New Music: Heavy Traffic — EP 1
Heavy Traffic, a garage rock duo from Ottawa, released their first taste of music on their EP1 on June 17. Cam Steacy & Josh Scammell play with many groups in the psych & alternative rock genres. Scammell played drums on the Song of the Neverending Ugly Lizard LP by Pith & the Parenchymas and Steacy recorded and produced that record. The Yips, Organ Eyes & Patterson Hall also received recording, mixing & mastering work done by Steacy, who also plays with Sam Pippa & Jon Bennett in Organ Eyes.
The opening track is a noisy introduction to Heavy Traffic’s leanings. It takes the listener as far as his or her ear can appreciate effects and twists. The blaring cacophony was too much for me but a fast-forward to “Stingray” reminded me that garage rock was going to be more than just a quick descriptor. Heavy riffing, fast-paced percussion, and buzzed vocals on the second track and “Dead and Wonderful” came with basic but enjoyable hooks. “Sparkle Rock” is anything but. It’s a blast that launches you through the remainder of the album best described as lethargic & energetic.
Favourite track: “Depends on How you Look at it.” This is garage rock bliss, alternative but consistent pop melody. I’ve always found the term “garage” doesn’t really do the genre justice, but calling it “cellar”, “latrine” or “cubicle” music doesn’t quite work either. What’s stopping me from calling this chamber music? Not a fucking thing. This is alternative chamber music… recorded in a garage?
Heavy Traffic will not help with road rage but it will get you through a long day.
New Music: Sailor Jupiter – s/t
One of Ottawa’s best new bands, Sailor Jupiter, has finally recorded some highly-anticipated music for us.
The band’s self-titled debut is six songs of garage and noise rock gold, and effectively demonstrates why Ottawa’s garage scene continues to be one of North America’s hidden gems. The album opens fast and hard with riot-girl fuel “Beat It Son,” followed by the loud, raucous, and quick “Can’t Surf.” I can honestly say that before listening to “Can’t Surf,” I had no idea there was so much anger about not being able to surf in Ottawa. With the first two songs done in less than 2 minutes, Sailor Jupiter slows it down and finds their garage groove. Songs like “Dead to Me” and “Jesus Freaks” pull back on the speed but maintain the intensity that we experience throughout the record. The overdriven fuzzy riffs and pounding bass lines take us down into the depths of what Sailor Jupiter are all about – in your face and unrestrained.
Sailor Jupiter are part of a new generation of the garage and noise rock bands coming out of Ottawa. The path was paved before them by other local veterans like Bondar, Bonnie Doon and Boyhood, and none of these bands are showing signs of slowing down. The album was recorded by Matt Ferrier and mastered by Cameron Steacy of Organ Eyes. Check out Sailor Jupiter’s self-titled debut below for youself and don’t miss them when they play in town.
New Music: Bonnie Doon An Affair to Imagine EP
Local punk/post-punk/whatever band Boonie Doon released their first EP called An Affair to Imagine on Bruised Tongue yesterday, Saturday, June 28, when they played a massive show with Pregnancy Scares and White Lung at House of Targ. They’ve already released the EP on bandcamp, and this band teleports me to a time when pizza was good for you because it contains all four food groups and sleepovers didn’t include hangovers the next day.
Here is their message to us: ◢ ◢ ◢ Bonnie Doon was born under the full moon in the eighth month of the twelfth year of the pizza. We came from outer space to wag the dog. ◣◣◣
The band brings about a similar emotive reaction as The Pixies or early Nirvana: one part a little fucked up and esoteric, and two parts amazing filthy, bang-on instrumentation that can cause mass hysteria. I’m really excited to see where these ladies take this band, as their music is pretty different and genre-defying.
Check out this snippet from their interview with Alanna Why for CHUO Radio Active about the recording process and the Ottawa scene:
Lesley: We separated the recording process because some of us weren’t in town, so that was a learning curve.
Keltie: We recorded drums first and I nothing to go off of, so Sarah sang all the parts into a microphone which was fed into my ears going na na na na and I somehow knew what she was talking about.
Lesley: There’s a lot of great women in the scene and it’s fun to be a part of that and part of the scene in general and also see other women do awesome shit and be like “hey sweet!” A lot of people are jazzed on our band, I think because there was a lack of female presence in the Ottawa scene, so I’m really honoured to be seen as a mentor for the scene. It’s super rad, and I’m stoked to see more women and men playing music together.
Listen here to hear them talk about the urban legends of Pizza Shark and more. Check out the EP below!
New Music: Roberta Bondar – Pleather Bed
Roberta Bondar (Photo: Kathy Roussel)
Things have been a little backed up these days for me, and posts have been few and far between. For that I apologize, but I couldn’t miss getting this explosive new track by Ottawa’s Roberta Bondar out there. It’s off their upcoming EP, which many of us are very excited to listen to in its entirety. In the meantime, see what’s in store and check out the new track “Pleather Bed”.