Riff Raff

By Bryce Dunn

All right readers, August is upon us and not a moment too soon, as I know you’ve been yearning for more pearls of wisdom—and we can’t let you down, now can we? Especially when such fine musical masterpieces have graced my turntable with sweet sounds such as that which the Bon hath sent me. Now these Torontonians boast a well-bred pedigree of past rock giants like the Leather Uppers, the Exploders and the Tijuana Bibles, and all linked by way of one “Classy” Craig Daniels, who knows how to write a catchy-as-measles tune, as well as keep the tongue firmly planted in the jowl. Listen carefully to the A-side of their debut platter and don’t tell me it won’t conjure up an “I’ve been there!” moment every time someone asks a “Stupid Question” [ed. that’s a song title]. By the way, who did drink Canada Dry? Flip this pancake for “Ancient Times,” a stroll down garage rock memory lane where you’ll hear the familiar strains of the Gruesomes or the Ten Commandments plucking away while the drums crash and the bass doth bash. A solid sender this one, and more to come methinks?

More from Sweet Rot Records this month its true, and lest you be thinking its a big Alan Freedman-like scam, I assure you no payola was exchanged in the reviewing of these records (although it would be nice, hey Jordie?) [ed. and how!]. Nay, these records come free of favouritism and not without the occasional criticism (oh how I loved that Anals 7” from a while back). I can say with certainty that I really dig both Woven Bones’ and Flight’s newest offerings. The former is a trio of sun-baked Texan psych heads driving straight into a brick wall of Jesus-and-Mary-Chain distortion with the tracks “Your Sorcery” and “Howlin’ Woof” and leaving you dizzy, while the latter feels like the aftermath of the crash-pounding drums careening into reverb-soaked space jams with a sinister edge, in the songs “Flowers” and “Johnny’s Mixed Up.” My feelings exactly, so make sure you’re armed to the tits with an ample supply of ibuprofen, as both these records are sure not to leave your head for days.

Lastly, the Famines are a two-piece guitar and drums tour de force out of Edmonton who combine a love of art with their music and throw in some social commentary to boot on a new two-sided affair. We first discovered these guys about a year ago and their usage of consumer iconography and post-punk influences grabbed our attention, so it’s no surprise that “Free Love Is A Sales Technique” speaks on the commodification of courtship to the tune of a straight forward and speedy punk-laced song and “The First World War” name drops classic Canadian war battles, but vows “we should never do it again” (I think these guys failed history class… I kid, I kid). Like a strange hybrid of Godhead Silo’s grungier moments or Duotang’s twangier tunes, the Famines like to mine a lot of different territory to keep things interesting both musically and visually (as the record jacket of their latest single can attest) and it seems to work.

That’s all folks—back to school next month!

The Bon
Boppa Do Down Records
123 Ossington Ave.
Toronto ON M6J 2Z2

Woven Bones & Flight
Sweet Rot Records
P.O. Box 78025 Vancouver BC V5N 5W1

The Famines
Reluctant Recordings