Rhythm Church – ‘Bangs’


Review by Mitch Fillion

Growing up I never had any siblings of my own.  My best friend’s older brother Vince was the older brother I never had.  We played in a cover band together in elementary school called Coindextor, covering songs by Limblifter and Age of Electric exclusively.  I wouldn’t know how cool this was until years later when Limblifter remained one of our favourite bands.

Throughout high school Vince played in a bunch of different punk outfits, always adding another level to otherwise mediocre tunes that remained underneath his dark parables.  His band’s jam space at the time was covered with wall to wall lyrics, frantically scribed in what probably were the quiet hours between 2am and sunrise.

“Found a white light stemming from an ashing soul, caught a ride on his coat tail tearing, begging him not to go away, so he stayed.”

“Give me sweetest poison mouth.  Show me portraits of love erasing.  I’ll sing her name up to the clouds, break the sky and cut holes in her parachute.”

“It’s an empty world, there’s nowhere but the dirt to go, and you’ll find me covered in peace and love way down below.”

To me, Vince’s songs seem to come from a place much deeper than his egoic self, a place where time and space are irrelevant and so are our attachments to the past and future.  Like many of my favourite artists, he channels something greater than his individual story and it’s here we can find comfort.  Much like a big brother’s pat on the back saying “We’re all in this together.”  A modern day spiritualist in ripped white jeans.

At some point throughout his musical career, his attempts and interest in singing for punk and metal bands faded and he began work on his solo project which we now know as Rhythm Church.  This sparked a new era for his songwriting since he was now no longer restricted to writing lyrics after the music had already been arranged.  Instead he was building his songs from the ground up, crafting some of the strangest, most intriguing combinations of melodies and licks I’ve ever heard.  Not only was he writing amazing hooks, he’d have ten to fifteen new songs every time I’d see him.  He even makes sure to create techno versions of all his songs for when he plays to more of a club crowd.  Just picture a mad scientist locked away in a lab, losing track of days with an unbreakable focus, but replace the beakers and test tubes with an electronic drum kit, a synth, guitar, and an extra large Tim Hortons coffee.

Until now Vince had only released his lo-fi home recordings.  These had an eerie quality to them when listening in blaring headphones as Vince always liked to show you in his room late at night, but they were a bit too muddy and low volume for your average laptop listener.  The Bangs EP brings Rhythm Church into the hi-fi world with help from engineer Don Levasseur, and also trades the electronic drums for an acoustic kit.  Just try not to get too attached to these tunes since you might hear a whole whack of different songs the next time you see him live.