Thursday, 27 December 2012

Podcast: Lost Tribe Podcast - Ep. 25: The NRA is Wrong-Headed

Lost Tribe Podcast
Episode 25: The NRA is Wrong-Headed

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings (amongst almost half of a ozen in recent weeks) the boys spend this episode trying to wrap their heads around this tragedy.  Putting all cynacism and too-cool-to-mourn attitudes away, this episode boils down to a bunch of Canadians trying to figure out the culture, politics, and legalities that led to such an event.

Get the episode on iTunes or here.

2012 In Review: J's Favourite Music (Part I)

I hemmed and hawed a bunch about how to do this.

Should I do an EP list and an LP list? Should I break it up into genres? Should I put it in a carefully considered order? How many releases should I mention?

Eventually, I just curled up in the corner with a bottle of Sailor Jerry and a carton of egg nog, banging my head against a wall until I decided that it didn't matter how my list is structured. Which is why it WON'T be structured.

Here, in no order, are 10 music releases that I dug this year. I'll throw up another batch a little later.


Masked Intruder - Masked Intruder

Ok… Why?:

Because lots of punk bands are smart and angry. Lots of punk bands are stupid and fun. Some punk bands even manage to be stupid and angry. But precious few are legitimately clever and exuberantly, almost defiantly, fun.

Masked Intruder’s singular brand of lighthearted stalker punk hit a niche that I hadn’t realized I was aching for. You can overthink it as a commentary on the subtext of large swaths of pop music. But you can just as easily turn off that part of your brain and get lost in the fast, melodic and undeniable songs that make up this 13 track masterpiece.

Yeah, I said it.

Frost Giant – When Myth and History Merged Into Mystery

Ok… Why?:

Because there aren’t a ton of records that legitimately surprise me anymore. Frost Giants EP caught me completely off guard. It fused disparate genres, many of which I had no previous affinity for, into something new and fun and, above all, greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Usually, when people slap the word “experimental” on a record what they mean is that it’s kind of unlistenable and they don’t want to admit that they don’t get it. The opposite is true here. Maybe this wasn’t an experiment. Maybe Frost Giant knew EXACTLY what they were doing.

Either way, no other record this year left me hitting repeat, and scrambling to tell as many people as would listen, to listen to it.

Yellow Stitches – Good Times and Violent Crimes

OK… Why?:

Because I feel like Oi! is something of a lost art these days. When a Cock Sparrer tour generates more excitement than anything being done by a current band in this style, I think its safe to question the health of the genre. Bottom line: Oi! needs new blood.

This album delivers 16 fast catchy anthems on the subject of working, drinking and fighting HARD. Continuing the proud legacy of New England Streetpunk which includes the likes of the Ducky Boys and The Bruisers.

If you find a record this year that makes you want raise a fist and a pint while screaming along more than this one, I’d fucking LOVE to hear it.

Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

OK… Why?:

Because I always end up liking Converge records. It usually takes a while though.

This was the first time since Jane Doe that the immediacy and chaos that this band brings connected with me right from the start. Putting “Aimless Arrow” first probably had a lot to do with that. That song is downright infectious by Converge standards.

All I know is that when I finished All We Love We Leave Behind, I needed to hear it again immediately. It’s probably not as good as Jane Doe. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s the closest they’ve come.

Rival Mob – Mob Justice Tape

OK… Why?:

Because The Mob continued their long standing tradition of releasing a promo tape to build anticipation for their forthcoming LP, even though it was blatantly unnecessary. That record is gonna be the biggest thing in hardcore when it comes out no matter what.

The tracks included here provided ample fuel for pit lunacy, and definitely leave you needing more. It’ll have to do until Revelation drops the full length early next year.

I predict that when the first Rival Mob shirts with the Revelation Star on the back come out, kids will be knifing each other for them like they were Air Jordans in 1986.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist

OK… Why?:

Because its a rap record that argues FOR gay marriage and AGAINST buying Gucci. If this record did nothing else, it would have caught my attention on those two points alone.

Fortunately, it’s also a damn fine album that takes chances with it’s sound and it’s content. It reminds me most immediately of the first Kanye West album. A distinctly introspective record that still manages to get your head nodding. It’s also probably the most accessible (in the sense that normal people would like it) record that I fell in love with this year.

This is fucking awesome.

Mindset – Leave No Doubt

OK… Why?:

Because, when it’s being done right, this kind of youth crew revival hardcore is probably the most invigorating sound that there is. And make no mistake, Mindset does it RIGHT. This record blends rage and positivity and straight edge in that very specific way that makes me wish I wasn’t such a drunk.

Mixtapes – Even On The Worst Nights

OK… Why?:

Because I’ve been in love with this band since Maps came out in 2010. While their previous releases (and there have been a bunch) were always great, this album feels more mature without sacrificing any of the catchiness and fun. Balancing silliness and seriousness is a tough line to walk, but Mixtapes do that here.

Plus, the dual vocals from Ryan and Maura have never sounded so tight before.

Bad Religion – Fuck You (Single)

OK… Why?:

Seriously? Because this is all that Bad Religion put out in 2012.

Frankly, 30 years in, this band has every reason to be terrible, and they’re not. I can’t think of too many bands, punk or otherwise, that have been this good for this long.

This one track, which will appear on the next full length, manages to sound like classic Bad Religion while still coming off as fresh and vital.

Fucked Up – Year Of the Tiger

OK… Why?:

Because Fucked Up continues to drag hardcore, kicking and screaming, in new and interesting directions. I know they insist they’re not a hardcore band anymore, but the elements are always there. Besides which, Damian has probably my favorite hardcore voice out there right now.

Granted, the “Year of the…” records are generally the most experimental and indulgent things these guys put out, but it works amazingly well.

I still like “Year of the Pig” more, but this is right up there.

More to come!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Podcast: Lost Tribe Podcast - Ep. 24: Tales From The Drunk Side (Lost Tribe Outtakes)

 Lost Tribe Podcast
Ep. 24: Tales From the Drunk Side (Lost Tribe Outtakes)

Our first ever outtake episode!  Despite what you may believe, we here at Lost Tribe actually do cut and edit our podcast every week...and that means that there is lots of stuff that ends up on the cutting room floor.  Most of that material should stay on that floor, but some parts are worth hearing but didn't fit in a particular episode.  So with no further delay, here are our leftovers!  One hour of World of Warcraft bashing, According to Jim hating, secret shame movie discussing, and much more!  ***DISCLAIMER*** We don't actually believe most of what we say.  Just sayin'.

Get it on iTunes or here.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Review: Vicious Cycle - Pale Blue Dot

Vicious Cycle
Pale Blue Dot

One of the reasons that we like to review older albums periodically on Lost Tribe is because we are of the belief that just because something is new doesn't mean that it's better or that it's even worth discussing. Similarly, just because an album is a couple years old doesn't mean that it should be permanently shelved or forgotten about the second a newer shinier record passes in front of our eyes.

As a result, you are now reading an album that came out over 3 years ago, but (in my humble opinion) is still worth discussing, praising, and reminding others about. Pale Blue Dot was my introduction to Vicious Cycle, and they had me from the first note. Sounding like a stripped-down Fucked Up or even some unholy bastard child of proto-punk and 80s hardcore, these Sudbury natives helped solidify the reputation of Ontario hardcore as a hot bed of intensity and innovation in hardcore.

First off, I recognize that this album was talked about a lot in 2009 when it was released (but it still deserves more credit in 2012), and also just how impressive it is that a band from Sudbury (aka a central Ontario, Canada cultural wasteland/small, dirty city) still managed to garner as much hype and acclaim as they have. The reason for all of this is the music. It stands by itself as some of the catchiest, rawest hardcore punk being put out these days. The lyrics are bleak but ultimately hopeful, the riffs hit you hard, and the rhythm section helps ensure that there isn't a slow minute to be found. All in all, you should stop reading this review and begin listening to this album immediately.

Specifically, “Blur”, “Black Dot”, and “Pale Blue Dot” leave me fucking speechless every time I hear them...which is quite a feat if you are at all familiar with the Lost Tribe podcast. So rather than searching the internet for some early-2013 release to leak, why not go back and revel in the greatness that is Vicious Cycle for a little while. Kick up your feet, tell everyone to fuck right off for 21 minutes, and enjoy an album that reminds me why I started listening to hardcore in the first place. Also, guest vocals by Damien from Fucked Up and that dude from Alexisonfire!

Or don't. It's just a suggestion. I'm not your mother.

Buy it here.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Podcast: Lost Tribe Podcast - Ep. 23: Goddammit Pantera!

Lost Tribe Podcast

Ep. 23: Goddammit Pantera!

In this episode the boys discuss good Oi! records, and how much fun it can be to revisit some classic albums from your past.  As a result, Pantera, Judas Priest, Throwdown, Slayer, Halford, and other classics get discussed.  Next, Chris discusses the weird streak of hallucination episodes there have been on TV lately, which eventually degenerates into full on worship of all things Beavis and Butthead and Ren and Stimpy.  So really, this is a podcast for everyone.  Enjoy, you lucky devils!

Get it on iTunes or download it here.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Podcast: Lost Tribe Podcast - Ep. 22: Pills vs. SxE

Lost Tribe Podcast
Ep. 22: Pills vs. SxE

In this episode the boys discuss how much they are digging new straightedge albums, despite being despicable drunks. From there a Lost Tribe members describes his harrowing adventures in dental surgery and just how good pharmaceutical drugs really can be. But have no fear edgers, the boys talk about how they begun to clean up their lives by kicking, on average, 15 years of cigarette-fuelled addiction. Finally, if you ever wondered who is retired and who isn't in Hollywood, or which Die Hard is the best, then the latter half of this podcast is for you.
Check it out on iTune or here

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

2012 in Review: J's 5 Favorite Live Sets

Terror @ The Hard Luck

Us Lost Tribe weirdos go to a ton of shows.

Probably not as many as we should. We ARE getting older and we probably miss more shows than we actually get to. We go to more shows than normal people, anyways. Normal people only go to like 30 shows a year, right?

In any event, here is my completely non-scientific and poorly thought out list of my favorite live sets of the year. There's no order here because, you know... fuck numbers.

I reserve the right to revised this shit if my alcohol ravaged brain remembers something else I liked better. And as always, I'm speaking only for myself and not the rest of the gaggle over here.

Masked Intruder – The Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto – August 19, 2012

Anyone who listens to the podcast regularly will be familiar with the absurd amount of handjobs and eskimo kisses I’ve been throwing at this band all year. To summarize: I love this band a lot. Furthermore, I had the pleasure of catching these guys when they opened for Teenage Bottlerocket at the Horseshoe back in August.

The band powered through a healthy mix of tracks from across their 3 releases. Musically, they we're tight as all hell and sounded polished to the point that I can't help but buy into some of the rumors about who this band might ACTUALLY be. They really didn't sound like a group of dudes that just started playing together a few months previous.

As good as they were musically, it was the stage banter that made this show what it was. The band has chosen a gimmick and is sticking with it like a senator's wife. Every minute of the show maintained and underscored the running gag that is MI's whole persona. The fact that the whole thing is delivered with exaggerated, cartoonish Joi-sey accents (isn't this band meant to be from Wisconsin?) is just so ridiculous that it's perfect.

Legitimately funny as well. I seriously haven't laughed this hard at a punk show since forever.

Now that Fat Wreck has scooped these guys up, there should be plenty of chances to see them in your town in future. I can't recommend that shit enough. If you go, just keep an eye on your lady and your wallet. These dudes'll take both.

The Gaslight Anthem - Sound Academy - Toronto - November 25, 2012

My final show of the year was significant in that, after years of fandom, I finally got Gaslight crossed off my list of bands that I'd never seen. They did not disappoint at all. There's a reason that this band has become as big of a deal as they have. Brian Fallon is a crazy good front man and rest of the band provides a solid back bone for him in a live setting.

Honestly, after watching the last show they played here a few months earlier sellout in almost no time, and the crazy scalper feeding frenzy that ensued, just getting in the door for a reasonable price felt like an accomplishment. I suspect that the fact that they had played Toronto recently help keep the tickets relatively available. But, whatever, I just wanted in.

I'm not a huge fan of Sound Academy. If you don't have balcony tickets, the room usually feels too big. Getting in and out always seems to take about 5 minutes to long because of where the exits are. The beer is overpriced and only comes in cans. Lame.

Somehow, Fallon and them made the this 3000 person monstrosity feel like a far more intimate venue than should have been possible. I can't explain how they did it, but by the time they kicked into "Great Expectations" this felt like an honest to god punk show to me and not the radio sponsored, major label "concert" that it so clearly was.

Also, they played "Astro Zombies."

Dropkick Murphys - Hamilton Convention Center - Hamilton - November 17, 2012

Disclaimer: Dropkick Murphys are my favorite band. Ever.

I don't listen to them everyday, but there's is simply not a band that means more to me. Ken Casey & Company could put out a shitty record every year for the next decade and I'll still be there every time they play within 100KM of me. A shitty Dropkick record wouldn't even keep me off a plane to Boston every for St Paddy's Day that I can afford.

Even by my somewhat skewed standards, this show was awesome, managing to overcome both an absolutely horrendous venue and a crowd that left to be desired. They played a set list that featured a mix of songs from all eras, including some stuff of the upcoming record. Even the new songs didn't bum me out.

I fought through some kind of throat issue and screamed along to every song, fist held high. The whole time fully understanding that it would probably mean I wouldn't be able to talk the next day.

I couldn't talk for a fucking week. Worth it.

Bane - This Is Hardcore - The Electric Factory - Philadelphia - August 11, 2012

This one kind of feels like cheating. Half-assing it, at least.

We've sung the praises of This Is Hardcore on this blog and on the podcast so much that I don't feel like I have much else to add in terms of context to this.

Basically, Bane played to a sold out crowd of almost 3000 kids. No one stood still. No one stayed quiet. It was awe inspiring.

"Can We Start Again" was one of my favorite moments of the year. Musical or otherwise. 

Hoax - Siesta Nouveaux - Toronto - February 23, 2012

I saw Hoax three times this year. So, really, choosing one set for this list was kind an arbitrary process.
I'm giving the nod to this one based on the fact that it happened just over a month before Siesta Nouveaux closed down for good. That makes this the second to last show I saw in that delightful little cave. 2012 kicked Toronto Hardcore in balls something fierce. The city lost a great venue in Siesta and a goddamn phenomenal record store in Hits & Misses. I like Hard Luck & Rotate This just fine... not the same though.

Anyways, Hoax brought their normal (that word really doesn't feel right) ugly, hate filled 15 minutes of chaos and violence, powering a pit that cover basically every corner of Siesta's modest space. In my mind, the room was about 50 kids over capacity... but that probably wasn't the case.

Beer covered the floor. Debris flew through the air. A helpless box fan was destroyed. Blood was shed. The crowd united for the bile filled sing along that is "Faget." Then, drenched in a well earned coat of punk sweat, we all spilled out onto Lower Sherbourne.

RIP Siesta.

Stay tuned for more High Fidelity nonsense.

Monday, 3 December 2012

2012 in Review: L.’s Top five 7”s of 2012

L.’s Top five 7”s of 2012

With December upon us it is that time of year again...the time where we all look back on the past year and remind ourselves that while we were writing blogs other people were out there writing music.  Good music!  Good music that should be put into a list!

Now, the Lost Tribe family (and its subsidiaries) make no claim that any of our year-end lists are by any means definitive, authoritative, or anything more than that we specifically enjoyed over the last 12 months.  As there are multiple Lost Tribe writers, there may be similar categories with different choices, or different categories with similar choices. 
Either way, we thought it was worth listing a few great things from this year, so here we go.

L.’s Top five 7”s of 2012

 5. Wrong Answer – Cross a Black Cat’s Path
I first started listening to this band as part of the lead up to This Is Hardcore, and was completely blown away by their performance.  They had that immediacy and hunger that resides almost exclusively with young, furious hardcore bands.  After watching their live show, I quickly scrambled outside and picked up their Cross a Black Cat’s Path 7”.  Initially annoyed that I had to wait to get back to my record player in Canada to listen to it, I was pleasantly surprised when I got home I realized it was worth the wait.  Straight up hardcore done right.  It’s angry, the riffs are great, and “No End in Sight” is by-far my favourite hardcore song of the year.

 4. Pig Destroyer – Blind, Deaf, and Bleeding
Ok, is this technically a one-sided 12”?  And was it an accompaniment to their new full length, Book Burner, rather than a standalone release?  Well yes....and yes....BUT it’s Pig Destroyer covering 1980s hardcore songs!!!  Whether it is Black Flag’s “Depression”, Minor Threat’s “Betray”, or Void’s “Who Are You?”, this is Pig Destroyer paying homage to their roots by combining the raw intensity of these classics with Scot Hull & Co.’s unparalleled sonic fury.  So sure, I had to shoehorn this release into this category (which is also the reason it isn’t in the top 2), but there aren’t enough similar releases for me to make a “One-sided etched 12” EP that accompanies the Deluxe release of a new full length” category.  Also, if you tell me that you aren’t excited by the drummer of Misery Index playing Misfits and Negative Approach songs, then I assume you are an empty shell of a person.

 3. Single Mothers – Single Mothers
I will admit some bias in regards to this band as they hail from my hometown and I’ve played in bands with the drummer, but regardless of my hometown pride, this is one of the most impressive debuts I’ve heard in ages.  I mean, technically Single Mothers has an EP before this release, but on the self-titled 7-inch is where you see the band come into their own.  This release is filled with monstrous rock/punk/hardcore riffs, witty and insightful (without being smug or douchy) lyrics, and plenty of insanely-accurate references about London, Ontario.  All 4 tracks are flawless in my opinion, but “Hell is my Backup Plan” is the best indicator of what these grimy Canucks are capable of.

 2. Purity Control – Coping
For anyone not familiar with these Toronto, ON purveyors of powerviolence really need to smarten up and check them out.  The songs are short, the lyrics are bleak, and this 7” is proof positive that all of the anticipation for this release was not without merit.   Mixing blisteringly fast riffs with a hardcore sensibility really is a recipe for success for a listener like me, and Purity Control really is among the cream of crop with it comes to this unholy fusion.  Once again, if you aren’t into Purity Control you are fucking up.

 1. Graf Orlock – Los Angeles
I know that we were all sitting around, bitching about how there weren’t enough Heat-themed grindcore 7”s, but now that Graf Orlock have provided us with one, we really have nothing left to complain about.  Some people feel like cinema-grind legends may have lost a step on their Doombox 10”, but Los Angeles is a return to form, and further proof that there is no use counting this band out.  Graf Orlock has the unique ability of making grindcore songs that appeal far beyond the minute sub-set of music listeners that are grindcore fans.  They recognize that just because you write breakneck riffs doesn’t mean you have to forget about breakdowns, song-writing, or thematic continuity.  Oh ya, and the mix of a massive breakdown with the iconic/realistic gun sounds of the shoot-outs in Heat in “Quick on the Trigger” is a perfect example of you samples in grindcore can move beyond gimmick-status if done correctly.

So that's it for this first list of things we liked in prepared for many more to follow!