Camp Radio – Campista Socialista

Once a while there comes a band that never puts enough songs on an album, and takes too long in between them. Camp Radio is one of these bands. Their debut came out back in ’08, ten tight, power pop, sing-alongable songs that hooked in and sounded better louder. Three years – THREE YEARS! – later, one song per year, Camp Radio have finally come around with a killer album #2. “The Girl Who Stole My Motorbike” sets the table with what you can expect over the course of half an hour: big guitars, vocal harmonies, nice ’n’ thick bass riffs, hooks hooks hooks, and Scott Terry’s big, beardy drum-fills. “I Have Designs” kicks into a steady chug, an “early ’90s” punk-rock anthem that would stand out on a Lookout! comp. It’s not all go-go-go, as proven with “I’ve Got You Up My Sleeves,” which takes it into sweetheart territory. Don’t take that as weakling rock; these guys can steep it in sweet without the eyerolling-sickeningness of a pop-ballad. That’s skill. “Slack,” “Cosmic Fair,” “Reinventing The Laugh Track”… really, there’s not a lame song in the pack. The album wraps up with the flexi-disc single “Turn Up The Radio,” marrying the geek-in-the-corner crushiness of a Weezer song with the loud-quiet-loud dynamic of the Pixies in what happens to be one of the best album-closers in recent memory.
Why Camp Radio aren’t spoken in the same breath as Sloan when it comes to great Canadian rock bands, I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m gonna try and change it. Hopefully I don’t have to wait another three years for more proof. Or maybe I’m just greedy. (Kelp, kelprecords.com)
Patrick Michalishyn for Stylus Magazine

The Pack A.D. – The Pack is Back

By Kent Davies

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Maya Miller + Becky Black = the Pack A.D. Much has been said about this bad-ass East Van duo. Their brand of gritty, bluesy garage punk has captivated most critics and scored them legions of fans throughout the world. Beyond a doubt, Becky Black has one of the best voices in Canadian indie rock; her teetering, earth-shattering cries coupled with Maya Miller’s thunderous drumming contains all the emotional punch of a hellfire sermon given by King Kong. Those who were fortunate enough to catch their live show at the Albert on their last tour can attest to the spiritually jarring effect you get when witnessing these women in action. Stylus caught up with the pair as they finished up their latest album in Vancouver.

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Moneen – Ten Years, No Fear

By Sabrina Carnevale

moneen

Veteran punk/emo outfit Moneen have been entertaining audiences since the band’s inception in Brampton, Ont. in 1999 and their most recent release, The World I Want to Leave Behind, is their fourth full-length studio album. Released through their new label, Dine Alone Records, this is their first venture with drummer and good friend Steve Nunnaro, who replaced former drummer Peter Krpan in the spring of 2008. The remaining members, singer/guitarist Kenny Bridges, guitarist/singer Chris “The Hippy” Hughes and bassist/singer Erik Hughes, cite Nunnaro as a significant contributor when it came to putting the 12 tracks together. In addition, this time around, they changed up some of their songwriting techniques by taking on a more simplistic approach, while continuing to thrive with their trademark melodies. Moneen recorded the follow-up to 2006’s The Red Tree at Toronto’s Rattlebox Studio and enlisted the help of producers Brian Moncarz and David Bottrill (Tool, Muse). Their most recent cross-Canada tour had them travelling with friends Sights & Sounds. Stylus had a chance to chat with Bridges in the downstairs of the newly renovated West End Cultural Centre when they played a show in Winnipeg on November 30, 2009.

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Miesha and the Spanks

Love and Spitfire

By Kent Davies

mieshaFrom the ashes of Alberta punk act Bogart comes a deadly duo of potent garage rock and country soul. The combination of Miesha Louie’s fearsome guitar work and earnest, heartbreaking cries, combined with the hammering drums of Justin Landstorfer, is something of a Canadian rock ’n’ roll revelation. Tackling issues of personal loss, love and lust, they bring a level honesty that lends itself to the ferocity of their approach. Their live garage-rock confessions have already garnered quite the following their hometown of Calgary. Now the duo is hitting the top 20 on the Canadian college charts and receiving positive reviews for their first ful-length, MMMade for Me, just released on Winnipeg label Transistor 66. Stylus caught up with Miesha Louie before their Albert gig at the halfway point of their lengthy coast-to-coast tour. Continue reading “Miesha and the Spanks”