It’s national holiday week in North America, and TPS is gonna help you celebrate. Friday (July 4th) is Independence Day in America, and Tuesday (July 1st) is Canada Day. We’ll get to the former later this week, and we’ll start with a soundtrack to the latter.
In rock music more than any other genre (country gives it a good run though), Canada can hold its own with any country. For this edition of “Track Listing”, we’ll highlight stuff that would be conducive to enjoying Canada Day. We’ll do music that fits a “good time” theme, and just good overall Can-Rock regardless of subject matter:
Gob – “Soda”
This was the first song that came into my head for this post. The Vancouver punks have their first new record in seven years, Apt. 13, coming out August 26th via New Damage Records, but we’ll take it back to their 1995 debut Too Late…No Friends for this one. A great little blast that says “I want to jump in a lake/sun shining down on the beach in the summer”? That works.
Wildlife – “Dangerous Times”
The latest single from their 2013 sophomore effort Born To Ruin, Toronto indie rockers Wildlife bring a mid-tempo sound to “Dangerous Times” with fantastic guitar work – I can’t peg what the lead guitar is doing effect-wise, but it’s awesome. Notably, these guys played a concert at Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, the world’s largest active volcano.
Carleton Stone – “Climbing Up The Walls”
The Sydney, Nova Scotia artist has dabbled in folk, country and indie rock, and new single “Climbing Up The Walls” is all the latter. From Stone’s new album Draws Blood, the song features stunted strumming of only slightly distorted guitar chords and fantastic, dueling echoed vocals. It rocks pretty hard.
The Motorleague – “North America”
One of my favourite Canadian bands to hit the scene over the last year, Moncton, New Brunswick’s The Motorleague put out their debut Acknowledge, Acknowledge last year and first single “North America” is balls-out hard rockin’ goodness. They’ve got tonight, they’ve got this song, they’ve got North America. Sounds like a holiday attitude to me, yeah? That and they have a page on their official website called “Taco Thursday” where they feature homemade tacos. That’s phenomenal.
Vulgaires Machins – “Puit Sans Fond”
Is that…French??? Hell yeah it is! The music of Quebec is often overlooked by English speakers due to the language barrier, but there’s a great big world of sick artists in La Belle Province. Punk rockers Vulgaires Machins (Vulgar Machines) come from Granby, about an hour east of Montreal. “Puit Sans Fond” (“Bottomless Pit”) is mid-tempo, and features the usual complementary vocals of singer/guitarists Guillaume Beauregard (lead vocals) and Marie-Eve Roy, and COWBELL. If you can get past the fact that you may not understand what they’re singing about, check these guys out. Quebec Punk Scene is a great site for other bands like this, by the way. Canada does have two official languages, after all.
Propagandhi – “Rio De San Atlanta, Manitoba”
Winnipeg-based Propagandhi have been playing in-your-face punk rock with in-your-face opinions for almost thirty years, and since this one mentions their home province of Manitoba, why not? Sure it’s under a minute, but you can put things on “repeat” and dive into the beer for longer. Celebrating needs its fair dose of realistic reflection of the poor state of affairs, obviously.
Treble Charger – “Brand New Low”
Since I just realized these guys are back together (did I already know that? Who knows!) why not feature the pride of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Treble Charger gave a decade-plus of indie rock/pop-punk before calling it a day in 2006. “Brand New Low” was the follow-up single to the popular “American Psycho” off 2000’s Wide Awake Bored, and it’s good sitting-around-talking-and-drinking tuneage. Good tune, and yeah I knew they got back together in 2012…I’m pretty sure? That’s good though, these guys are always a solid listen.
Slowcoaster – “Flip Flops”
Finally, I debated putting this one on because I just used it for the “What Could Comprise A Surfing Soundtrack?” post, but what the hell: this reggae-tinged song from the Sydney, Nova Scotia act is made for summer, with lyrics like: “Grab your flipflops, and your boom box and two coolers of ice/We hit up the same spot, where it’s so hot and the water feels so nice/Steal a little tiki torch from your mamas porch, we ‘aint gonna bring it back/’Cause when the sun comes up my friends, we’re doing this again”…and, it’s called flippin’ (wordplay LOL) “Flip Flops”. It was worth another plug, damn it!
As always, we could go on, but I wanted to feature some songs and/or artists that we haven’t talked about much. Whatever you listen to if you celebrate Canada Day – Canadian or not – have a good-ass day on Tuesday.