Thursday, May 3, 2012

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

Video of the Day: Fucked Up ~ “the Other Shoe”

Posted by cristóvão On August - 16 - 2011

Today’s video is from Toronto hardcore punk group Fucked Up. The track, from their latest album David Comes to Life, is pretty sweet and I particularily love how this video was shot, featuring a mysterious love triangle. And lots of walking.

Formed in 2001, David Comes to Life is only the group’s third full-length album although they have released countless 12″s, singles, EPs, demos, splits and so forth throughout their career making for an extensive catalogue for the die-hard fan. This extraordinary work-ethic was finally recognized when the band received the 2009 Polaris Music Price here in Canada for the Chemistry of Common Life.

What do you think of the video and/or song?

Popularity: unranked [?]

Album Review: Permanent Bastards ~ Emericans

Posted by JonesK On July - 13 - 2010

Written By: Kristen Jones

Taking the Toronto Punk Rock scene subtly by storm, Permanent Bastards are definitely moving up in the world.

Recorded in 2009 by Steve Rizun, Emericans is the first full length album from the band.

It’s not too often that a Punk Rock band comes along that has a sound fit for Rock Radio, but Permanent Bastards have done just that.  The music they play will appeal to rockers, yet somehow they still manage to stay true to their Punk roots.

Formed in May of 2007, Permanent Bastards is made up of Simon Paik, Sean Cepeda, Duncan Spence and Jeff Mota.

The motivation behind the band was to shake things up in the local Punk scene and open up the minds of the audiences to a new way of looking at music.

“I want this band to be judged, I want feedback; We’re putting ourselves out there for it.  I want there to be the ideas of having an interaction.  This band isn’t meant to be a run of the mill group.  We’re trying to open people’s eyes and minds to new ideas.  There’s lots of things going on in this world that need to be reopened for everyone to see.  I want people getting around sanity or at least talking about reality in this world.  I’m talking about our economy, racism, consumerism, poverty, even music.  We are against ignorance.  If we can’t get that through our music, then we shouldn’t be doing what we’re doing”, Paik has said regarding the band.

Like many Punk records Emericans has a wide variety of fast songs, such as “White Tree” and “Business Never Personal”, throughout the record.  The instrumentals are simple, but fast paced which gives a high-energy feel.

This album has something for everyone including the acoustic ballad “Constance” featuring a cameo from Britton Allison (Cavaliers!).  Another guest on the album is Chris Cresswell (The Flatliners), who appears on the track “Business Never Personal”.

If you are familiar with Permanent Bastard’s EP Gun Club, you will recognize a familiar track “SOS”, which they’ve also included on Emericans.

This band is great.  They have a unique sound and each song brings something a little different to the table, while holding it’s own.

With the help of friends, Permanent Bastards are slowly growing in popularity.  If you want to support some Canadian Punk Rock follow the band on their MySpace page

Popularity: unranked [?]

The Diodes Announce First Reunion Tour in 30 Years

Posted by cristóvão On May - 20 - 2010

From Press Release;

The Diodes, Canada’s legendary punk pioneers, are back for their first tour in over 30 years with their original 1977 line-up of Paul Robinson (vocals), John Catto (guitars), Ian Mackay (bass) and John Hamilton (drums). They are celebrating the release of a new vinyl-only album, Time/Damage: Live 1978, a live document of their historic show at the famous El Mocambo in Toronto. The Diodes were the first punk band to play the El Mocambo and their concert preceded the equally legendary Elvis Costello appearance there by a few days.

The Diodes have announced a string of reunion tour dates in Italy and Ontario. Joining the band on the Ontario tour dates is author Liz Worth – whose book Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto 1977-1981 is in it’s third printing (available from BongoBeat Books). Treat Me Like Dirt… captures the personalities that drove the original Toronto punk scene. This is the first book to document histories of The Diodes, Viletones, and Teenage Head, along with other bands (B-Girls, Curse, Demics, Dishes, Forgotten Rebels, Johnny _ The G-Rays, The Mods, The Poles, Simply Saucer, The Ugly, etc.) and fans that brought the punk scene to life in Toronto. Told in the voices of those who were there, this book is a punk rock road map, chalk full of chaos, betrayal, pain, disappointments, failure, success, and the pure rock n roll energy that frames this layered history of punk in Toronto and beyond. In a very special opening segment to the Ontario shows, Liz Worth will be in conversation with Ralph Alfonso (the book’s publisher and Diodes/Crash’n'Burn Club manager) and joined in a lively discussion with members of The Diodes, Johnny _ The G-Rays and other special guests who feature in her book. Rare 1977 Toronto punk footage will also be shown and all participants will be available to sign books and memorabilia.

Also joining The Diodes and Worth on the Ontario tour dates are Johnny _ The G-Rays (featuring 3 original members) whose singer, John Macleod, is pictured building the Crash’n'Burn club stage in the book. Drummer Bent Rasmussen was in the original 1976 version of The Diodes and guitarist Harri Palm was in the pre-Diodes group, The Eels, with Diodes members Mackay and Catto. Johnny _ The G-Rays took the punk ethos into their own plane of intricate high-energy guitar rock – now remastered in a deluxe reissue of their debut album previously released on the adventurous Attic Records (where Alfonso instigated their signing).

The Diodes were part of the first wave of international Punk bands to surface in 1976. Their appearance supporting the Talking Heads, January 1977, at Ontario College of Art is legendary in the development of the alternative music scene in Toronto and in Canada. In their short career, the band went on to achieve many firsts, including; running Canada’s first Punk club, Crash ‘n’ Burn; the only Canadian Punk band to sign a major record deal (CBS/Epic), releasing an album in October 1977; ahead of The Sex Pistols and other spearheads of the Punk genre. The album was released domestically in many European countries achieving a cult status in Italy, Sweden, Holland and France. The Diodes toured extensively between 1977-1981 supporting The Ramones, The Dead Boys, The Runaways, The Cramps, Ultravox, Gary Numan and U2. They headlined New York’s CBGB’S, Max’s Kansas City, Peppermint Lounge and LA’s The Whiskey A Go Go to rave reviews in The Village Voice, New York Rocker, The Trouser press, Creem, NME, Sounds and Billboard. The Diodes were also the first Canadian Punk band to chart on the Canadian Top 100. High decibel, high energy with aggressive guitars and swirling melodic vocals after 30 years of silence, The Diodes will reassemble for a string of tour dates with the original 1977 line up. A new vinyl album, Time Damage, has just been released on Rave Up Records, Italy.

Speaking of the punk energy that emerged out of Toronto and Hamilton, Robinson was definitive in his afterword to Treat Me Like Dirt…

“Every once in a while, maybe in every century, a city has its moment. And I think a lot of Toronto’s moment was between 1976 and 1980. There was just an incredible amount of energy in Toronto. I think it was a pretty boring place before all of us. We kind of were the instigators in terms of changing an awful lot of the direction of the city, artistically and musically and stylistically. People wanted Toronto to be more New York than New York, but keep its own identity. They wanted it to be important; they wanted it to matter. A lot of what I see in Toronto now is the product of what we created in a five-year period of time.”

Tour Dates;

  • May 21 @ Pop Corn Club, VENICE, ITALY
  • May 22 @ Road to Ruins Festival, ROME, ITALY
  • June 2 @ Starlight Lounge, WATERLOO, ON (w. Liz Worth, Johnny _ the G-Rays)
  • June 3 @ Call the Office, LONDON, ON (w. Liz Worth, Johnny _ the G-Rays)
  • June 4 @ Horseshoe Tavern, TORONTO, ON (w. Liz Worth, Johnny _ the G-Rays)
  • June 5 @ This Ain’t Hollywood, HAMILTON, ON (w. Liz Worth, Johnny _ the G-Rays)
  • June 19 @ Sound of Music Festival, BURLINGTON, ON (w. New York Dolls)

Popularity: unranked [?]

CD Review: AFI ~ Crash Love

Posted by rlatham On October - 15 - 2009

Written By: Robert Latham

AFI ~ Crash LoveA word of warning for anyone, like this writer, who has been in a musical time warp when it comes to AFI. If the last thing you knew of them was remembering them as hardcore punk rockers in the mid-90s then you’re in for a mighty shock, with the California rockers now adopting a more emo approach to their music.

But if the tag of emo instantly puts you off don’t let it as Crash Love, the band’s eighth studio album, successfully retains the band’s rocky edge and emerges as a culmination of their past offerings, ending up as a perfectly-rounded rock album mixing their punk rock rhythm and hardcore emo tendencies in one big sound.

Evidence of this is the hugely enjoyable “Where We Used To Play,” for some reason left until the penultimate track of the record, a classic singalong, air guitar-inducing rock anthem.

Another major highlight is “Fainting Spells,” which begins slowly with emo-esque crying lyrics before launching into a huge screaming chorus, repeating both before diving into a lively rock guitar solo which sets up an energetic outro to the track.

AFI have successfully managed to fuse their emo-punk tendencies with big rock sound as demonstrated in “Beautiful Thieves,” a big sweeping rock tune that slides between funky high-octane guitar riffs and jangling, edgy verses combined with a big singalong rock chorus.

The band’s emo yearnings are still very much prevalent as evidenced in laboriously predictable mid-album tracks “Too Shy To Scream,” “Veronica Sawyer Smokes” and “Okay, I Feel Better Now.”

But all this is forgotten as the album launches into “Medicate,” a big ripping rocky anthem with huge hooky guitar riffs and shouty choruses topped off by a ripping guitar solo.

The album also signs off in style with “100 Words,” a song which typifies everything AFI have achieved in Crash Love, a pop-punk singalong thanks to lead-man Davey Havok‘s whiny vocals crossed with big rock power chords, singalong choruses and finished off with a floaty guitar solo.

AFI have achieved things many band’s can only dream of, uniting the genres of rock, emo and punk music with a record that will please fans of all three for different reasons. While it is easy to write the band off for tending towards mainstream emo this record is a perfect retort – an energetic, enjoyable rock offering.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Sled Island Featured Artist ~ Rocket Reducers

Posted by cristóvão On June - 21 - 2009


June 24th, 2009 @ the Ship _ Anchor with SNFU, the Yells, Last Plague

For the second installment of our Sled Island Featured Artist series, we bring you Welland, Ontario’s Rocket Reducers. When we heard that this punk rock act was going to play the second day of Sled Island with legendary punks SNFU, we had to ask them to tell us their story. What we got was as punk rock as you can get;

“The Rocket Reducers aren’t some nostalgic, second-wave kids from the suburbs. In a few words, this is raw power: the type of enthusiasm that resembles a pack of wolves more so than it does a rock and roll high school pep rally.”


The group (featuring Burger, Ellis, Stack and TJ) just released a 12″ self-titled EP back in January in limited numbers and will be playing in Lethbridge on June 23rd before their Sled Island show. From Calgary, they’ll be playing in Vancouver and Victoria before returning for another show in Calgary on July 4th (at the Distillery). They’ll then make their way back across the prairies for a number of shows in Ontario lasting into July.

Within a quick listen to their music, you can easily see how Rocket Reducers are influenced by other such legends as MC5, the Stooges and the Kinks. Check out the track “Shit Talker” below;

Popularity: unranked [?]

Sled Island Featured Artist ~ SSRIs

Posted by cristóvão On June - 20 - 2009

Calgary’s Sled Island festival is almost upon us and Off the Dial is running a cool daily feature. Every day from now until June 26th, we’ll showcase one band who will be playing this year’s festival. Here’s our first featured artist!

June 23rd, 2009 @ Tubby Dog with Sub-Linguals, Jonathan Toubin, Noah York

ssrisVancouver’s SSRIs will be playing the very first day of Sled Island at Tubby Dog on Tuesday, June 23rd. The quartet (Elliot Langford, Joseph Hirabayashi, Anthony Dallas and Aaron McKinney) are self described as “weird/punk” which sums up their sound quite nicely. Their music is very raw, sometimes chaotic and experimental and should translate live quite interestingly. Just as chaotic their music can be, so his their history.

The band formed in late 2006 as a trio with Langford, Hirabayashi and drummer Jon Holisko, who all played together in Life Without Water. After placing 2nd in CITR’s Shindig festival (a battle of the bands contest at Vancouver’s Railway Club), Holisko left. Before him leaving and them continuing as a duo, they finished recording with Holisko and released the Prescribing The SSRIs EP.

Their days as a duo were short lived as they were joined by Tommy Milburn a short time later. They abandoned any music they had been working on as a duo and completed their second EP, titled Teems. Sadly, Milburn died tragically on July 1st, 2008 after and accident two days prior. The sudden death shook Langford and Hirabayashi and they stopped everything for nearly four months before reforming with drummer Anthony Dallas (also of Boggie Monster) and, a month later, bassist Aaron McKinney.

After SSRIs play their Sled Island gig here next week, they are heading across Canada on tour with an additional Calgary show on July 1st at Vern’s and shows following in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Canmore and wrapping up in Vancouver on July 30th. For the full tour itinerary, check out their MySpace page.

You can download both of their EPs for free on the band’s official web site. Click below to hear “Diary” by the SSRIs;

Popularity: unranked [?]

Win a FREE Copy of Sights & Sounds’ Monolith

Posted by cristóvão On June - 18 - 2009

ss-monolithHey guys! So, last month we featured a review of Canadian rockers Sights _ Sounds new CD Monolith. Now, with great thanks to their label Smallman Records, here’s your chance to win a FREE copy of this CD.

How do I get my hands on this FREE CD you’re asking? Simple, just make sure you’re on our mailing list…and that’s it! If you’re already on our mailing list, you’re automatically entered into the random draw. If not, get on it and JOIN TODAY!

We’ll leave the entry period open for a week or so and announce our random winner later next week. Make sure to spread the love, tell all your friends know about the contest and get them to join the mailing list TODAY!.

Make sure to check out our Sights _ Sounds CD Review of Monolith right here on Off the Dial!

Popularity: unranked [?]

CD Review: Madcowboys ~ S/T

Posted by cristóvão On June - 5 - 2009

madcowboysstCalgary punks Madcowboys return with their third self-titled full length album on the New Black record label.  After one listen through, you’ll see why it’s self-titled and features a plain black cover with their name scrawled across the front.

Recorded at Audio Audities in Bearspaw, AB with producer Ian Blurton, the album clocks in at under 34 minutes of DIY punk music that hearkens back their Fistful of Dirty Dollars days. This is no step backwards though as punk lovers like yours truly will thoroughly enjoy this disc.

The album features the addition of a horn section in a couple of songs including “girl in shackles” (a subtle attack on an apparent god-loving former female companion) and mid-album track “instrumental”. Combined with phenomenal cuts “into the black” and “goodness”, this makes for a well rounded collection.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Madcowboys record if it didn’t contain some political or social messages and these are the greatest cuts of them all. With songs like “accountability” and “it don’t make no sense” (which features one of the greatest lines on the album, “let’s take our knowledge of this earth and use it to the earth’s advantage”), they complete the record, always forces you to think and makes for a fantastic album.

Heard the new Madcowboys album? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Popularity: 7% [?]

Madcowboys to Release New Album Canada-Wide

Posted by cristóvão On May - 28 - 2009

madcowboysCalgary punk trio Madcowboys released their third, self-titled full-length album at home back at the end of April but the boys are preparing the new disc for national release on June 2nd, 2009.

The follow-up to their excellent 2007 release Baby Steps, this album was produced by Ian Blurton and recorded at Audio Audities in Bearspaw, AB. When asked why Madcowboys went without a title for this album, drummer Will Schatz said, “(It’s) Our best album yet and we felt that it did not need a title.” He also added that it was inspired by “the countless hours we spent on the road.”

The new album is being released on the New Black, a Calgary based record label and music _ arts centre that provides jam and performance space, plus full marketing services including band web-sites, album inlays and t-shirt designs. Madcowboys are actually playing the New Black Centre on June 7th with Carpenter and Kurt Vonnegut.

Watch for our review of the new Madcowboys CD in the next couple of weeks here on Off the Dial!

Popularity: 7% [?]

The Real McKenzies St. Patty’s Day in Calgary Pre-Sale!!!

Posted by cristóvão On February - 4 - 2009

That’s right kids, the Real McKenzies are coming back to Calgary for what should prove to be an incredible show at the Whiskey Nightclub on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th for you fools who aren’t in the know or just too drunk). Pre-sale starts TODAY (February 4th, 2009) at 10:00 hrs Mountain Time and runs until February 5th at 22:00 hrs. For your pre-sale password, email and you’ll be added to our mailing list for future updates. Good luck!!!

Popularity: 11% [?]





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