Tomorrow is July 1st, and July 1st is Canada Day. To celebrate the country’s 148th birthday, let’s enjoy some choice Can-rock! (See what’s happening?)
City Walls – “Higher”
We’ll start with an offering from these Vancouver alt-rockers. Hailing from Canada’s best rock city, City Walls are obviously good and “Higher” is no exception – featuring simple-but-awesome riffs and dominant drums with an all-around epic feel.
Ultimate Power Duo – “Alien Attack”
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan trio (false advertisers!!!) Ultimate Power Duo call themselves “demolition rock”, and that works. There’s a certain frantic quality to this song, sung as if eyes are constantly darting around looking out for the…aliens, I suppose huh? For a full blast of these guys, go read the review of the album this song is on.
Chastity – “Manning Hill”
From the Toronto suburb of Whitby, Ontario comes Chastity. “Manning Hill” references their hometown, with a refrain of “there are houses/there are houses/there are houses and houses and houses”. That’s very true, as Whitby is indeed totally suburban (and I can vouch as someone from the neighbouring city of Oshawa). This is two minutes of noise that captures that good ol’ trapped feeling.
The Arkells – “Never Thought That This Would Happen”
Jumping to the other side of the Greater Toronto Area, a group at the forefront of the current Can-rock scene. The Arkells’ third album High Noon came out last year, and features this song. The Hamilton five-piece offer up a roughly five-minute ditty here that features beautiful keys and is inspired by a festival.
Counterparts – “Burn”
For their new album Tragedy Will Find Us (out July 24th), Counterparts signed to Pure Noise (US) and New Damage Records (Canada). Just like The Arkells, this hardcore act is from Hamilton, Ontario and awesomely have the Twitter handle “Counterparts905”. There’s screaming and tempo changes here man!
Jeez you know what? We just did three “905” (area code, ‘duh!) acts in a row, so why not enjoy that region’s “Scene Specific” after this post.
Spells of Vertigo – “Baby Born (With No Brain)”
Aurora, Ontario three-piece Spells of Vertigo are releasing their debut EP Soaked on Thursday. This song is very slow-burning and minimalist for a little over 2 1/2 minutes before kicking the tempo up a notch. Keegan Powell’s vocals at first made me think of a Perry Farrell/Todd Kerns hybrid, but I think a better comparison might be Brian Aubert from Silversun Pickups. Interesting track, at the very least.
The Matchup – “Welcome Tomorrow”
Alrighty, it’s Quebec time! But, this duo sings in English – but, with definite French accents! – and are basically my heroes for playing acoustic punk. I’ll tell you, I’ve always joked to myself that if I wrote music I would do exactly that, because who does? Well, The Matchup. They’re from the Montreal suburb of Sainte-Therese don’tcha know. I’m glad they exist.
Alert The Medic – “Echo And Fade”
We’ll end on the East Coast with Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Alert The Medic. Probably my favourite band in the city and likely the entire region, these guys run the gamut from punk-inspired blasts like “Echo And Fade” to stripped-down piano ballads like “The Weatherman (Pt. 2)”. Since we’re, you know, featuring the former, let’s elaborate and say you may have caught it during last year’s NHL Awards. It’s awesome, and the video starts with frontman Ryan MacDonald getting in your face about (paraphrasing) “puttin’ your fuckin’ seatbelts on, strappin’ shit in, gettin’ your Timbits (Canadian!) and coffee and settlin’ in for the day” because they’re gonna rawk. Word. m/
There you go, some good Canadian rock music to celebrate (if you’re Canadian) or simply enjoy on Canada Day tomorrow. Notice how we went geographically coast-to-coast with the order too? Planned that like a boss, obviously!