When “Scene Specific” debuted, its first edition profiled Halifax. As the home market of TPS I thought that was only fitting, and as this blog wraps up it’s equally so to bring the feature full-circle with another look.
I’ve called the Maritimes home for 10 years, and Halifax itself for four. This charming region has always tested me as a fan of underground music because there really isn’t as much in my personal wheelhouse. It’s not a Southern California where you can throw a rock and hit a solid punk (etc.) act, so when I find locals who are bringing the heat I get quite pumped. Some are featured in the initial “Scene Specific” of course, and more are coming at ya now in the encore.
*Photo from https://www.facebook.com/darkskyparks1
I first learned of Dark Sky Parks after attending a show at The Pavilion. Their raucousness had me in, and the trio just released sophomore EP Cold Misery: Part 1. It actually tones down the hardcore-infused snarl found on last year’s Don’t Believe Everything You Tell Yourself, getting more into indie rock. They’re so young and good – and can do a badass cover of “Sugar”.
*Photo from https://www.facebook.com/aliensatlarge/
Aliens at Large make sense to go next because they share drummer Thomas Hart with Dark Sky Parks. Just a couple of singles up on their Bandcamp to this point, but they put out a video for “Further from Xenu” last month too. That song especially features hardcore sensibilities, and it’ll be cool to see where they go with a proper EP/full-length. Also, aliens = awesome, so they get points alone for that.
*Photo from https://www.facebook.com/theholysnappers
You want to call your rock RAWK? These guys are for you, because their garage-y punk ro-…sorry, RAWK will certainly tear your head off. The Holy Snappers are recording a new album this summer, which is good because it’ll be the first since 2012’s self-titled. That effort has 12 tracks and only two are longer than 2:20, because efficiency is forever the genre’s strong suit.
*Photo from https://www.facebook.com/TheNewMillennialsNS
When The New Millennials aren’t…I don’t know, eating avocado toast or whatever their kind does (oh I’m a millennial too CHILL), they’re working on their brand of almost jangle-tinged indie. They released debut EP Please Stand By in May and their bio describes them as having “a style only millennials could come up with”, so go listen to just what that means.
*Photo from https://www.facebook.com/rayreavesantagonists
Now let’s switch gears quite decently and bring in a little alternative hip-hop. Ray and the boys call themselves a “bold mix” of hip-hop, R&B and rock. Much like Aliens at Large (whose frontman, Dylan Stone, plays bass in this ban-…ah, these guys should’ve have gone after AAL hello!) they’re light for online tunage, but they get on stage and give you the goods if you’re able to catch them. It’s enjoyable science being dropped here.
*Photo from https://www.facebook.com/burgerfriespop/
Finally, let’s do these bros – literally, because the trio feature Terry and Dale Boudreau (vocals/bass and vocals/guitar respectively), along with drummer Martin Maunder. They incorporate surf into an all-around sound that’s simply fun alternative, featuring multiple singles and a self-titled EP that came out in March. Come to think of it, would they not be an ideal soundtrack for heading out to Lawrencetown Beach for a sesh on the board? Surf for surf, and I’m literally thinking out loud and typing so I should probably apologize! (Coherence: It’s good!)
You know, I think this edition of “Scene Specific” for Halifax is even better than the first. I mean, there were some Haligonian (yep, that’s what people here are called) heavyweights in it, but I think there’s more intrigue in this one and it took some definitive underground fandom for discovery. I suppose it’s more rewarding, and these are acts we can latch onto now and really watch grow. For all the greatness that comes out of wherever, it’s hard to replicate enjoying a local band. This lineup gives me hope for this rock scene’s future.