Thursday, August 13, 2009


It has been said many times before this, usually tucked in dark corners of record geek message boards or in comments to some forgotton blog, but I'm going to put it out there in plain view for some to see with hopes that you'll spread the news that Vancouver is ten steps ahead of every other part of the DIY world musically. Something about every project that emerges is legitimately awesome, and the incestuous nature of these bands makes spreading out and discovering more as easy as tracing the family tree so to speak.
I first experienced TWIN CRYSTALS in Portland, Oregon at the cavernous Branx located behind Rotture on the the Southeast side. Awkward hellos and solid conversation trickled through the night till they completely leveled the building on borrowed gear. A band so weird and fucked up, alienating and intense, yet with an equal obsession for the Wipers and early Kraftwerk. Whereas Channels 3 & 4 took the route of crafting anti-hits that got stuck in your head faster than radio singles, Twin Crystals creates legitimate classic songs that no one questions. Like AC/DC... even those set on hating them admit they write memorable, great songs, but maybe my view of how they'll be remembered is different from what will become reality, and wrongfully so! Napa and Davis, California are places that I will always go hand in hand with becoming a genuine believer in everything this band is doing. I can't visit or even think about these cities without seeing things on repeat. And their LP is the most solid punk record of modern times and I never even thought they had it in them.
RANDOM CUTS is Justin taking what he brought to the table with Mutators and deciding to raise the child alone (with the supposed help of some mannequins). It's bands and people like this that make me think Brace Paine got his entire schtick from Vancouver, because it sure didn't come from Arkansas. Songs that are so catchy yet never let you get comfortable in your enjoyment. This is not music to go about relaxing to and winding down after a long day. It's the type of gnawing post-punk hits that you listen to while trying to hold your piss in. Another complete winner from a dude with a pedigree including the violent punk of Mutators and jarring no wave of Female Health.
MODERN CREATURES, DEFEKTORS and SHEARING PINX all dominate their respective lines of work. Defektors drops punk gold... amazing songs you'd feel just at home with were this 1979 or the early 80's. One of those that wasn't there when it started, but ended up doing it close to the best sort of deals. Modern Creatures, like most every band from up there, puts great, engaging vocals on top of perfectly replicated (insert genre here) yet made all their own. That's really the formula for this city. No band sounds exactly like anything you've heared before. They all take a genre and do their absolute best with it, adding their own touches and usually deliverly an improved version of what you've come to know. SHEARING PINX is the band that will never break up. They take said formula and beat it to death with dozens of yearly releases ranging a broad spectrum of influences and styles. The underlining theme of said band seems to be "we enjoy playing together", and when put at the forefront of a band, seems to be the missing link in so much of what we hear today. The tension created in the music is for everyone else, no anyone or anything within. Whereas Random Cuts seems angry at itself, Shearing Pinx is angry at the world.
Go to myspace right and search any of these bands. An LP containing all of them would be a starting point for any future punx to begin their search for all these band's records twenty years down the line.
Brave New World, Play Dead and Deep Wound were all criminally overlooked and made their ways into my life way too late. Thus is the trend of focusing all energy on one scene and ignoring the most inspirational pieces of it. Now is Vancouver's time. With this accepted, I find no reason for these records not to stay print and be considered classics by the youth to come.

1 comment:

  1. If you're on the west coast, get ready next week for the Defektors...they're coming down for a tour with Sex Church, another rad Vancouver upstart from the ashes of Ladies Night. These bands have some of that early-Wipers darkness, but somehow the Defektors sprinkle some glitter in there and make it catchy, too. Sex Church jangles kinda like the Black Lips generation, but they progress it into the realm of dark psych-punk pretty creatively. Some of their songs recall the Easter Monkeys, I think.