Tuesday, December 30, 2014

GIG ALERT: First Hardcore Show of The Year / Friday January 2, 2015 @ The Esquire

Who: Hardcharger (Fredericton), Tasty Wangs (Saint-John), Warsick (Moncton)
What: Hardcore/Punk/Trash/
When: Friday January 2, 2015  10PM
Where: Esquire Tavern
Why: Hardcharger are stellar and it's a Friday night.
Cost: $6
Link: Hardcharger / Tasty Wangs / Warsick

Thursday, December 25, 2014

GIG ALERT: Boxing Day Party @ Esquire Tavern

Who: The Human Comedy, The Virals, Mephistos
What: Indie, Alt, Punk
When: Friday Dec 26, 2014  10PM
Where: Esquire Tavern
Cost: ??
Link: Boxing Day Party

Friday, December 19, 2014

GIG ALERT: Festivus 2014 with Motorleague, Gloryhound & Space Age

Who: The Motorleague, Gloryhound (Halifax), Space Age (Halifax)
What: Some loud rock
When: Friday December 19th, 2014  10PM
Where: Esquire Tavern
Why:  Cuz it's Friday night !!!
Cost: $15 at the door
Link: Festivus 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

GIG ALERT: Sintax Error / The Virals / Mephistos / T'cheulle Shapness @ Plan B Thursday Dec 11, 2014

Who: T'cheulle Sharpness, Sintax Error, Mephistos, The Virals
What: Poetry Zine Launch + music
When: Thursday December 11, 2014  10PM
Where: Plan B Lounge
Why: In case you feel like staying up late on a Thursday night
Cost: take your chances

Saturday, November 29, 2014

GIG ALERT: The Mouthbreathers, Impulse Items, Kappa Chow II, Saturday Novemeber 29th @ Spin-It

Who: Mouthbreathers (Sackville), Impulse Items, Kappa Chow II
What: Stereophonic Release Show
When: Saturday November 29th, 2014  5PM
Where: Spin-It Records Moncton, NB
Why: It's free, it's all-ages and you can look at records between bands
Link: Stereophonic Release Show Moncton

Monday, November 10, 2014

GIG ALERT: The Motorleague @ Plan B, Monday November 10, 2014

Who: The Motorleague, The Dying Arts (Toronto)
What: Loud Rock
When: Monday November 10, 2014  9PM
Where: Plan B Lounge
Why: You probably don't have to work tomorrow
Cost: $10

Saturday, November 8, 2014

GIG ALERT: SUPERSUCKERS @ Tide & Boar Sunday Nov 10th, 2014

Who: Supersuckers (USA), The Bricklins
What: high octane punk infused rock / heavy blues rock
When: Sunday Nov 10th, 2014  doors at 8PM
Where: Tide & Boar (upstairs)
Why: The self-proclaimed world's greatest rock and roll band are in Moncton. Early show (apparently).
Cost: $12 advance / $17 at door
Link: supersuckers/bricklins in moncton

Friday, November 7, 2014

GIG ALERTS: SINTAX ERROR //// DEAD BROKE Friday November 7, 2014

Who: Dead Broke (Toronto), Savage Young, Orchards (Halifax)
What: rock, rock and more rock
When: Friday November 7, 2014  10PM
Where: The Esquire Tavern
Why: Rainy Friday night isn't it?
Cost:  ????
Link: dead broke, savage young, orchards

Who: Sintax Error
What: Local alternative, punk vets showcasing for Francofete Week
When: Friday November 7, 2014 after midnight (ouch!)
Where: Plan B Lounge
Why: For the night owls
Cost:  ???

Sunday, November 2, 2014

GIG ALERT: Fear Agent / Warsick / Dead For Days / Highfield Squares SUNDAY Nov 2nd, 2014 @ the Esquire

Who: Fear Agent, Warsick, Dead For Days, The Adhesives
What: Punk, Hardcore, Thrash, Metal
When: Sunday November 2nd, 2014  10PM
Where:The Esquire Tavern
Why: Sunday night bender?
Cost: ???
Link: The Pogo Never Stops Consolation Gig

Saturday, November 1, 2014

GIG ALERT: Outtacontroller / The Disasterbaters / Dyscontrol / The Virals @ Claude's House SATURDAY Nov 1st, 2014

Who: Outtacontroller (Halifax), Disasterbaters, Dyscontrol (Halifax), The Virals
What: Saturday Night Punk Bash
When: Saturday Nov 1st, 2014 8PM-ish
Where: Claude's House (95 Lester Street)
Why: Top shelf local and regional punk bands
Cost: Suggested Donation $5
Link: Outtacontroller/Disasterbaters/Dyscontrol/Virals

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Who: Flock of Seagulls, Big Bad Marty Band
What: Eighties New Wave, local cover band, costumes, party
When: Friday Oct 31, 2014  9PM
Where: Casino NB
Why: When's the last time a new wave/synth-pop band came to town?
Cost: $24.99 - $35.99
Link: Freakers Ball

Who: The Bricklins, Hope, The Soundchecks
What: Hell or High Water's Halloween Havoc
When: Friday Oct 31, 2014  10PM
Where: Esquire Tavern
Why: Loud music, cold beer, costumes, prizes
Cost: $10
Link: Halloween Havoc

Who: Les Hotesses d'Hilaire, The Squirts
What: Halloween avec les Hoteses d'Hilaire
When: Friday Oct 31, 2014
Where: Plan B Lounge
Cost: $10
Link: Halloween avec les Hotesses d'Hilaire

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

GIG ALERT: Rebel Spell / The Combine / Fear Agent / Creacher Thursday Oct 30, 2014

Who: The Rebel Spell (Vancouver) / The Combine (St. John's Nfld) / Fear Agent / Creacher
What: Punk, Metal, Hardcore, Loud, Fast, Heavy
When: Thursday Oct 30th, 2014  8PM
Where: Claude's House (95 Lester)
Why: The Rebel Spell have been rocking out political punk for over a decade and are catchy as hell.
Cost: PWYC / Donation
Link: Rebel Spell / The Combine / Fear Agent / Creacher

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

GIG ALERT: Paper Lions @ Tide & Boar Wednesday Oct 28th 2014

Who: Paper Lions (PEI), Rah Rah (Regina, SK)
What: Canadian Indie Pop
When: Wednesday Oct 28, 2014  10PM
Where: The Tide & Boar  700 Main St, Moncton NB
Why: What are your other options on a Tuesday night?
Cost: ????

Thursday, October 23, 2014

GIG ALERTS: Strange Attractor @ Esquire / Colonial Quarrels @ Plan B

Who: Strange Attractor (Sudbury, ON featuring ex- Statues), Hag Face (Calgary), Impulse Items, The Virals
What: Canadian Punk Rock
When: Friday Oct 24, 2014 10PM
Where: Esquire Tavern
Why: Two great touring bands plus great local bands
Cost: ????
Link: Strange Attractor / Hag Face

Who: Colonial Quarrels / The Crooked Brothers (Winnipeg)
What: Indie / Roots Rock
When: Friday Oct 24, 2014 10PM
Where: Plan B
Why: Album release for a local act that plays infrequently and seldom records
Cost: ????
Link: Colonial Quarrels Album Release

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gig Alert: Beef Boys / The Lonely Parade / The Mike V Band 10/20/2014

Who: Beef Boys (Peterborough, ON) The Lonely Parade (Peterborough, ON), The Mike V Band
What: Garage, Punk, Surf, Alernative, Indie, Rock
When: Monday Oct 20, 2014  9PM
Where: Claude's House 95 Lester Street
Why: Two visiting bands fro Peterborough for Chrissakes!
Cost: PWYC

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gig Alert: B.A. Johnston

Who: B.A. Johnston, The Disasterbaters, Los Pollos Hermanos
What: acoustic slapstick, garage punk, surf
When: Friday Oct 17, 2014
Where: Esquire Tavern, 2 Reade Street, Moncton NB
Why: Friday night rock and roll!!!
Cost: ????

Thursday, October 9, 2014

GIG ALERT: Martha Wainwright Oct 9, 2014

Who: Martha Wainwright
What: Pop, folk, ballads, contemporary chanteuse
When: Thursday Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton NB
Why: It's only her second time here. First in over a decade.
Cost: Tickets are $44 (plus service charges).

Thursday, September 25, 2014

AKG Moncton Rock n' Roll News September 2014 (updated)

So here's a little bit of what's happened since our last update (May 2014).

The big news is that Eric Neurotic and Ilisha French (both of Feral Trash) have packed up and moved to Ottawa. We're not sure what this means for the band's future as bassist Jesse still resides in Moncton. We wish both of them the very best of luck and we hope to hear the forthcoming Feral Trash album very soon. 

Sintax Error have released a full length album on CD entitled Radical Honze on which they sing in French and / or Chiac. No word on a vinyl version yet, but we are hopeful that it will someday be committed to wax. The band have curiously opted for distribution through Distribution Plages, which mostly caters to the francophone music market. As a result of this, I haven't seen it in any indie store around as of yet.

Former Monctonian Julie Doiron (now a Sackville resident) scored a nice coup when her song Life of Dreams was chosen by Apple to advertize their iPhones. The song was originally included on her 2009 album I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day. Good for you Julie. We hope you get a nice wad. Now buy us a drink.

Moncton's premier hardcore quartet Rabid Reaction have called it a day. According to sources, guitarist Poke left the fold and the others have decided to continue under the name Warsick with Fear Agent's Mitchie Dagger taking over on guitar. Their sound is said to be of the crust / d-beat variety completely devoid of the early American hardcore sound they once espoused.

The city's only regular free entertainment weekly has recently stopped publication. [here], owned by Brunswick News, announced without warning that it was ceasing publication and could perhaps reappear in the future under a new format. Best wishes to the staff and many thanks for your contribution to the local and provincial music scene.

Shevil, the bearded and now-defunct doom/stoner metal band have a posthumous album out.  It is a 5 track concept called Kilts of War and it is laden with heaviness. Check it out.

It is with sadness that we announce that Frank Barter, owner of Frank's Music has passed on after a long illness. Barter was the franchise-owner of Sam The Record for many years and then his own Frank's Music store which is now run by his son and daughter. He served the local populace very well and will sorely be missed. Rest in peace.

Blotto, an unorthodox low-key trio, have released a debut 7" on Mark Gaudet's Venison Creek label. We haven't seen them live yet, but all accounts indicate that they are very interesting indeed.

Speaking of Mark Gaudet, his band Purple Knight with guitarist Raynald Leger, has just recently celebrated their 40th anniversary. Here's to many more decades of debacle.

Local word of mouth venue Claude's House is moving from their Church Street location to Lester Street in the city's East End. This could be interesting.

Local melodic skate punk band Hope, have recently been playing again with new material. Here's hoping they get committed to wax soon.

Deco, the superb heavily Velvet Underground-influenced trio, have recently changed their name to Soaring Sirens.

Zaum, a heavy effects-laden duo consisting of Kyle MacDonald and Chris Lewis have released a debut album entitled Oracles on a Swedish metal label. They seem to taking this seriously having already done a Canadian tour and now are in the middle of a European jaunt. Good luck boys.

And finally, please check out new band the Disasterbaters if they play in your neighbourhood. These three shaggy haired scruffs play some fun, basic garage rock. See them soon before they become too proficient and professional.

The Disasterbaters are ready to ruck!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

GIG ALERT: CHEAP TRICK Saturday August 23, 2014

Who: Cheap Trick
What: Some of the finest anthemic power-pop around. Surrender, Dream Police, She's Tight....
When: Saturday Aug 23, 2014  8PM
Where: Casino NB
Why: They haven't played here since the late 1980's.
Cost: $39.99 - $69.99
Link: http://casinonb.ca/cheap-trick

Friday, August 22, 2014


Who: The Vibrators (UK), Nerve Button, The Disasterbaters
What: Original Punk Rock, Party Punk, Garage Punk
When: Friday Aug 22, 2014  10PM
Where: Esquire Tavern, 2 Reade Street, Moncton NB
Why: It's not everyday an English punk band comes to town on a Friday night
Cost: $10 advance at Spin-It Records / $15 at the door
Link: Vibrators Moncton Event

Who: Purple Knight, Outtacontroller (Halifax), Slouch (Ontario), Saduk (Halifax), Crossed Wires (Halifax)
What: A wild mix of diverse electric guitar sounds
When: Friday Aug 22, 2014  10:15PM
Where: Claude's House, upstairs from Calactus
Why: Purple Knight's 40th anniversary gig
Cost: $9 suggested donation
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/259024570955973/

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Who: Sintax Error
What: CD Release for their new album Radical Honze, DJ, Short Films
Where: Aberdeen Cultural Center, third floor
Why: First musical release in 25 years by these local legends
Cost: Free
Link: soirée rhubarbe volée

Saturday, August 9, 2014

GIG ALERT: COMAS (Ireland) Aug 11, 2014

Who: Comas (from Ireland)
What: Traditional Irish and Flemish Music
When: Monday August 11, 2014  9PM
Where: Plan B Lounge
Why: Down some pints with traditional music played by pros
Link: /http://www.comasmusic.com/

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

GIG ALERTS: Wednesday August 6, 2014 (Dropkick Murphys / AHNA)

Who: Dropkick Murphys (Boston), The Motorleague, The Mighty Stef (Ireland)
What: Irish influenced punk rock  ALL-AGES
Where: Casino NB
When: Wednesday Aug 6  8PM
Cost: $39.50 advance / $44.50 day of the show
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1425185694399825/

Who: Ahna (BC), Fear Agent, Greasebeast (Sackville)
What: noise, noise and more noise
Where: Spin-It Records
When: Wednesday August 6  5PM
Cost: FREE, all-ages
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/612102778907373/

Who: Ahna (BC), Blotto, Greasebeast (Sackville)
What: noise and strangeness
Where: Claude's House (above the Calactus Restaurant)
When: Wednesday August 6  10:30PM
Cost: PWYC or $6  ALL-AGES
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/650897724976223/

Friday, August 1, 2014


Who: Nashville Pussy (Atlanta, GA), Fifth On The Floor (Kentucky)
What: High Octane Southern Trash Rock
When: Friday August 1, 2014
Where: Esquire Tavern, 2 Reade Street, Moncton NB
Why: It's Friday night, cheap beer, rowdy visiting rock bands. NP last played the Esquire in 1997 and what a legendary show it was.
Cost: $15 advance (at Spin It Records) or $20 at the door
Link: nashville pussy return to the esquire

Who: Bloodshot Bill (Montreal), W.S. Holland & Rayburn Anthony (USA),  The Millwinders (Toronto), Urban Surf Kings (Halifax) + burlesque shows between bands
What: Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown III. Rockabilly, cars, tattoos, burlesque, pomade etc.
When: Friday August 1, 2014  9PM
Where: Victoria Street (downtown) Amherst, NS
Why: It's a long weekend and there's great music and cold beer under a big tent.
Cost: $25 weekend pass or $15 per night
Link: http://www.rockabillyshakedown.com/
Who: Ketamines (Toronto), Jay Arner, The Disasterbaters
What: free all-ages punky indie rock show at the record store
When: Saturday August 2, 2014 1PM
Where: Spin It Records Moncton NB
Why: Why not get out out of the sun, it's free...
Cost: free I say
Link: Ketamines/Jay Arner/Disasterbaters
Who: Lee Rocker (ex-Stray Cats), Tim Polecat (ex-Polecats), The Bloodshots (New York), Shakedown Combo (UK/NS)
What: Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown III. Rockabilly, cars, tattoos, burlesque, pomade etc.
When: Saturday August 2, 2014  9PM
Where: Victoria Street (downtown) Amherst, NS
Why: It's a long weekend and there's great music and cold beer under a big tent.
Cost: $25 weekend pass or $15 per night
Link: http://www.rockabillyshakedown.com/

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Record Reviews: Black Flag / S.O.A.

Black Flag - What The...  LP  (SST)
 During their initial decade long existence (1976-1986), Black Flag always courted controversy with authority figures, but who would believe that almost three decades later the band would be scrutinized so heavily by their fans? This incarnation of the band is essentially founder/guitarist Greg Ginn at the helm, Ron Reyes (the band's vocalist circa 1979-1981) handling microphone duty with some hired guns filling in the rhythm section.
 Musically, this still has the trademark experimental guitar for which the group is known. Many songs are reminiscent of the mid-80's Henry Rollins era but somehow lacking a cohesive flow. If Ginn had shaved one third of the album's 22 songs and had the benefit of a constant live unit, this may have been a much more solid album. As it stands, it seems a bit rushed and will not be considered a defining part of the Black Flag catalog. We want hear more.

S.O.A. - First Demo  7"  (Dischord)
Wow! What a time capsule! This is eight tracks of fast, no frills hardcore punk when the movement was still in its infancy. Although three tracks were previously released on the Flex Your Head compilation, any fan of the genre or of Henry Rollins should pick this up immediately. Recorded back in December 1980, this demo pretty much equals the legendary No Policy EP that they released a little later. It is such a pleasure to be able to decipher the most of lyrics without a printed sheet.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Who: The Sadies (the best live band in the world)
When: Thursday May 29th, 2014
Where: McSweeneys Dinner Theatre, 700 Main Street, 3rd floor
What: country, surf, twang, garage, psychedelic, roots, americana, punk
Cost: $15 advance available at Spin-It Records, $20 at the door
Why: They are consistently the best live band touring today
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1410675819198052/

Sunday, May 25, 2014

AKG Moncton Rock n' Roll News May 2014

Veteran band Syntax Error are currently recording in France at La Frette Studios just outside of Paris. They hope to have an album's worth of material.

Well-known prog-fusionists Les Paiens have just released their latest album entitled Carte Blanche. This offering sees the group experimenting with looping, electro-sounds and new beats. This is the first time that the group have released anything on the vinyl format.

Impulse Items have just recently recorded tracks at Halifax's Echo-Chamber Studios. We hope that these songs will be made available soon.

Le Caveau, one of Moncton's main live venues has recently closed its doors. This is a huge loss for this city's music community. As a result of this, the previously booked Sadies show on May 29th has now been moved to McSweeneys Dinner Theatre. Hope to see a great turnout for this stellar live band.

Romanian atmospheric black metal band Negura Bunget have recently canceled their entire North American Tour due to visa issues. They were originally scheduled to perform in Moncton on June 24.

Local hard rockers the Motorleague have been tapped to open for the Dropkick Murphys this August in Moncton, Halifax and Fredericton.

Feral Trash have just had their album mastered and sources say it sounds great. It will be put out jointly by three labels representing Canada, USA and Europe. Stay tuned....

Local former-teenage sensations the Virals have been sitting on an album for quite some time. German label P-Trash are supposed to release it but time keeps ticking and so far there is nothing to show for. Meanwhile the pop-punk quartet have been keeping a low profile.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Who: TV FREAKS (Hamilton), DIRTY KILLS (somewhere from Ontario), NERVE BUTTON, DISASTERBATERS
When: Saturday May 24, 2014
Where: Claude's House (above Calactus Restaurant) after 10PM
What: Punk, rock and roll
Cost: Suggested donation of $6 for the two touring bands
Why: It's Saturday night and you must have a few bucks and a thirst to quench
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1479991845566473/?unit_ref=related_events

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Who: The Famines (Montreal), Impulse Items (local urchins)
When: Sunday April 27th, 2014
Where: Plan B Lounge, 212 St. George Street
What: noise, garage, punk, KBD
Cost: $6
Why: I'm on vacation. Haven't seen the Impulse Items in a while. The Famines always put on a great performance and apparently have a new drummer.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Record Reviews: EX HEX / SIMPLY SAUCER /

Ex Hex - Hot And Cold  7"  (Merge)
 Catchy infectious garage glam punk and roll from this all-female trio featuring Mary Timony from Wild Flag. The hooks are plenty, vocals have swagger and the impact is immediate. The b-side has two rocking numbers that also stand up to the task. Perfect music for a teenage sleepover. The recording is lo-fi which still seems to be en vogue these days. A full length recording is reportedly in the works.  Recommended. (RA)

Simply Saucer - Bullet Proof Nothing  7"  (Mammoth Cave)
This mid 1970's Hamilton, Ontario protopunk band has been mythologized in recent times and is certainly worthy of such praise. In the years just before punk, any North American band drawing influence from Syd Barrett, the Velvet Underground and krautrock would have cooler than cool. Sadly, very few recordings exist and this track taken from their posthumous Cyborgs Revisited album (first released in 1989) would have been the obvious choice for a single if this world was a fair place. Boutique label Mammoth Cave has now come to the rescue of record collectors of discerning tastes and has given this song the seven inch wax treatment it so rightly deserves. Guitarist/vocalist Edgar Breau delivers this nice ditty about a sadomasochistic relationship and sings it with such casualness that even Lou Reed would be impressed. The b-side offers up a live version recorded at a local YWCA in 1978.  (RA)   

Friday, April 18, 2014


Who: Outtacontroller (Halifax), Feral Trash (local gits), Kappa Chow (Sackville)
When: Friday April 18th, 2014  10PM
Where: Le Caveau, 700 Main Street, basement
What: KDB Punk, Dark Punk, Artsy Garage Punk
Cost: $6

Thursday, April 17, 2014

BEER REVIEW : TROOPER (Robinson's Brewery, UK)

Trooper Premium British Beer
500 mL bottle
4.7% ABV
$4.99 Canadian Dollars

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this on the shelf this evening at my local New Brunswick Liquor Corporation outlet. I had read the press release some time ago and, being a lover of English Ale, was rather curious. It seems that Iron Maiden's vocalist Bruce Dickinson is a real ale enthusiast and wanted to develop a signature ale. He teamed up with Robinson's Brewery, a regional UK brewery based in Stockport and came up with this offering. Copper colour with an earthy aroma. Pours quite nicely with a beige/white head. Taste is medium bittersweet with hints of citrus. With its medium body, it certainly qualifies as a session beer. I was hoping for a bit more considering the price, but overall, it's not bad at all. (RA)

Friday, April 11, 2014

DOUBLE GIG ALERT: SINTAX ERROR at Plan B / Varsity Weirdos at Le Caveau

Who: Sintax Error, Deco
Where: Plan B Lounge, 212 St. George Street
What: Danceable Punk, New Wave & Alternative
When: Friday April 11, 2014

Who: Varsity Weirdos, Fat Stupids (Halifax), Los Pollos Hermanos
Where: Le Caveau, 700 Main Street, downstairs
What: Mutant Beach Punk Party
When: Friday April 11, 2014
Cost: $5

Saturday, March 29, 2014

GIG ALERT: The PACK A.D. Sunday March 30th

Who: The Pack AD (Vancouver BC)
Where: The Tide & Boar, 700 Main Street Moncton NB
What: Loud, two-piece, blues garage punk
When: Sunday March 30th, 2014  doors 8PM, show 10PM
Why: Why not?
Cost: $10

Friday, February 21, 2014

GIG ALERT: Hard Charger / Rabid Reaction (Double Whammy)

Who: Hard Charger (Fredericton), Rabid Reaction, Death Mask
Where: Spin-It Records 467A, Main Street, Moncton NB
What: Hardcore, Noise, Crust
When: Saturday February 22, 2014 5PM ALL-AGES
Why: Because it's fun, loud and fast
Cost: FREE

Who: Hard Charger (Fredericton), Rabid Reaction, Greasebeast (Sackville)
Where: The Caveau 700 Main Street (basement)
What: hardcore, noise, crust
When: Saturday February 22, 2014 10PM
Cost: ????

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


For a city of this size, Moncton does quite well in the venue department. There are at least three bars willing to book local, independent acts playing original music. The Caveau, situated at 700 Main Street in the basement of the OC Club, is currently the premier venue for underground music. Bookings are now handled by the very capable Kyle McDonald who took over from Dana Robertson a few months ago. McDonald, a good soundman, also looks after the occasional booking at the historic Esquire Tavern. These latter shows are infrequent but are always welcome.

Plan B Lounge, on the corner of Lutz and St. George Streets, still features live music every night of the week. For this fact alone, they should be commended. I have personally seen blues, folk, jazz, grind, punk, metal, indie rock and country music being performed on that stage during this past year. Lots of unknown touring acts who desperately need a place to play in between Halifax and Montreal are always happy to make the trek. Word is that they have now moved the stage to the back of the bar which should lend to a better ambiance and experience for audience and performer.

Cafe Aberdeen have seen some interesting acts this year including Petunia and Olympic Symphonium and will hopefully continue to host the quieter shows.

The Tide & Boar, while mostly catering to thirysomething hipsters, keep getting top notch indie rock and singer-songwriter touring acts. This gastropub has decent food, decent beer and good music if you can afford it.

Spin-It Records, 467A Main Street, still has the occasional in-store performance, usually on Saturday afternoons. Features a stage that is actually a loading dock

Moncton's best punk export, Fear of Lipstick, did manage to get out for a brief Canadian Summer tour and were, by all accounts, a hit wherever they played... The Beaten Hearts, featuring two members of the aforementioned band, played a handful of shows and then went on hiatus this summer. No one's heard from them since... Thalidomy Kids, played many shows and managed to put out a nice 12" mini LP...  Flex Martian, a hot new group, played a couple of shows and then disbanded just as quickly. Too bad... Feral Trash played their debut show in January and put out a hot  7" that is getting rave reviews from all over the punk globe... Blotto, according to reports, are one of the most original sounding bands on the scene at the moment. They are reportedly working on putting out a 7" recording engineered by Mark Gaudet... Savage Young are an impressive young band combining grunge and edgy britpop. The singer can really sing... After playing numerous gigs every chance they had, the Impulse Items seem to have faded into dormancy. Perhaps they are planning something... Moncton punk originators The Robins still play out occasionally and manage to thrill every time. They should receive some kind of award... Studs and spikes punkers the Adhesives still seem to come out of hibernation once in a while... Despite existing for years and playing fairly regularly, Rabid Reaction still don't have a proper release. There has been talk of a cassette release and a 7" but still nothing... Nerve Button, comprised of current and ex members of the Robins, Bad Luck #13 and Beaten Hearts, have played out twice and are working on material. Stay tuned... Deco are a cool trio with a Velvet Underground vibe that seem to be playing out with more frequency... Former teenage pop-punk delinquents The Virals seem to have reformed just in time for Germany's P-Trash Records to release an LP worth of material. Due out this Spring... Which Witch Is Which, one of the most promising local bands in recent memory are sadly on hiatus as bassist/songwriter PJ Dunphy is currently working in Alberta... Hope, one of the city's most successful and long lasting bands, have started playing again. No new about new material yet... The Dummmy-Ups are a new band comprised of members of Hope, Sour Grapes and the McFaddens. They played a 90's style of fast pop-punk. Think of Screeching Weasel and Sloppy Seconds...and finally, a new hardcore/thrash band named Fear Agent are ready to make their mark on this city. The group features René Leclair formerly of Ottawa's Dead City Rebels. According to witnesses, all members are sporting some type of facial hair. This isn't the 80's anymore baby!

The city saw vinyl being released by such acts as Feral Trash, Thalidomy Kids, John Jerome & The Congregation, Bong Jovi, The Motorleague as well as a nifty 7" by Sackville's Kappa Chow. Awesome stuff. Let's keep it up. 

ZINES: Teenage Trash is exactly what the titles says. A teenage take on things going on. Good to see the return of print media.

2013 saw a disproportionate number of good country acts (yes, they do exist) hitting town. I'm talking about Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Rosanne Cash and Fred Eaglesmith.

INSPIRATION of THE YEAR:  PUSSY RIOT once again for their awe-inspiring tenacity and dedication in the face of extreme hardship.

DISAPPOINTMENT of THE YEAR : The whole Black Flag reunion/lawsuit debacle.

We've asked some friends to name us some of their favourites of the year. Some comments have been edited due to space...

Ray 13 (AKG editor, streetwalker)TOP TEN LIVE SHOWS:
  • Claude Leger's Rock And Roll Send Off: featuring Idea of North, Bad Luck #13, Syntax Error, The Robins, Thalidomy Kids, Purple Knight, Marc Theriault @ Le Caveau, Moncton NB
  • Bloodshot Bill @ MARS Fest, Amherst NS
  • Doom @ Gus' Pub, Halifax NS
  • Waterboys @ Casino NS, Halifax NS
  • Leonard Cohen @ Moncton Coliseum, Moncton NB
  • Zebrassieres @ Esquire Tavern, Moncton NB
  • TV Freaks @ Royal Canadian Legion, Sackville NB
  • Tim Polecat @ Maritime Rockabilly Festival, Amherst NS
  • The Mahones @ Plan B, Moncton NB
  • Doc MacLean @ Plan B, Moncton NB

TOP TEN MUSIC RELEASES OF 2013 (in no particular order):
Savages - Silence Yourself LP
JD McPherson - Firebug 7"
OFF! - Live at the 9:30 Club LP
David Bowie - Valentine's Day 7"
Voivod - Kluscap O' Kom 7"
Motorhead - Aftershock LP
Giuda - Let's Do It Again LP
The Sadies - Internal Sounds LP
Feral Trash - Dead Eyes 7"
Thalidomy Kids - Spirochaete 12"EP

Daryl Buote (ex-gig attendee, born again headbanger and re-discoverer of hardcore punk)

1. The Loyalties -  'til the death of rock n roll [ my favorite release of the year , rock n roll with swagger and a bit of a bite]  catchy , sing along and stumble out of the pub rock n roll.  the song "carry me home"  is my favorite song of the year.

2. Black Grimalkin - demo  this cd was given to me by the artist. i had no idea what to expect, thinking it be black metal or something crazy. when i put it on the first track was an acoustic number which is not uncommon for metal bands then it builds up into something fierce. but this didn't , the next track was the same idea, what a pleasant unexpected surprise  a cd of heartfelt songwriting. not really folk but singer/songwriter. this was a true win for me. look forward to more.

3. Kromosom  - Nuclear Reich , pure fuckin raging punk/noise mayhem . these guys blew my fucking mind live , intense fast relentless chaos and so much fun. the singer is a mad man when he hits the stage but a lovely gent to speak with before and after but look out when he is on stage. in the air , on top of the crowd their whole set.

4. Nick Cave - push the sky away  i'm a late comer when it comes to nick cave , but this album is solid start to finish for me, its mellow but the songs are well written and when i put it on i don't turn it off until its done. one of those albums.

5. Motorhead - aftershock   this wasn't going to make the list this year because i had a hard time getting into it due to the constant posts from their webpage/fb page was a bit of a detractor for myself. but i sat down and gave it a proper listen[s] and this is  Motorhead . Lemmy and Co have yet to disappoint  . their out put continues to deliver the goods in the only fashion motorhead knows. no apologies from this band. they play ROCK N ROLL!

6. Asta Kask - Handen Pa Hjartat    WOW! swedish punk done so good , catchy as fuck .. this band has been around forever. i had them on a distort comp varning .. but this album is so good ! i highly recommend checking this out.

7. Swingin  Utters - poorly formed  probably one of my favorite releases by these guys in recent years. if you know the band i need not say say more. if you don't, check them out.

8. Nails - abandon all life  heavy , fast ..

9. Dissension - crude wars 7"  old band back to life with a new singer.. classic 80's punk /hc song without sounding dated. look forward to hearing more from these guys and eric buying me beer.  p.s. where in my bonecrusher shirt?

10. Selfish - life has no vacant time  finnish punk raging Japanese hardcore influence

Gavin MacNeil (oil merchant, sharp dresser, digital archivist)
  • Bloodshot Bill, Tim Polecat @ Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival., Amherst, NS Sept 7, 2013
  • Doom, Napalm Raid, Systematik, Life Chain, Sleight @ Gus's, Halifax, NS Apr 9 , 2013
  • Claude Leger Memorial w/Idée du Nord (reunion), Bad Luck #13 (reunion), Syntax Error, The Robins, Thalidomy Kids, Purple Knight, Marc Thériault@ the Caveau, Moncton, NB Feb 22, 2013
  • Colin Stetson, Chain and the Gang, Snow Blink, Sarah Neufield performances @Sappyfest, Sackville, NB August 2013
  • TV Freaks, Rabid Reaction, Impulse Items @ Plan B, Moncton, NB June 4, 2013
  •  Feral Trash, Thalidomy Kids and Big Dick @ le Caveau, June 14 2013
  • AHNA, Rabid Reaction, Last Museum @plan b, June 17, 2013
  • WL Altman, LeHum no2, vol#1, Galerie Sans Nom, Moncton, May 9, 2013
  • Blotto, Greasebeast, Dummy Ups, Famines @Esquire, Nov1, 2013
  • Crosss, Cop Shades, Maryse Arsenault @ la Patente, August 14, 2013

Shane Mazerolle (lead shouter, bassist for EARTH AD)
  • Carcass - Surgical Steel CD
  • Voivod - Target Earth CD
  • Rush - Clockwork Angels Blue Ray
  • Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork CD
  • David Bowie - Next Day CD
  • Dropkick Murphy's - Signed & Sealed in Blood CD
  • Bad Religion - True North CD
  • Satan - Life Sentence CD
  • Arcade Fire - Reflektor CD
  • Motorhead - Aftershock CD
Ken Kelley (self-proclaimed music nerd, drummer)
  • Portugal. The Man - Evil Friends CD
  • Blue Rodeo - In Our Nature CD
  • The Head & The Heart - Let's Be Still CD
  • The Mavericks - In Time  CD
  • The Heavy Blinkers - Health CD
  • Dawes - Stories Don't End CD
  • Billie Joe & Norah - Foreverly CD
  • Phoenix - Bankrupt! CD
  • Eric Burdon & The Greenhornes - Self-titled CD (Late 2012 release)
  • Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Documentary DVD)

 Glen Bourgeois aka Barney Rubble (Bassist for hire, prog archivist)

1. MIDLAKE - "Antipode" (mood rock/pseudo-prog)
A chance hearing during a practitioner's session... While all other indie Brit bands seem to be focusing on being sappy, Midlake (which, technically, hails from Texas) seems to have pulled out their Lizard-period King Crimson/McDonald & Giles albums. They remain accessible throughout most of the first half, until the Mellotrons come out in force on the instrumental "Vale". Then it's double your bliss from there. Doesn't sound like anything else current right now... but then again, it doesn't even sound like the band's previous albums.

2. FIELD MUSIC - "Plumb" (power-pop/psuedo-prog)
Despite hailing from (late) 2012, I really thought this album (which I discovered in late spring of 2013) would be at the top of my list. XTC-isms, as well as seeming nods to Gentle Giant and the odd threat of Queen influence, aromatically season this catchy and intelligent release by two brothers with a penchant for perfectionism in the studio. "Who'll Pay the Bills?" remains one of my favorites.

3. DAFT PUNK - "Random Access Memories" (dance/R&B/retro-pop)
Another one I thought I'd be giving first place. When I relegate the top dance album in my list to the 3rd position, you know it's been a good year. Daft Punk brought back live musicians, audiophile microphone use, Nile Rodgers, and my faith in dance music. "Get Lucky" also ended up playing on my car stereo all summer (and perhaps the next as well). Good job, robots.

4. MOODY BLUES - "Timeless Flight" (classic rock/pseudo-prog)
17 discs of Moody Blues, 3 of which are hi-definition DVD-A re-releases of recent years' SACD's, another 3 of videos and TV appearances, and a whopping 11 of live concerts. A few surprises too: the "Octave" tour finds the band launching into a "Twilight Time" (off DoFP) so updated that I thought I was listening to an unreleased track! Overpackaged, meaning just right for the MB fan.

5. ZEDD - "Clarity" (electronica/dance)
Another late 2012 release I only discovered this year (albeit the extended version was released this year). I'd long waited for someone to mix today's beats with New Romantic chord changes from the '80s. Sadly, though, the track order makes it sound a bit repetitive for the first half of the album.

6. JETHRO TULL - "Benefit" (2013 remix, deluxe re-release) (classic rock/progressive rock)
Perhaps my fave studio Jethro Tull album re-acquires most of my preferred tracks off "Living in the Past" (perhaps my other fave Jethro Tull release), as they were all recorded during the same time period. Steve Wilson remixes. Hi-resolution DVD. Amen.

7. LADIES OF THE CANYON - "Diamond Heart" (Americana/country-pop)
I hardly didn't hear about this delightful facsimile of the Bangles backing up Stevie Nicks. Thank Target. I had no idea what kind of country album they were selling for $12.99, until I listened on Sony Music Unlimited. Bingo, bought it the next morning.

8. KING CRIMSON - "The Road to Red" (prog rock)
King Crimson overload, and this is from the tour that spawned my favorite album of theirs. I haven't been able to finish the set yet... Then again, how many of us can sit through over 16 performances of "Fracture"?

9. SLOAN - "Hardcore" (with downloads) (punk)
The single is tons of fun. Add the MP3s which came with the original webstore order, and you have the closest thing to a party that Sloan has released since... "Songs Recorded Live at a Sloan Party!" Well, maybe even better.

10. BEATLES - "The Beatles (Stereo LP box set)" (as if you didn't know)
With "The US Albums" set to be released as a CD box in January, why should I even bother listing a set of albums I'll probably be owning five times over within a few months (and six, if promise of the mono LP box set hold true)? Well, because they finally released 24/96-mastered versions of the albums you could only get first-hand on LP at CD quality. Boo on the Rainbo plant for all the non-filled (ie. mis-pressed) copies amongst the advance orders: do it right next time. If you don't know the rest of the story about this music, then there are no truer words about it: you're fucking late.

Mark McGrath (seldom seen creature of habit)
1) The National - Trouble Will Find Me LP
2) Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse CD
3) The Brother Kite - Model Rocket  CD
4) Tribulation - The Formulas of Death CD
5) Immolation - Kingdom of Conspiracy LP
6) Vorum - Poisoned Void CD
7) The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law CD
8) Antediluvian - Logos LP
9) Power Trip - Manifest Decimation CD
10) Ulcerate - Vermis CD

Mark Gaudet (Moncton's cultural ambassador of the strange)
1. Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance LP
2. Voivod - Target Earth LP
3. Carcass - Surgical Steel LP
4. Deep Purple -What Now !? LP
5. Blackmore's Night - Dancer And The Moon LP
6. Jello Biafra and the Guantatano School of Medicine - White People and the Damage Done LP
7. The Fall - Remit LP
8. Black Sabbath -13 CD
9. Burzum - Sol Austan Mani Vestan LP
10.Wire - Change Becomes Us LP

Damian Saiz (New England Correspondent)
1 - In Solitude "Sister" cd
2 - Carcass "Surgical Steel" cd
3 - Nails "Abandon All Life" cd
4 - London Suede "Bloodsports" cd
5 - Voivod  "Target Earth" cd
6 - Toxic Holocaust "Chemistry of Consciousness" cd
7 - Daft Punk "Random Access Memories" cd
8 - Beastmilk "Climax" cd
9 - Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats "Mind Control" cd
10 - Portal "Vexovoid" cd

Top 10 live shows of 2013:
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds -  Boston Orpheum - Mar 24
Killing Joke - Paradise - Apr 20
Kromosom - Cambridge Elks Lodge - May 15
Dropdead/Reagan Youth/Tragedy - Dover Brickhouse - Aug 3
Poison Idea/Slapshot - Presidents Rock Club - Aug 29
FLAG - Paradise - Sept 20
Adrenalin OD/Flag of Democracy - Stanhope House (NJ) - Oct 12
Melt Banana - Sinclair - Nov 3
My Bloody Valentine - House of Blues - Nov 7
Watain/In Solitude/Tribulation - Palladium - Oct 10

Remi Leclair (Comic Hunter)
1. The Ocean - Pelagial LP/Boxset
2. Motorpsycho - Still Life with Eggplant LP
3. Milk+ - Band on Wire mp3 only...
4. Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork LP (3x versions) + CD
5. And So I Watch You From Afar - All Hail Bright Futures LP
6. Vista Chino - Peace LP
7. Persefone - Spiritual Migrations mp3 only...
8. Anciients - Heart of Oak LP
9. Fuzz - Fuzz LP
10. Black Sabbath - 13 LP

Tyler Boutilier (Cape Breton's Stun Gun Guitarist)
10. Radioactivity- S/T LP
9. Thee Mighty Fevers - Fuckin Great R’n’R LP
8. Rajayttajat - S/T LP
7. The Sleaze - Tektonik Girls 12’’
6. Bad Sports - Bras LP
5. Shirks - S/T LP
4. Gino and the Goons - Play Loud 12’’
3. Teengenerate - Get More Action (yeah…it’s goin in here!) LP
2. Giuda - Lets Do It Again LP
1. Liquor Store - In the Garden LP

Derrick Hiltz (lab rat in Halifax) only bought two records:
1) My Bloody Valentine - m b v
2) Guided By Voices - English Little League

Craig Pinhey (sommelier, music freak and serious beer drinker)

1. Elvis Costello & The Roots -  Wise Up Ghost
This is not Elvis Costello playing funk, nor is it The Roots punking out. It is a musical partnership that has resulted in some of Costello’s best lyrics – political and otherwise – produced in a different way, with snappy beats and in some cases funky bass, keys, lead guitar and a horn section…all behind Costello’s unmistakable voice.  My favourite track, and my Song of the Year, is The Puppet Has Cut His Strings, a bonus song on the Deluxe version, a moving ballad Costello penned about his father’s recent passing from Alzheimer’s.  Just try to listen to it without breaking down.
You may like this LP if you like:  Musicians who are not afraid to take risks.
What to Drink: An American/UK hybrid, so how about a Manhattan, but made with Connemara Peated Single Malt from Ireland, $51.59, in honour of Declan Macmanus’s heritage.

2. Bettie Serveert – Oh Mayhem
This Dutch combo, fronted by a Canadian vocalist and song writer, is in my opinion one of the best rock and roll bands of the past two decades. The lyrics are excellent, as are her vocals, but Oh Mayhem – released in late 2012 but available here in 2013 – is really a guitar lover’s album. It rocks!
You may like this LP if you like: The Pretenders, Juliana Hatfield, Metric, Hendrix solos.
What to Drink: Grolsch, a crisp, refreshing Dutch lager in a swingtop bottle. $3.18/450 ml.

3. Tegan & Sara – Hearthtrob
Yes, I know, Canada’s indie twin darlings sold out and made a highly produced synth pop dance record, but, you know what? The lyrics are good, the tunes are memorable and catchy, and this is more original and better than the dance music that tops the US charts.  I don’t want all their records to sound like this, but this has found its way into my car’s CD player an awful lot this year.
You may like this LP if you like: dance music with both brains and a heart
What to Drink:  Something fun and bubbly but not too sweet: Segura Viudas Brut Rosé, Spain $16.99

4. Madness – Oui Oui Si SI Ja Ja Da Da
Most would say that this British pop and ska band peaked in the late 70‘s and early 80‘s, but this new album was a breath of fresh air in 2013, and as good as any of their early work.  I’m not sure there was a better 2013 LP for hot summer days.
You may like this LP if you like:  old school ska music and happy British pop,  like if the Kinks meshed with Rancid.
What to Drink: a pint of UK-style bitter. My usual choice is Picaroons Best Bitter ($3.80/500 ml)

5.  David Myles - In The Nighttime
New Brunswick’s Myles is now a Canadian star, and this latest record shows his maturity as a vocalist and songwriter. These songs have a lot of soul, and he sings them convincingly. The bonus mini-CD produced by Classified is particularly groovy. I love it!
You may like this LP if you like:  Marvin Gaye, nice tall guys.
What to Drink:  I’d love to recommend a wine from Nova Scotia’s Gaspereau Vineyards, as Myles’s brother’s wife is the winemaker, but we don’t have any at ANBL. Jost, owners of Gaspereau, does have a smooth red called Jost Trilogy, though, for $19.99.

6. Wesley Stace – S/T
Wesley Stace used to go by John Wesley Harding but has reverted to his own name for this self-titled record. His career as a literary novelist (read the brilliant By George if you haven’t already) has perhaps been more successful than his music career, but this new record is essentially a guidebook on the songwriting craft. The Bedroom You Grew Up In, When I Knew, and Wrong For The Part are just perfect little songs.
You may like this LP if you like:  imagine Bob Dylan with a beautiful singing voice and British accent
What to Drink:  Since Stace now makes New York his home, I picked something quintessentially American: Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey, $36.99, on ice or in an Old Fashioned

7. Prefab Sprout – Crimson/Red
Iconoclast Paddy McAloon has come back in 2013 with a wonderful album of gorgeous, thoughtful pop songs. It was too long a wait for this new record.
You may like this LP if you like:  Pet Sounds, Steely Dan, Thomas Dolby
What to Drink:  a glass of pretty, aromatic white, wine, with some zip, such as Willm Reserve Riesling from Alsace, France,  $18.99

8. Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are
A great British rock and roll record with songs co-written with legends like Paul Weller (the Jam) and Andy Partridge (XTC).
You may like this LP if you like:  Supergrass, the more rocking Stones/Kinks/Who/Beatles songs, and the best of Oasis
What to Drink: what is more British than Gin & Tonic? But use local gin Thuya, $29.99.

9. Heavy Blinkers – Health
A very diverse record, long in the making, but satisfying. Lots of guest vocals, but still unmistakably The Heavy Blinkers, with the lush orchestration we know and love.
You may like this LP if you like:  Pet Sounds, Halifax indie music, Jenn Grant
What to Drink:  This is summer music, and I’m quite partial to a cold lager beer in the summer. This is tasty: Gahan Beach Chair Lager, PEI<  473 ml can/$3.29

10. Lloyd Cole – Standards
This Lloyd album could have come from the early 80’s, and that’s a good thing, as he was one of the best, and most original, singer songwriters to emerge from that age of excess.
You may like this LP if you like:  Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, alt-folk.
What to Drink:  A complex red wine, like a Spanish Rioja. Try this good value:  Antano Crianza $14.99.

Kyle McDonald (booker, sound engineer, soundman, bassist etc)

  10. Shooting Guns - Brotherhood Of The Ram - Saskatoon!  5 MEN, 1 instrumental vision.  70's psychedelic atmospheric instrumental riff rock!  these guys are beyond a trip to see live, easily in the Top 5 active bands in Canada.  this record sees the boys veer a little away from the stoner rock influence and a little deeper into the 70's psych, a dripping wet voyage into the unknown plains of rural Saskatchewan!  pre-ordered this record the moment it was posted, it sold out within a day or two.  they just reposted a repress on blue vinyl, order this record!  can't wait to see these cats again.

9. Vista Chino - Peace - a new god damn Kyuss record!  christ on the cross!, this album rips front to end.  go ahead and tear me to shreds, but it's my favorite Kyuss record!  i shouldn't be calling them Kyuss because Josh Homme's billion dollar estate caused them to drop the lawsuit and the boys decided to change the name rather than investing everything they own and putting their families lives in jeopardy to proceed further into the courts - meanwhile Josh is living in a billion dollar mansion and can just say "make it so"... not worrying about it any more than spending the cash on having someone bring him a coffee.  the guy hasn't done a remotely interesting thing since 2002.  Bruno Fevery (VC's guitarist) is 1000x the songwriter and player than Josh - flame away folks, i'm ready for it!  That said - most of the album is written by Brant anyway (just like the old Kyuss hits he wrote). Personally I find Bruno completely slays anything Josh ever touched on the Kyuss material or beyond - and I prefer his tone to be honest.

8. Locrian - Return To Annihilation - LOCRIAN!!!  Jon Cummins introduced me to this fantastic band.  what drew me initially was the fact their previous records were much darker, more spacious and a little bit of a scarier atmospheric trip.  This record is much more focused and hammered out though still very experimental.  very shoegazey without treading too much in that kind of familiar territory.  that said, still lots of diversity song to song and still has its dark moments.  the vocals for the most part are Black Metal style, but they are so wet with FX and mixed so low, that even people who can't stand any kind of screaming with vocals truly wouldn't be affected by this background texture.  this is much more of a beautiful record than anything they've done previous.  i screwed up large when i sassed on making the trip to see them in Montreal - i hope there is another opportunity.

7. Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance - i showed this record to Mark Gaudet (Shithammer) and it's his favorite record of the year.  close, but not so for me!  that said, it's my fav Darkthrone record they've released since Ravishing Grimness in 1999.  this record has some of their classic BM tendencies, but much more Celtic Frost, epic Bathory era, and King Diamond influence (which we've never really heard from them before).  it's in my top 3 favorite Darkthrone records, though i can't give you my list at the moment haha!  the record production is fantastic, the LP came with an enormous poster of the cover art which is gorgeous, and the performances are youthful yet spot on the money.  THE MASTERS!!!!

6. Satan - Life Sentence - this band doesn't sound like you'd imagine at first thought!  based on the name i'd think they were a gore/grind band or something.  these guys formed in the UK in 1979, total New Wave Of British Heavy Metal sound - but the dude doesn't have a Priest/Maiden style voice.  the closest person i could think of to compare his vocals to would be like Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age?  bizarre i know, but it makes for a real killer match.  the band changed their name a few times, to Blind Fury at one point, and to Pariah for an extended period.  they just recently reformed as the original lineup of "Satan" from the classic "Court In The Act" from 1983.  they hadn't actually played a show outside of the UK til this year.  the guitar harmonies are over the top incredible, so classic yet fresh - which is kind of the best thing i could say about the sound of this record in general.  i feel its their best record and i'm pretty certain i don't stand on my own in thinking so.  if you remotely like any classic heavy metal (70's on), good chance you could truly love this album!

5. Raspberry Bulbs - Deformed Worship - Raspberry Bulbs came out of nowhere for me.  imagine Ramonescore punk rock meets black metal with a touch of 90's heavy grunge?  front to end unreal album!  was late discovering this record too, though thankfully in time for it to make this list.  i'd love to see these guys do a tour with Pissed Jeans or METZ.  if you dig either of those bands you could probably get into these cats.

4. The Body - Christs, Redeemers - listen to this track posted below, and if you don't like it - you will probably never like THE BODY.  this 2-pc has been one of my favorite bands in the last year (usually in the top 5 bands i will mention to people when they ask what i've been into).  this record is pretty close to what you'll hear in the link to the video, brutally heavy, slow and doomy, with real maniacal vocals (reminds me actually of the vocalist from WEAKLING), almost slightly a psychotic kind of feeling - though it's mixed very classy (how i like vocals in this style), real wet with FX and mixed lower like a texture.  you'll also hear what sounds to be like a female choir singing beautiful harmonies in background sections, also some of the songs feature stringed arrangements, violins etc.  there is just nothing remotely like this band that i've ever heard - and they blow my mind.  if they ever come to Montreal or Boston, i am there instantly. 

3. Big Business - Battlefields Forever - Big Business are 2/3 of the current version of THE MELVINS.  this is their band previous and they still co-exist (thankfully!).  this record was released at a weird time toward the end of 2013, mostly due to the pressing plant royally screwing them over from what i gathered.  because of this it seems everyone missed it on their year end lists, or even in general!  this band is just straight up mind blowing (as you should already know).  incredible almost tribal style drumming, wild progressive rhythms and chord progressions, powerful melodic vocals that demand your attention - just can't say enough about this band.  they're classified as stoner metal but that really doesn't make sense, there's just nothing else to call them.  just straight up buy it and rock out with a bottle of floor liquor. 
2. Ghost - Infestissumam - if you know me, we've probably already had conversations or arguments about Ghost.  i've seen them live 4 times, beyond mind blowing.  i get that you love em or hate em, with a few stragglers in the middle.  they're not a metal band, they had some kind diamond worship early on, but the blue oyster cult influence was just as prevalent there.  people who liked them previous were disappointed with this record because it's not metal.  they never were as far as i'm concerned.  the first record was much riffier based, this record is more hook/song based.  the songs from this record stick in my head much moreso than the debut.  most people don't get Ghost, and that's fine by me.  None of these guys believe in anything they have to say, and they've said it over and over again, when you see them live or listen to their records, it's no different than putting on a movie or going to see a theatrical play.  there are a million bands that are going to walk on stage in their regular clothing, and sing about the bullshit in their lives or whatever.  to criticize a band who takes a different approach and absolutely kill it - i just don't get it the issue with that?  to each their own in the end.

1. Lustmord - The Word As Power - album of the year for 2013!!!  there's Brian Eno/Fripp's Evening Starr, there's Tangerine Dream - and there is Lustmord!  this one man project from the UK is a forefather of "dark ambience".  this record is my favorite of his to date with the the middle eastern influence, production and vocal performances drawing me in right off the hop.  i'm not familiar with his whole catalog, but from what i've gathered this is the first record to focus on the human voice along with his usual dark ambience textures.  the dude is a living wizard.  if any record in life can put you in a headspace - transporting you to a different place mentally than where you physically sit or stand, this album does it.  i actually just discovered Maynard of TOOL sings on one of the songs, you'd never know it if you didn't read it in the liner notes!  this is also my favorite recorded production of the year as well!  just a huge overall, holy shit!!!! 

TOP 5 7"/EP's of 2013

1. Flying Fortress - Wine & Speed

2. Al Cisneros - Ark Procession

3. The Body - Master, We Perish

4. Ides Of Gemini - Hexagram 45

5. Red Dons - Notes on the Underground

Eric Neurotic (singer, guitarist, record store manager, DJ, ex-smoker)

TOP TEN RELEASES OF 2013 (with commentary)

#10: Fat Stupids - No Fun Tape (Poor Sport)
I've seen these guys more times than I can count and every time they get better and better.  It shames me to say I once saw them as a Tongan Death Grip substitute, I don't see that anymore. This tape rules and so does this band.

#9: The Visitors - Yeti LP (It's Alive)
The loooong awaited Yeti!  Erin's darker song writing is at all time high on this and I couldn't be happier.  I saw them play "Vlad" like 2 1/2 years ago and have been waiting to hear it again ever since. Worth the wait.

#8: Neon Piss - Close the Door 7" (Vinyl Rites)
These guys put out an LP last year on 'Deranged' that blew me away, then they put out this 7" which is even better, but I heard they broke up soon after which makes me sad cause I had high hopes for the direction they were heading.

#7: Outtacontroller - Remote Control Tape (self released)
There's a coked-out Ric Flair rant on this thing that has me in stitches every time I hear it. Everything about this tape rules, great songs, great sound, great laughs..it even has a 'Nerves' cover on it! Can't wait for the next LP.

#6: Bad Sports - Bras LP (Dirtnap)
Saw these chaps at OWX a few years back, but I was kinda in a drunken fog after playing my own set just minutes before, I wish I knew then what I know now. All 3 of their albums have been on heavy rotation at work and home this past year.

#5: Red Dons - Notes from the Underground (Grave Mistake)
Another great release by one of my top 5 bands of the last decade. I was never into band tattoos, but If was to ever get one, these guys would probably win. I have yet to see them live and will always be jealous Jesse saw them first.

#4: Crusades - Perhaps...LP (No Idea)
It's no secret I have an infatuation with the musicians in this band, I get a lot of inspiration from the Ottawa scene. I always try to keep it on the down low whenever we cross paths, to not seem like such a fan boy...but I think they know. That being said, This album is fantastic.

#3: Nervosas - s/t LP (Let's Pretend)
Down to the top three, time to get serious. Saw them for the first time a couple years back at a record store show in Ottawa with the Cold Warps and thought they were pretty good, bought a 7" and thought it was pretty good. Even met one of them at house party I was dragged to at 3am and we talked about the Replacements. Fast forward a year later to a show in Montreal only to be BLOWN AWAY. It's amazing how a 'pretty good band' can turn into a fucking powerhouse of a band in such a short time. Their speed had totally doubled. Saw them 3 times in 2 days this summer, and every set was fantastic, And don't get me started on the album. I'm pretty sure I've listened to it in full 100 times. Cold, dark, bitter, "sick of this world" punk. God I hope I get to see them again.

#2: Radioactivity - s/t LP + 7" (Dirtnap, Alien Snatch)
This is Jeff Burke's new band. Jeff Burke of the Potential Johns. Jeff Burke of the Marked Men. JEFF BURKE. I even met him once and he gave me a Potential Johns/Chinese Telephones test press. I know I always tell this story but I don't care. It's my favorite story.

#1: Vacation - Candy Waves LP (Let's Pretend)
So how did these guys beat Jeff Burke you ask? Well I'll tell you. Playing in a band for so many years you go through periods where you don't really feel like writing. You do anyways, but you're not as excited about it.  Well this record/band lit the biggest fire under my ass. Ever since it's release and not to mention the couple times I saw them this summer (sooo fucking good!) I have not been able to put my guitar down. They made me wanna start playing in a band again, like it was the first time. And for that, they win record of the year.

And to anyone who made it through my pretentious ramblings, thank you. It's been a good year for music.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Those Who Served: Bob Casale R.I.P.

Bob Casale, guitarist/keyboardist for Devo, died unexpectedly on Monday February 17th at the age of 61. Details are limited at this point but the cause of death is said to have been heart failure and came as a total shock to his brother Gerry Casale also of Devo. Bob 2, as he was known, was an original founding member of the pioneering new wave group from Akron, Ohio and played on every one of their albums. He was predeceased by original Devo drummer Alan Myers back in June 2013. He will be missed. Rest in peace Bob.