Posts Tagged ‘ Canadian Music Week ’

Charge of The Light Brigade Release The Defiant Ones

The vision of Charge of the Light Brigade is truly a focused one. Even the most reluctant of listeners will agree; with The Defiant Ones, this is a band that certainly cannot be stopped.

The debut LP from Charge of the Light Brigade combines intense, punk-influenced melodies with an irresistible pop sensibility yet there are no tracks that pander; instead, this collection of thirteen tracks has a vision that will leave listeners helpless.

Guitarist/songwriter Luke Sneyd has long been a fixture on the Toronto scene, originally as the guitarist for electro-rock act Mountain Mama.  Two solo releases included an early demo of his track ‘The Prisoner’ that was a finalist in the Unisong International Songwriting Contest, and the video won him a Top 5 spot in the Great Canadian Band Challenge, competing for a deal with Universal Canada.   And now, with new songs and new collaborators, The Defiant Ones is an honest and earnest culmination of five years of work.

Strong themes of doomed heroism and the terminal tick of relationships gone awry abound here.  They’re heard in the resilient sprawl of ‘Fastest of The Losers’, the furious early 90’s punk stomp of ‘Charge!!’ and finally, a moody but ultimately fulfilling cover of ‘Atlantic City,’ which serves as the album’s closer.  Each track drives its way into your subconscious with alarming and altogether defiant grace.  It’s an honest approach that fuels the entire record.  Candid emotions are abundant in every song.

Charge of the Light Brigade is a collaboration between songwriter Luke Sneyd and producer Marc Koecher, with bassist Jason Eagan (Clockwise, Ryan Luchuck), and drummers Zack Mykula (Bella Clava, Inhumanoids) and Owen Tennyson (Blue Peter, Rough Trade).


Travis Magazine Vs. Kobra And The Lotus

Kobra And The Lotus hit the shelves in March!

We had the pleasure to sit down with frontman, I mean – uhm, front-woman Brittany Paige of metal giants Kobra and The Lotus during the frenzy that is Canadian Music Week.

Paige, brings some drop-dead-gorgeous beauty to the usual grimey metal scene which most metal-heads are accustomed to. But, keep your hands off – the classically trained singer brings out some incredible power and force within the bands first full length entitled Out of The Pit.

The band cites many influences in their writing, including Metallica, Iron Maiden, NOFX, Judas Priest and Vince Neil. It’s metal-mania, but just like every other band it isn’t easy to make a mark on the music industry. For Kobra and The Lotus, they are different, fronted by the epic voice of Paige audiences needed to warm up to their breed of metal.

“People were really unsure what to think of our sound at first. We played hard and picked up a fan base. I want people to really just think were a kick-ass Metal band,” Paige said.

Paige said that even though they are a female fronted band, it isn’t a detriment to their over all success.

“It’s challenging,” she said.

“But its fun. It’s what lights the fire under my butt, and it’s really awesome to be different in this scene, its motivating.”

Paige herself had to do some convincing when she first joined the band. Back when she joined, the act was under a different name and were actually looking for a drummer, not a singer.

She dared them to let her audition, and also mentioned that she wasn’t expecting any sort of response from them.

They took her up on the offer, and had no idea that such a powerful voice would be the result.

As for now, Ontario metal fans are going to need to wait to here this metal power come back. They are touring extensively throughout the west coast. But, if you can’t wait, pick up their album, or get a taste over at their MySpace.

As for now, keep it MEEEEETAAAAL!

By Michael Burton

CMW In Review: The CMW Hangover

My last show of CMW was supposed to be The Dillinger Escape Plan. I love this band.

By the time the final night of this fiasco arrives your just exhausted and mad at everyone. But I made it out, I was getting this done.

I drive down there, parked right across the venue – because I finally understand Toronto parking. Heart break moment,  I’m quickly told that no more media will be let in the venue.

That sucks. I’m not about to argue with the door girl. I am horribly grumpy, but she didn’t seem to care. The scary bouncer actually did a serious pat down on me before entering. I gave her a dirty look, and decided to walk away.

Oh well, I don’t have any cash on me anyways.

I’m tired, and so I choose to go back home and hit the hay. I slept for a solid 12 hours. I am drained, thats how I’ll describe it. Maybe I sound like a wuss, but the ying-yang sleeping patterns, the late nights, and the drinking has kicked my ass. I admit it, I worked my butt off, and I have the ultimate CMW hangover.

The entire event is a miracle work of art. The amount of planning involved with all of this is unbelievable. There is just so much going on all at once I can’t imagine the stress being placed on everyone who took part.

I experienced Toronto in brand new way. I went to venues I’ve never had the chance to go to, and I really got to know Toronto. I even learnt that The Annex Wreckroom is probably my favorite bar ever, only because it mixes PacMan and beer.

I got lost so many times, I met so many new people, and I am overwhelmed by all the people who were willing to give me a helping hand.

CMW is an experience. My own highlight for me would be seeing Comeback Kid in the tiny hole in the wall that is The El Mocambo. I’ve never had the chance to experience this band, and I can honestly say that I felt like a teenager again, jumping on people.

So thats it. Interviews are coming, lots and lots of interviews.

I sat down with the likes of Protest The Hero, Alan Cross, Kobra and The Lotus, and the ladies of Hunter Valentine.

Stay tuned, this isn’t over yet.

By Michael Burton

Assorted Photos On My CMW Adventures

Shooting has been on the back-burner of life ever since my camera got a little messed up, but luckily I avoided Nathan for a week and was able to borrow the exact same camera from the school!

So yeah, shall we? These are photos that didn’t make it into the show reviews.

Shooting CMW is challenging if you don’t have an external flash. Dark venues, moving objects, it makes for a lot of dark blurry photos. I am mentioning this, because I don’t own one.

This however I thought was an interesting picture of the hardcore band Bastard Child Death Cult. If you’ve been following the reviews, yes I already mentioned that their name is absurd. But, the bass player of this band is super sweet to shoot. He’s an interesting bearded guy who actually rocked out. This band doesn’t sound very good live, but if every member did shit that this guy does, well I wouldn’t really care how bad they sound. Here he is jumping off a stack of subs at The El Mocambo.

Next we have the band Coalesce playing the Annex Wreckroom. Again, here I am in a dark venue, no external flash, but I still manage to pull off this artsy photo. Not so bad.

Now this is a picture. This is a photograph of the trendy pretty boys in Stereos winning the award for “Best New Group” at the Canadian Radio Music Awards. I was thrown into a big mess of radio personalities and musicians, and quite a few things came out of this fiasco.

And here is another one from the same awards show.

All of CMW is free-for-all on the photo front. This means that everyone and their uncle busts out their SLR. It gets a little silly looking when there are 6 photographers front and centre and probably only 20 people watching the opening band.

I don’t have any fancy lenses, but I’m impressed at all the crazy wide-angle, whitchawhat zoom lenses all these 16 year olds had. Seriously, I looked like a chum with my 50 mm. But thats ok, I managed.

Thoughts, opinions anyone?

Photos and Words By Michael Burton

CMW Day 2: Coalesce @ The Annex Wreckroom

I pretty much came for the opening band on this bill. Burning Love, if you haven’t heard of them you should check them out. There is a bunch of hype behind this band, as former vocalist Chris Colohan of the band Cursed,  now leads this band. They were good. Colohan ran around the venue enough to keep me entertained. They are rock, but with a lot of hardcore-punk flavor.

The Atlas Moth was up next. Never seen them before. The singer has a killer Mario mustache, and is pretty incredible at Pac-Man. They are a scary band to watch, atmospheric metal, and the drummers hair kept flowing through the air, it was majestic. The burning of some ritualistic incense was a nice touch.

Doomish Metal from Chicago. Scary, OHHHHH!

None other than sludge-mania band Harvey Milk was next. I didn’t want to say that this band is a bunch of old guys playing shitty noise metal, but it is. This band is easily the worst live band I’ve ever seen. Not in the least bit entertaining, and just plain annoying. Like watching European soccer. Nothing happens for 30 minutes and then when something does, your startled and suddenly paying more attention. My CMW walk-out count is at two.

Whoever paid this band money should be slapped.

And finally Coalesce. See you have to understand something before I talk about this band. People who love Coalesce, fucking love Coalesce. They are pioneers of a genre, and it is beyond me as to how they are still around. I have nothing else to say on this matter. If I say anything that is incorrect about this band, some die hard Coalesce fan will correct me. They were good, but having to wake up at 8 for the CMW radio music awards made me leave there set early. Check them out if you like any hardcore band, chances are they have somehow influenced them.


Switching gears and interviewing The Dudes tonight.

Review and photos by Michael Burton

CMW Review: Zeus, Jason Collett and Bahamas

Jason Collett takes to the front of the stage for "High Summer." Everyone else is up there too.

Sometimes it was just Jason Collett on stage. Sometimes just Bahamas. Sometimes Zeus. And sometimes all six shuffling on Lee’s Palace’s stage to a sold-out crowd on Wednesday night for the Bonfire Ball revue. Clearly one of the most hyped opening shows for Canadian Music Week (CMW), if not for the entire festival — the boys of Zeus were planted on the cover of every Toronto weekly — the line-up to get in was intense. I would like to thank the black lanyard known as a media pass for the help in this area.

Having all played before — Zeus used to be and still is the backup band for Collett and Bahamas is a singer-songer writer friend — the three artists played separately and collectively at points. Notably, for a lot of the ditties, the various musicians would trade positions. Bassist would take the keys, keys would take vocals, vocals would take backup acoustic. Collett, with his Owen Pallett-cum-Jack Kerouac style and air, started off with a solo. Then everything came together with various beats from all artists — often switching from indie rock to solo I’m-a-county-boy ballads from Bahamas. (But as Bahamas proved on his debut album, Pink Strat, he can play a mean guitar.) Zeus, it should be noted, can all sing. Each took to their own songs, from their hits “Marching Through Your Head” and “How Does it Feel.” In all, it was like a mini-Broken Social Scene. As Collett is a BSS alumnus, it’s an obvious parallel with numerous, talented bodies playing different instruments and playing each other’s songs collectively. It worked, but it wasn’t explosive or hard-hitting. It was a solid start to CMW, but those blasted lines never are.

What was explosive, mind you, was bouncing a little early to the El Mocambo for Fucked Up’s show. That was explosive, as per usual for the Polaris Prize-winning experimental hardcore band from Toronto. Frontman Damian, surprise surprise, wasn’t wearing a shirt and got a little nuts. Good on him. More to come on that side of the pond below.


Tonight, TRAVIS will be covering the Woodhands and k-os show at Opera House and the Coalesce show at the Annex Wreckroom.

Canadian Music Week Day 1: Fucked Up @ The El Mocambo

So we begin Canadian Music Week with a very, very late night. The first band, Lifestory Monologue which admittedly I missed, was probably good. I’ve seen them a bajillion times, and its the usual for them. Front-man Nuttal brings out his beard, there are some catchy tunes. It’s like ambient Sigur Ros with shouting over top. It’s original.

Next we have The Black Swan Effect, who came all the way from England to play this show. Not bad. Slow, passionate rock. It’s good background music, but no showstopper. Sounded great, played solid. Nothing else to say about them.

The Black Swan Effect playing The Elmo March 10th 2010

Next we have Bastard Child Death Cult. Yes, I said the name correctly. This old lady and her son came to see the previous band and she asked me what the name of this band was. She thought I was joking. That’s what happens when you have a band name like this. You think it’s funny for probably the first six months, and then you realize that nobody is going to take you seriously. However, I did want to buy a shirt from them, just because the band name is so ridiculous. They were ok. Generic hardcore, everyone has a full sleeve, they all look worn and tired. I don’t know what else to say.

I've said the band name once, I'm not going to say it again. Check them out.

Tropics was next. Bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad. Noise isn’t my thing. I don’t like noise bands. This band was a bad noise band. Is there a a difference between a good noise band and a bad one? Well, maybe, I’m still not sure, but this one would fit in the bad noise category. The effects on the singers voice were embarrassing. He’d turn to talk to the crowd and it would be all jumbled up. It sucked. Boring, bad, and bad.

Tropics, I've had my say. If your into this check it out.

There is one thing I do have to say about this show is the variety of genres playing this. We got two hardcore acts, two slower rock acts, and a noise band. I like the variety, but I think this killed the shows draw. The venue only really filled in when Fucked Up was about to play. Going on at around one in the morning, I can honestly say that the show went a little too late. But it’s Canadian Music Week, sleep is for the weak. As for Fucked Up, they were worth the wait. It’s good time hardcore, but nothing too violent. This band has made a name for themselves in the Toronto scene, and I can say that they impressed the audience which was mostly members of the press. There is something about this band that draws you in, they have some sort of likability to them. Winners of the Polaris music prize, they must be doing something right. There were no sing-a-longs, no mosh pits, just a good performance by very capable musicians. It’s party music, and I want to see this band again with a giant crew of hardcore kids killing each other to get on stage.

Check out Toronto band Fucked Up at their MySpace!

And ladies and gentlemen, that concludes day 1. Day 2 will be Coalesce @ The Annex Wreckroom.

Review and Photos by Michael Burton