Natalie Prass – S/T

Natalie Prass - S/T

Review by Steve Marck ( As a kid, I kept the fact that Fantasia was my favourite Disney movie a secret. It lacked identity, being largely bereft of the exacting characters and exposition upon which other theatrical animations depended. Deems Taylor’s protracted explanation at the start of the film did nothing to prepare me for the orchestral illustrations that followed.… Continue reading

Manatee – ‘Look The Other Way’

Manatee - 'Look The Other Way'

Review by Tim Martin Manatee is an impressive act. They are a squadron of flammable imaginative power, and they kindle a capricious blaze. Calling them a jazz ensemble simply will not suffice. Harnessing the intention and talent of various southwestern Ontario stalwarts, they seek to light up the scene with their performative and interactive style. More than a musical project,… Continue reading

The Weather Station – ‘What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know’

The Weather Station - 'What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know'

Review by Andrew Patterson A little over three years ago, Tamara Lindeman aka The Weather Station released All Of It Was Mine, an unassuming record full of small truths plucked from summer breezes, wandering wisdom lost and elated. The songs felt slight; beautifully so. Lindeman’s gentle plucking and expert cadence lent her uncomplicated folk songs a great strength of character… Continue reading

Jennifer Castle – ‘Pink City’

Jennifer Castle - 'Pink City'

Review by Andrew Patterson Intuitive statements based on two weeks of listening to Jennifer Castle’s Pink City every morning in late Summer: Pink City is brimming with long looks. It holds a candle to itself. We will never know to whom the deeds belong. The Pink City sheriff is a snake but he sure has some sharp tattoos. We got… Continue reading

Hey Mother Death – ‘Highway’

Hey Mother Death - 'Highway'

Review by Andrew Patterson Two years after an impressive and somewhat elusive debut EP, Hey Mother Death have returned from the liminal dimensions between Paris and rural Nova Scotia, arriving via Highway. These four tracks, spanning just shy of a half-hour, find the duo mining familiar territory, albeit with a much larger scope and heightened sense of surety. The result… Continue reading

Plastic Factory Records – Meet The Factory

Plastic Factory Records - Meet The Factory

Review by Andrew Patterson I’ve lived something of a sheltered life. I wouldn’t call myself prudish, but the world is large and I am small, and there is still so much to see and learn. Though, I can say with certainty that there are two things most people tend to look down upon in this contemporary world: incest and angular… Continue reading

Blackburn Hall – S/T

Blackburn Hall - S/T

Review by Steve Marck Pete Hall is an architect of sorts: he’s been honing his aural craftsmanship for years, most notably as a member of A Northern Chorus, a long-standing staple of cavernously expansive rock constructs. With Blackburn Hall, his knack for densely interwoven tones holds taut but, where his guitar would contribute to airy epic progressions, it now welds… Continue reading

Arkells – High Noon

Arkells - High Noon

Review by Dan Empringham Arkells have progressed nicely since their first LP Jackson Square when they sounded like a basement jam band with some clever lyrics about growing up in the west end of Hamilton. With Michigan Left their second outing, they focused more on the idea of a pop song and structured each track, ensuring each one had its own memorable part for… Continue reading

José Contreras – S/T

José Contreras - S/T

Review by Dan Empringham There are seven elements in modern music, these elements make up the vast compositions we hear every day. Every artist or band tends to choose one that makes them who they are, something that defines them. The Talking Heads used rhythm to their advantage and a group like Godspeed! You Black Emperor, use dynamics as a backbone… Continue reading

Wax Atlantic – S/T

Wax Atlantic - S/T

Review by Tim Martin It is a fear of mine that we let bands like this pass us by. It can happen all too easily, so roll down the tinted windows, lighten up on the gas, adjust your mirrors, and lend your ears. I want to let Dave Dalrymple’s songwriting speak volumes for itself, but you may want to direct… Continue reading

Cousins – The Halls of Wickwire

Cousins - The Halls of Wickwire

Review by Dan Empringham Leigh and Aaron of Cousins are back with a new record The Halls of Wickwire. Wickwire brings a brash and straight ahead sound that is catered to a summer of sticky car rides and rooftop hangs. Wickwire offers up riffs-a-plenty with a stronger, fuller guitar tone coming from Aaron Mangle. His use of effects start and… Continue reading

Owen Pallett – ‘In Conflict’

Owen Pallett - 'In Conflict'

Review by Steve Marck Owen Pallett has been lending his punctuation to other people’s stories for years now. Depending on how steeped you are in his sounds, you’ll be able to pick out his strings arranged across dozens of recordings—they sing out with a distinct and unmistakable luminescence. When he’s harnessing the heat of his own moments, however, that’s when his work truly shines. In Conflict is timeless… Continue reading

Bry Webb – ‘Free Will’

Bry Webb - 'Free Will'

Review by John Acres Bry Webb could easily rest on his indie-rock laurels: he could perpetually recombine his past work; perform scraps of Constantines’ songs solo to a volley of “woots” and “owwooos”; include so many members of his other band that it is essentially that band; take right artistic turns in an attempt to avoid the beloved sound that he helped craft, gutting… Continue reading

Mac DeMarco – ‘Salad Days’

Mac DeMarco - 'Salad Days'

Review by Steve Marck Contemporary music that can bind pastimes to memory is somewhat hard to come by. That dreamy look that cloaks the rock & roll era and all it’s well-touted experiences seems too intangible to similarly fasten sounds to people and places now, but there will always be albums that capture something; the infinitesimal perceptions that remain for years, tying… Continue reading

WTCHS – ‘It’s Not A Cross It’s A Curse!’

WTCHS - 'It's Not A Cross It's A Curse!'

Review by Steve Marck From the very beginning of WTCHS’ offerings on It’s Not A Cross It’s A Curse! I feel like I’m being led somewhere I shouldn’t be. Steel strings are perilously clamoring towards the cavernous depths of a hell-mouth where my speakers used to sit, and I can’t stop my tendons from being pulled towards the unsettling tenacious patterns building… Continue reading

Owls – ‘Two’

Owls - 'Two'

Review by Chris Hampton I remember when I bought Owls from the record store. The guy at the till popped open the jewel case, prying underneath the plastic cover at either end of the spine and used the sticker that wraps around the opening as a hinge. I have no idea why, “to check for the CD” or something, but… Continue reading

Mounties – ‘Thrash Rock Legacy’

Mounties - 'Thrash Rock Legacy'

Review by Dylan Hudecki If the bio and buzz implies that this band has an impressive back story, the short answer is yes. The entirety of the back story leads to a press’ wet dream. In case you haven’t read it or heard, Mounties is a “super” group made up of Can-alt rock “royalty”. Rock and rollers Hawksley Workman (musician,… Continue reading

Aron D’Alesio – ‘Carousel’

Aron D'Alesio - 'Carousel'

Review by Steve Marck There’s nothing jostled about a coming storm. It doesn’t need to squeeze by any impediments to advance its way overhead—it just encompasses everything it touches, even if only for a few relative moments. The drawl in Aron D’Alesio’s Carousel is a slow roll of twang lolled along by propelling drums that draw serenely through an echo… Continue reading

The Balconies – ‘Fast Motions’

The Balconies - 'Fast Motions'

Review by Tim Martin In the Ministry of Education’s curriculum expectations for grade 4, expectation 3.8 states that students must “identify devices that make use of the properties of light and sound.” Ready grade 4? Introducing, The Balconies. Fast Motions is a hyperactive journey of thunder and consonance. The consequence of which is an album that howls with all the… Continue reading

Greys – ‘Drift’

Greys - 'Drift'

Review by John Acres I may be late to the party—Drift was released early last year—but after hearing it for the first time last week, meeting drummer Braeden Craig, and reading the reviews, I decided that this band needs more of the right kind of attention. I met Braeden in the “band” room of Hamilton, Ontario’s Casbah. He was warming up. Braeden clearly… Continue reading

Dog Day – ‘Fadeout’

Dog Day - 'Fadeout'

Review by Andrew Patterson Dog Day is a relatively unassuming band. So unassuming that I find myself wondering pessimistically if I even like them. Every time they release an album, I say to myself ‘Do I really need another Dog Day album?’. And then I look to my record shelf and I see that I own all of their records.… Continue reading

Wildlife – ‘…On The Heart’

Wildlife - '...On The Heart'

Review by Tim Martin Certain music seems to play well with constantly changing landscapes. They are fast-paced tracks that scurry by like rowdy children. Best listened to driving on a highway through the mountains, on a sailboat caught by a squall, or reading The Arrival by Shaun Tan. …On The Heart is an album of leaving, moving, shaking, and breaking.… Continue reading

The Medicine Hat – ‘Old Bones’

The Medicine Hat - 'Old Bones'

Review by Tim Martin I happened to be lounging on a Victorian wingback while The Medicine Hat rehearsed for a sold out house show this past winter. My love affair with the furniture in Nabi Loney’s [now Bersche] living room was soon interrupted by the love story of Old Bones. The album traces the young lovers (Nabi and Tyler Bersche)… Continue reading

Jordan Klassen – ‘Repentance’

Jordan Klassen - 'Repentance'

Review by Tim Martin A room full of shining faces. A jaw harp. Several vibrating strings. A thermos of mulled wine being passed around like a family photo album. References to things past. Stories that speak of the present. And the laughter that brings us from season to new sparkling season. Klassen has pruned the vine of his composition, and… Continue reading