwide and beyond. 8 out of 10

Deals & Steals: That’s a Lotta Vikings!

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2013 by Lightning Slim

220px-Battle_Sluts  Bit of a Nordic influence this time out (again!), and certainly some good tunes found at good prices. This first lot was found at Second Spin:

Leaves Eyes – Vinland Saga $8.99. Moody conceptual stuff about Leif Eriksson’s travels and exploration.

Soilwork – Stabbing the Drama $8.99. Slowly filling in my back catalogue of these Gothenburgers and In Flames BFFs.

At the Gates – Slaughter of the Soul $4.49. Speaking of Gothenburg, there wasn’t an identifiable scene until this album melted everyone’s faces.

Dark Tranquillity – Character $2.49. One of their best.

Destroy Destroy Destroy – Battle Sluts $5.00. Actually an American band. But that title! Sounds like Cradle of Filth meets Manowar. Perfect touring partner for 3iob.

Not Viking but a bit Scottish (and awesome):

Murder Inc. – Locate Subvert Terminate: The Complete Murder Inc. $3.99. So nice to hear a remaster of this marvelous Killing Joke side project with Chris Connelly. Behold, Scot-industrial rap:

And in the super-bargain category, some finds from the local thrift store. Each were only one or two bucks apiece!

Green Day – American Idiot. Overplayed? True. Overplayed because actually very good? Also true.

Promonium Jesters – Time and Place. I once saw these Ontario industrialists open for Hanzel und Gretyl. Their recorded output has a steal-from-the-best quality to it, including some spot-on Skinny Puppy influence.

220px-The_Mix  Kraftwerk – The Mix. Worth it just to find out I’ve been singing the chorus wrong all these years. Still, fun fun fun!

 

More Tickets from the Past

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by Lightning Slim

Hi all. More tickets to show off – of particular interest this time is an old stub from Operation Rock & Roll from 1991. That’s the Toronto show where Rob Halford beaned himself riding out on the Hog during “Hell Bent For Leather” and decided after the show to leave Priest. Teenaged me almost lost his mind!

Concert Tix 2

I Show You My Stubs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2013 by Lightning Slim

…from my concert tickets. A lot of metalheads save up their gig tix for trophy value. Especially in the days before cellphone cameras, they were a great way to say “I was there!” Back then, bands and venues would confiscate pocket cameras and recording devices; now of course everybody wants you to tweet their names far and wide.

I’ve never been very organized, so I’ve lost a lot of my stubs over the years. Recently I was cleaning house and found a stack of them which were very faded, so I decided to throw them on the scanner before consigning them to the circular file. Check it out:

Concert Tix

A fun walk down memory lane. What do you do with your old stubs?

The Shaming: Ten Reasons I Should Have My Metal Card Revoked

Posted in Lists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2012 by Lightning Slim

Just in time for the holidays, I give you a gift: humiliation.

As music fans, we all have guilty pleasures. But some transgressions are beyond the average youthful exuberance of a Fear of the Dark picture disc or a genuinely curious Fade to Bluegrass country Metallica tribute. I’m not talking about non-metal but still rocking bands like the Foo Fighters or They Might Be Giants, either. The following releases are in my record collection in physical form (not just a random Itunes download; hello LMFAO!). They are also, to varying degrees, shameful. Enjoy!

10. Lords of Acid – Lust. Porno Techno – what could go wrong? Hindsight renders this super-cringeworthy.

9.Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head. I don’t remember when or why I bought this. Because I took drugs to forget.

8. Anthony Stewart Head – Music for Elevators. I’m a huge Buffy fan. I even have the soundtrack to the musical episode; which is quite good. Then, I got a little too meta and ordered this:

An ugly business. Testosterone shots were required.

7. Lee Aaron – Slick Chick . This the first of her jazz albums. You heard me. “Hey Slim – you got some old Lee Aaron stuff. Metal Queen – Yeahhhh! What’s this, then. Oh.”

6. Flyleaf –S/T. Ugh. Like a Muppet Babies version of Hole. With Jesus.

5. Kylie Minogue – Fever. In my defense – she’s hot and the song’s message is true. It won’t get out of your head. It’s also tremendously amusing next to Ministry on my shelf.

Here’s a remix, because I bought the DOUBLE DISC version and my shame is endless:

4. Sarah McLachlan – Every goddamn thing. I had a crush; it was a phase.

This isn't all of them. There were also posters and T-shirts. Note who the "neighbours" are.

This isn’t all of them. There were also posters and T-shirts. Note who the “neighbours” are.

Silver lining: thanks to this self-excoriation exercise, I found this:

Hey, does anyone else have an urge to donate to their local animal shelter?

3. And during that same period in my life (a period I now refer to as The Time I Misplaced My Balls For Awhile) I obtained this:

MoxyShame

Yup. Those are most certainly the autographs of Canadian acapella indie band Moxy Früvous. Talented folks, very entertaining, but badasses perhaps not.

2. L’ensemble Cercamon – Blau. So I used to work at a Renaissance Faire. So I got into some of the performances. Swords are metal. Jousting is metal. Ale and mead are metal. Why can’t this be metal?

I also have several Medieval Bæbes records and and an album where a harpist covers Sting. So go to hell.

1. I’m not even going to speak the name. I’m just going to leave this, and say that there was a time when there was way too much of this:

I'm on some sort of FBI list just for doing this.

I’m on some sort of FBI list just for doing this.

There’s my deal. I double dog dare you to join me. What do you have that’s bad? And I don’t mean early Manowar bad, I mean watched the Grease episode of Glee with your Mom bad. Hit the comments with your shameful confessions!

Deals & Steals: Viking Swords and Mixing Boards

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2012 by Lightning Slim

lair-of-the-minotaur-album-204pg041310  Hey all, a big backlog of interesting finds from the past couple of months. All prices $US, Shipping about $15  altogether.

3 Inches of Blood – Battlecry Under a Winter Sun $5.59. Old school 3IOB is good times.

Dark Tranquillity – Haven $4.88. I’m trying to like it. Really. The riffs are there, but so is the baritone crooning. At least I didn’t turf it out the window like I did with Projector.

Lair of the Minotaur – Evil Power $4.19. This is currently one of my favourite things; a sludgy, fudgy Melvins-like fuzztone with an Entombed’s worth of aggression. Heavy, heavy shit.

Lonely Island – Turtleneck and Chain $9.99. The perfect thing for chilling and sippin’ on a lite beer.

Landmine Marathon – Sovereign Descent $5.99. Recent changes to the band can’t take away the power of this massive recording.

Imperative Reaction – Minus All $4.49. IR are that rare animal nowadays – traditional electro industrial.

Arch Enemy – Anthems of Rebellion $2.99. Their most ineffectual album to date, but the price was right.

Evanescence – The Open Door $6.99. File under stuff that I know is bad but listen to anyway. So terrible, so in my car all the time. I think it’s because Amy Lee’s voice reminds me of happy times chasing girls in college using Sarah McLachlan as bait.

And lastly, a record that reminds me of a fun concert story:

18368244;encoding=jpg;size=300;fallback=defaultImage  Hanzel und Gretyl – Uber Alles $2.00. I have a soft spot for these Fako-Fascisto Funsters. They played my area with Slick Idiot last year (during Oktoberfest, no less) and blew out the sound system in the club about 20 times in a row. The result was terrible, but I’ll never forget mock-dominatrix Vas Kallas turning to Kaiser von Loopy, completely dropping character, and honking in pure Brooklynese: “This is gonna be one of them nights, eh Rob?”

Thank you, Rob and Betty.

Thank you, Rob and Betty.

Wrap Up: Heavy MTL 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2012 by Lightning Slim

Getting True Strong and Free up in here.

Hey all, now that there’s snow on the ground here it’s probably time I got off my ass and shared some thoughts on this year’s edition of  Heavy MTL. You know, while it’s still the same year. The 2012 edition will likely be remembered as The Year It Finally Rained, and rain it did for much of the Saturday. That didn’t stop the bands, however, and it certainly didn’t stop me and my crew from getting down and especially dirty in the mud pits of Montreal.

Into the Pit! Wait no, too old, too scary! WHAA!

Big Hit: The word of the weekend was OldSkool, with both Overkill and Suicidal Tendencies absolutely laying waste to the place before a crowd that was eager to receive their 80’s thrash offering. Both bands seemed fresh and vital, with ST in particular back from the dead with a parade of rock-solid hits.

Still Cyco.

Big Miss: Marilyn Manson was an unmitigated disaster. Sloppy play, uninterested banter, poor singing. And this from a band with one of the prime stage slots, which makes it insulting,  considering there were so many small, more interesting bands working their asses off on the same weekend.  From what I’m hearing, this unprofessional behaviour has continued, as well. Slipknot was a bit auto-pilot as well, truth be told, presenting us with a lot of clown-goes-up, clown-goes-down and a distinct lack of the same chops that captivated folks back in the day.

No pictures of those loser bands. Here’s one of Overkill instead.

Great as Expected: Gojira, Kataklysm, Cannibal Corpse. Killswitch Engage had a powerful set with new/old frontman Jesse Leach, holding audience attention even at the height of the rainstorm.

Kataklysm rocks the MTL.

Pleasant Surprise: Who knew the NWOBHM was alive and well in suburban Quebec? 80’s rockers Sword put on a clinic on the third stage, putting me in mind of Grim Reaper and Mercyful Fate. Late on Saturday, Battlecross tore up the place in front a few in-the-know folks, making it feel like a private show. Very cool.

Sword. Spooky! Psychedelic! Wrinkly!

Mo’ Canada: In addition to Sword, we had more Canuck action than ever this year, with Voivod, The Agonist, Diemonds, battle of the bands winners Hollow and many more. Hell, even old chestnuts B.A.R.F. put foot to ass for our listening pleasure. The local scene is always one of my favourite things about Heavy MTL, and this year was stellar.

Hollow. Later spotted peeling off their elaborate corpse paint in the Jagermeister Hot Tub (not kidding).

Organization Bad: C’mon, guys. Let’s talk about line-up. Here are the headliners, year by year:

2008 – Iron Maiden + Motley Crue

2010 – Rob Zombie / Korn + Slayer / Megadeth

2011 – Godsmack / Disturbed + KISS / Motorhead

2012 – System of a Down / Five Finger Death Punch + Slipknot / Marilyn Manson

It’s not what I’d call a direct decline, but does show evidence of corner cutting, as did the late arriving, inaccurate, single-page “programme”. Let’s hope we can see them lure at least one Metal God here in 2013.

Organization Good: The nuts and bolts stuff seemed well in hand, with better access to drinking water,  and more (and more interesting) foods than years previous. It rained and they gave out raincoats, so that wasn’t too shabby. Heavy MTL remains the most consistently easy festival to enter in my experience, with the journey from the subway car, lining up, scanning tickets and searching bags all taking less than 15 minutes.

Mrs. Slim did say I should get outside more.

The Vibe: As always, the best in the biz. It’s what keeps us coming back. These are our people, gathered together in an easy-going place. The fact that we have such a place and that they offer a variety of bands to enjoy and complain about is something to be celebrated.

I like to think RJD sent this after the rain.

%d bloggers like this: