Archive for ALberta

SURF KITTIES

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

skDuring one of my trips to music streaming sites, I came across Surf Kitties, a Calgary, Alberta band that released a self titled album in March 2013. As their name suggests, this trio is way into surf music.

The 7 track album is an instrumental journey back to the days of Frankie & Annette movies, and The Ventures.The songs are 2-3 minutes in duration, and are filled with way cool guitar riffs, dynamite bass lines, solid drumming, and tremolo. The band may be a little rough around the edges, but I am just so liking the Surf Kitties. The album is available as ‘pay any price’ on Bandcamp. Definitely worth checking out.

http://surfkitties.bandcamp.com/album/surf-kitties

 

 

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MUST HAVE CANADIAN INDIE ALBUMS-January 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Well, it’s already February and time for our top album picks of January.

BETRAYERSLet The Good Times Die

betrayers1This  fuzzed up, punked out, psych,60s garage band from Edmonton, Alberta band blew me away with their third release. The songs are short, yet poignant. The sound is full. The music seems to want to  go somewhere, but the vocals and the melody take it somewhere else. There is tremelo everywhere. This is not music for the masses. Betrayers create a unique world with their music, perhaps a world on a yet to be discovered planet. Let The Good Times Die is not for the focused. I refer to this as the ADHD sound: Its all over the place. Yet, it makes sense. And it works. It is different. It is weird. It is amazingly cool. A great album. A great listen. A wonderful experience. 

JON MULLANEShine

jm2This native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, rocks. It rocks Halifax and Jersey. Jon Mullane writes amazing songs with exceptional melodies. He has that cool, gravelly voice, and subtle approach to instrumentation. His passion for 1960’s pop and 1970’s garage create a near perfect hybrid  of garage-pop. And he looks the part. White t shirt, jeans, and a bit of a snarl that reminds me of early Springsteen. But Mullane is his own force to be reckoned with.  Three singles have already been lifted from the album“New American Girl”, “Body Rock”, and “Any Other Way”. A great writer, a great musician, a great album. One of the coolest albums I have had the good fortune to have listened to. Definitely one for your collection and your car.

REDAMBERGREENNo City

The LondonOntario band, Redambergreen seems to have reinvented themselves. With the addition of new vocalist Sara Preston, the 2013 No City EP sees the band move to a heavier, gutsier sound.I had written ragabout their prior EP, and remarked that I had expected more. Well, here it is. There are definite elements of heavier rock, which the band embraces. The riffs are driving, yet subtle. The drumming is powerful.   The songs are well written and masterfully played. There is a fullness to the sound that I like. The production is dead on. Redambergreen nails it with this effort, providing a blend of power-pop, alternative rock, and hard rock. A wonderful album from talented musicians, who found their sound. Incredibly good.

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BETRAYERS-Let The Good Times Die

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

betrayers2betrayers3I seem to be drawn to the weird. The different.The unique and original. Its okay. I like it. Particularly when it comes to music. It’s the excitement of finding something that defies genre; something new; something truly entertaining. And, as luck would have it, hiding deep in the underground of Edmonton, Alberta, I found the weirdly wonderful Betrayers, a fuzzed up, punk out, psych, 60’s garage band.

Their earlier EPs,  December 2012’s, Treat Me Mean, and the February 2013, The Betrayers, foreshadowed the sound of things to come.  Fair warning for December 2013’s full album, Let The Good Times Die.

betrayers4The album is filled with great guitar riffs, that often lie just below the bass and drums.I hear tambourine and a way cool organ. It doesn’t get more 1960s than that. There are choppy piano riffs and a drone that permeates the band’s sound making me think of Love And Rockets and the 1980s. I particularly enjoyed “Do You Smoke?”, with its dark, eerie mood and fuzz guitar solo, and “Little Girl (You’ve Got Some Growing Up To Do)“, a Ramone’s punk song with pop influence, cool harmonies and great drumming. My favorite track, “Song For Sue“, has an almost surf-pop melody that is counter balanced by the instrumentation. It has great changes and a cool bridge.

betrayers1Musical influences are varied. There are hints of The Clash, Be Bop Deluxe, and the opening of “”Born To Cry” had me thinking of The Four Seasons.  “Call Me When You’re Blue“, off of the Treat Me Mean EP, has that 60s, girl group feel. There are shades of The Beach Boys. But this is a fuzzed up, psyched-out rock band. I checked in with Travis Sargent, the band’s slightly eccentric front man, who confirmed that the band has 2 drummers. Yes, there are 2 drum kits! In the studio, and live. This is way cool.

betrayers5The songs are short, yet poignant. The sound is full. The music seem to want to  go somewhere, but the vocals and the melody take it somewhere else. There is tremelo everywhere. This is not music for the masses. Betrayers create a unique world with their music, perhaps a world on a yet to be discovered planet. Let The Good Times Die is not for the focused. I refer to this as the ADHD sound: Its all over the place. Yet, it makes sense. And it works. It is different. It is weird. It is amazingly cool. A great album. A great listen. A wonderful experience.  Can’t wait for thee guys to make it to Toronto.

You can listen here:  http://thebetrayers.bandcamp.com/

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THE PYGMIES-Inside Your Mind

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

pig5Out of the frozen Canadian Prairies come The Pygmies, reinventing Western Canadian music. This Calgary, Alberta garage-pop/punk band with roots in the 60s and 70s, have released 3 albums in the past 2 years, and thankfully, I have listened to them all.

pig3The January 2012 EP  The Pygmies, contains 2 tracks, “Because You’re Mine” and “Can’t Get You Outta My Head“. The songs are amazingly well crafted, with wonderful melodies. Reminiscent of early Kinks, they contain great riffs and solos, with an edge. Sort of The Kinks meet The Ramones.

pig2Pygmy Parumpapumpum, one of my favorite album titles of all time,  contains 4 tracks, and was released in November 2012 with, as you guessed, an Xmas theme. Songs like “Santa Claus“, “Father Christmas“, and “Pygmy Xmas” offer a Punk/Pop perspective of the holiday season by delivering great harmonies, amazing riffs and transitions, and some very cool drumming. The title track, an instrumental  take on the classic Christmas tune, intertwines itself with a verse or 2 of Silent Night, played with way cool psych guitar effects, and amazing 60’s organ. A way cool Xmas album.

pig1The 10 track Inside Your Mind, released in November 2013, has made the short list of our Canadian Indie Album Of The Year. Refreshingly simple, yet intense, this album has blown me away. “Hold Tight” has great effects and nice harmonies, while “Death March” gives us a great 60’s pop song with a wonderful melody and great harmony placement and shades of The Ramones. “I Can’t Get Out” , a perfectly executed garage-pop tune foreshadows the surf guitar riff, solo and Beatle ending of “Last Night“. The keyboard solo of “Inside Out“, with its early The Pretenders feel, and the obvious The Kinks influence of “End Of Time” make these prototypical  pop songs. The vocals on “No Connection” are tremendous and I really dig the 60’s ending. The pounding drums and ethereal harmonies of “Cannibal” are a perfect counterbalance to the much slower tempo. The heavy garage sound with a 1960’s vocal melody and organ of the title track remind me of something in a 1960’s teen beach movie. And I really like it. My favorite track, “Chain Reaction“, opens the album with incredible keys, a great melody, and way cool riffs and guitar effects. Sort of Smash Mouth with a 60’s twist. This song plays over and over in my head.

pig4The Pygmies have nailed it. The sound is captivating and the songs are brilliantly written. I enjoy the 2 1/2 minute tunes, which are written in a pop style-short and simple, and give me the sense that these were recorded live in one take. These guys are adept at dropping garage melodies into 1960’s pop, and 60’s pop melodies into garage music. They have a distinct knack for vocal melodies and harmonies, and a great sense of humor. I only wish that this was a double album. The Pygmies have developed a style that gives me The Zombies and The Kinks with a kiss of The Flaming Lips, and they have made it work. Definitely a must have album.

You can listen to The Pygmies here:   http://thepygmies.bandcamp.com/

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