The band has been making waves in the nation’s capital since forming in 1998 and their latest releases sees them return to their pop-punk and Ramone-style jams. As a born and raised Ottawan, I have had the luxury of seeing and hearing the Riptides for years. It is great to have the first full length Riptides album in nearly a decade as they had focused on releasing a bunch of splits over the past few years with bands such as The Dwarves, The Apers, and The Connections.
The 18-track album only features two songs over 3 minutes in length, as it focuses on quick catchy tracks leaving you wanting more. One of my highlights of the album are the great local references such as “hanging out at Brewer Park” and “going to Barbarellas’s after dark.” I always find it very special when I can connect to the location or a person a band is singing about, especially after years spent signing songs about other towns other than your own. That local touch always strikes a chord is the very best way.
One of the perfect examples that the band hasn’t lost touch with it’s pop-punk roots after all these years are the back-to-back tracks of “Homing Missile” and “Happy Ever After.” The first is full of analogies and about being locked in on love as the title suggests, and the second is all about lost love and how there will be no happy ever after in his life due to breaking up. You can’t get much more pop punk than trying to secure love and being destroyed after losing it. What is great is even after doing it for nearly 20 years, The Riptides do not come off gimmicky or fake, just true veterans of the scene.
My favourite track might have to be “Someone Just Like You” which has almost every element I love to see in a song. It features claps, duet vocals, a relatable story of attraction out at a show, catchy chorus and then on top of that they make a guitar sound like they are joined by some brass on the track. Just love it.
The best way to get through a cold winter week in Ottawa is with a rock and roll show on a Wednesday night, especially when Heat and ONFIILM are playing.
I discovered Heat a few years ago when they played during MEGAPHONO at the absolutely incredible venue, the Diefenbunker in 2015. That night I knew this band would be something special, and since then they have become one of the best bands to come out of Montreal since Arcade Fire, in my opinion. Yeah, they are that good. The band’s latest album Overnight is an absolute gem that continues to showcase the bands talent. They have a modern twist on new wave/post-punk sound, think of this day and ages Lou Reed or Psychedelic Furs.
Draped in a cloud of smoke the band treated us to late night jams on hump day at the Dominion Tavern. They opened with “The Unknown” and “Lush” off their new album. The drummer does a great job of combining his electronic drum set and standard kit, pretty impressive to watch and hear both played at once. Mid set they doubled down on songs off their first album Rooms playing the title track and “Susisfine,” giving the crowd a taste of the sound that made me fall in love with them. They then played “City Limits”and dedicated it to a friend of a friend whose dog recently passed away and lead singer Susil Sharma said “all dogs go to heaven, right?” Like I needed another reason to love this band.
Take my word for and see this band soon and any chance you get because they will not be playing little intimate venues much longer. This band really should explode.
ONFIILM rocking the Dominion Tavern in Ottawa.
Before Heat was Ottawa’s very own ONFIILM. The bands which started as an art project, plays some psychedelic rock filled with distortion, guitar solos, and vocals that take you back a few decades. Their live show features glitch art videos produced by the band made from 80’s VHS tapes, as well as two dancers. It makes for a busy stage but it doesn’t effect the bands ability to deliver the rock to the crowd. During the set they dedicated their track “Good Ones” to the guitarist’s uncle who recently passed away and loved the Dominion, they had their last beer together there about 6 months ago. It was a powerful moment. My favourite song from their performance was “Listen.” There is just something about the opening vocals which build and build and build, that just captivated me. It was great to see the band live after interviewing lead singer and guitarist Jordan Criag earlier this week, you can read that piece here.
Their live performance is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for some cosmic sounding rock and roll.
The Steve Adamyk Band recently release a dark video for their ripping track “Swallow You Whole.”
The video kicks off with a girl waking up and making herself a hotdog for breakfast, topped with sauerkraut – like a champ! The video then follows the story of this girl who seems pretty low on life and goes around holding up corner stores and liquor stores, only to then end up in a cemetery gazing up at the sky singing “swallow you whole.”
I really like the work they put into the ending with the changing colours and the utter despair on the face. And this pull it all off in just over two minutes. Oh the beauty of punk rock and Steve Adamyk Band. Overall it is a pretty cool shot video for a great track.
While not video related, I do have to say that I love Mike Krol‘s voice! I have been saying how perfectly it fits on this track since the first time I heard it.
Check out the video below and then go see Steve Adamyk Band headline a MEGAPHONO show Thursday February 2nd at the Dominion Tavern, which feels very appropriate. Information here for the show.
The Meatmen formed in 1981 in Lansing, MI, they have broken up and reunited a couple of times since then, but are now back and as angry as ever and touring their latest release Savage Sagas. Their primal decree, “We’re The Meatmen, AND YOU SUCK!” is synonymous with the era and the attitude of hardcore punk. Coming along for the ride is Against The Grain, a four-piece speed rock band. Fans of Motörhead, ZEKE, Fu Manchu, and MC5’s style of in-your-face rock will feel right at home during their set. Rounding out the night will be Ottawa’s World War 4. Led by one of Josh Grace’s (better known as Remi Royale) many alter ego’s Jaws Grace, World War 4 is one of a thousand bands with the same name but the only one from the nation’s capital. Regulars at House of TARG will recognize most of the band, but on this night they won’t be serving perogies, they will be dishing out a hot order of old school metal, punk and thrash.
HOW TO ENTER
There are a few ways to win. Only one entry per person per method please, but multiple methods per person encouraged!
Comment below the name of The Meatmen’s latest album.
Comment on the Facebook post about your favourite purchase from Vertigo Records.
Share the Ottawa Showbox Facebook post of the article
Email email@example.com or tweet at us (@ottawashowbox) the answer to this question: Who do The Meatmen think are the second greatest band in the world?
WHAT YOU COULD WIN
Two (a pair, a brace, a deuce) of tickets to this ruckus-filled and surely very sweaty night. The winner will be contacted Friday morning, good luck and don’t suck!
Crosss, Petra Glynt, Michael Rault and Kings Quest closed out MEGAPHONO‘s final show Thursday night at the Dominion Tavern in the Byward Market.
Kings Quest playing at the Dominion Tavern during MEGAPHONO in Ottawa, ON. Photo: Eric Scharf
The night began with an Ottawa band whose name lends itself so very well to a video game, Kings Quest. The wonders of Kings Quest lie within their very diverse vocal contributions. The band’s primary vocalists are two females, but there are also two other male members who contribute vocals, all of them are so different from one another but they work in such harmony. They mostly played songs off their latest release Fox Island, including the ultra catchy and excellent “Alana.”
Michael Rault playing at the Dominion Tavern during MEGAPHONO in Ottawa, ON. Photo: Eric Scharf
Kings Quests name is medieval but it was Michael Rault that took us back in time. The Toronto-based singer, guitarist and songwriter was quite the flashback. The best way I can describe it would be the sound of people jamming to 70s and 80s rock and blues with a hint of psych coming out of a neighbour’s garage, and you just need to go visit. The songs that had me hooked right away was “Too Bad So Sad” and “Nothing Means Nothing.” Then there was the super fun “I Wanna Love You,” which reminded me of The Beatles’ cute love songs with some really sweet “oooohhhs.”
Petra Glynt playing at the Dominion Tavern during MEGAPHONO in Ottawa, ON. Photo: Eric Scharf
Next up was the show stealing Petra Glynt. She was a super energetic solo performer playing smashing drums with experimental and atmospheric sounds layered with looping vocals. She made amazing use of all pedals, knobs, drum machine and the floor tom at her disposal. Petra Glynt is a solo project out of Toronto of artist Alexandra Mackenzie and it blew me away, and I was clearly not alone by the complete silence and focus of the crowd at the Dominion. A song that truly stood out was the tribal influenced “OF THIS LAND.” It was a mesmerizing experience and one of the highlights of a festival that saw many really impressive performances.
Crosss playing at the Dominion Tavern during MEGAPHONO in Ottawa, ON. Photo: Eric Scharf
Having the responsibility and honour of closing out MEGAPHONO was Crosss. This very heavy doom rock trio, often described as futuristic grunge, brought that rock sound the Dom is much more used to. The Montreal-based trio is led by multi-instrumentalist, and only remaining original member, Andrew March. March was playing his guitar upside down, the low E string was at bottom instead of at the top, something you certainly don’t see very often. Often overlooked are drummers but the drummer makes Crosss. He is so solid and driving, dictating the flow of the impressive wall of sound created by a three-piece. It’s a good thing the festival ended, as my neck needed some time to recover.