Tag «canada»

DS Interview: Josiah Hughes (Blink-155 Podcast)

Two Canadian sellouts started a podcast in which they discuss every single blink-182 song. They titled it Blink-155, named after the amount of songs the band had at the podcast’s inception. Two years in, Exclaim! journalist Josiah Hughes (also of Pre Nup) and major label shill Sam Sutherland (also of Junior Battles) are well past 100 episodes and make over $1,300 a month in Patreon support.

To get to the bottom of this senseless endeavor, I interrupted Hughes mid-settling in to his new Montreal apartment to talk about if Dude Ranch is a dirty joke, being friends with the singer of Imagine Dragons, and why he started a blink-182 podcast. You can read our discussion below.

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Album Review: Chixdiggit – “2012”

Chixdiggit, Canada’s premier pop punk band (Sum forty-wha?), and composers of classic love songs such as “I Wanna Hump You” and “Where’s Your Mom?” are back with “2012”, the longest Fat Wreck song since NOFX’s “The Decline” (I think?), which they happily put to shame clocking in at 25 minutes. An autobiography of the band’s 2012 tour, Chixdiggit up the ante with this one, covering the little details all while playing their simple brand of punk rock they’ve been known for over the last twenty years.

Through this release, a variety of topics are covered, all under the banner of silly punk rock in the same vein as the Ramones. The song/record/whatever starts off in Amsterdam, and travels to Edmonton, San Francisco, and more, finally ending in Victoria. The thing that’s so loveable about Chixdiggit is their ability to make everything about these places funny. Constant praise of abstract hot spots like Trader Joe’s, Nimrod Land, and an unnamed coffee place by Whole Foods paint a fun story for each place they went.

The humor is fairly juvenile, but that’s what’s so fun about it. For instance, at one spot of the song, a recounting of a conversation concerning Orangevale – where there’s only “hookers and hockey players” – sprints into a chorus of “What Position Does She Play?” regarding somebody’s mother. To top it off, that part ends with “We went to Walmart to buy some Stage Uniforms,” and continues on to the next section. And no autobiographical Fat Wreck tale could survive without a story of meeting Masked Intruder (“I’d only heard them on my personal computer.”).

While they primarily stick with their brand of Ramones-core, they do mess around a little bit with classic rock, cow punk, and there’s even a point where the music sounds kind of spooky (reflecting the lyrics). All in all though, Chixdiggit is still that silly, catchy pop punk band from up North, and a 25 minute song/release connected by a common theme of their 2012 tour is a great way for them to change it up while still retaining what makes them them.

Granted, a 25 minute song drags on a bit. And that’s why I’m giving this release ⅘ stars. Chixdiggit, however, did a good job at separating themselves from their previous career and put out a pretty kick ass release. If you haven’t checked it out, do it. Also, nice Rush tribute photo, boys.

4/5 Stars

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Union Stockyards announce double EP re-release through Hidden Home Records

Winnipeg punks Union Stockyards have announced the re-release of 2014’s TRACKS EP and last year’s self-titled EP on a limited edition cassette through Hidden Home Records.

The cassette is entitled Two Things at Once and the artwork was designed as a tribute to the Descendents release of the same name. You can watch the Promo Video below. (more…)

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Album Review: Seaway – “Colour Blind”

Canada has long been turning out some of the most groundbreaking pop-punk North America has to offer. Whether it’s more commercial acts like Sum 41 to not-as-well known bands like Daggermouth (RIP), our neighbors up north have done a great job of infiltrating and subtly influencing and changing punk’s most accessible sub-genre as we know it.

Now, I’m pretty cynical when it comes to newer pop-punk. I feel like the genre is pretty over-saturated right now with more bands than are listenable and not a ton of individuality. That said, Seaway isn’t the most groundbreaking band by any means. But their sound is refreshing to me and I’ve actually been following the band since Dying Scene posted about “Sabrina the Teenage Bitch” several years ago. 2013’s Hoser was a solid release as well, and I had a blast watching them live on that touring cycle. However, this year’s Colour Blind seems unfortunately unimaginative, and it struggled to keep my attention through the whole thing.

While listening through Colour Blind, it’s easy to feel that Seaway’s gotten lazy in their songwriting. The lyrics are cheesier, the tempos drag on, and the songs sound like generic pop rock rather than something unique. It unfortunately seems like more of a regression than any kind of progression or continuity of their last record.

Early in the record, the listener can get the feel of what Seaway’s album is going to sound and feel like. “Best Mistake”, the album’s second track, is a great precursor for the rest of the record. While a very New Found Glory-ish jump-up-and-down song, it’s unfortunately pretty cheesy and doesn’t contribute much that you haven’t heard before from bands like this. Sadly, the rest of the album is very similar with cliche hooks, progressions, song structures, and lyrics. Just about every song has at least something that sticks out a bit, but overall they don’t give you any reason to listen to Seaway over any other band in the genre.

Colour Blind has some bright moments on it though. “Trick”, the album’s third track, is the kind of track I wish I would have seen more of on the record and what I think is good about this newer brand of pop-punk when done right. A little faster, a bit more attention-grabbing, catchy without the corniness, and not too technical for it’s own good (although Seaway is very technical if you listen hard enough). The ninth track on the record, “Growing Stale”, is a different feel for the album while still maintaining consistency with the overall style. While a little less jumpy, it’s definitely worth a listen and sticks out among the rest of the tracks as better-written and just different overall.

The album’s three ending tracks, “The Day That She Left”, “Turn Me Away” and “Goon” fit well as end of the record songs, but in conjunction with the previous songs on the album, don’t do much to save Colour Blind as a whole.

I personally still have hope for Seaway. I think they’re good musicians and they have a knack for writing hooks. A little more maturity or thought put into their songwriting would probably do them well though, as this album seems stale and unimaginative.

Unfortunately, I’m giving Colour Blind a 2.5/5, but while that seems harsh, you should still keep an eye out for what this band does in years to come, because this album could just be their sophomore slump.

Listen to Colour Blind below. (more…)

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