Every band would be better if they became born-again Christians
This week from Sam and Josiah.
I just went to Dollarama and the coffee shop, subjecting poor Sara to be seen with me in public wearing my MGK shorts. It’s soooo hot outside and someone somewhere has created an immensely potent pile of garbage, so the humidity is combining with the scent to create something you can taste. The notes are days-old raw chicken, rust, compost, quinoa. It’s lingering in my senses, distorting my tastebuds. Now let’s add some sound to the mix….
Here’s some stuff we’re thinking about this week.
Dreamwell “Obelisk of Hands”
Sam: I have publicly delighted in the screamo revival sweeping the globe and this shit just keeps getting nicer. There’s a great teeny tiny dive in Toronto called Orwell (not to be confused with the dearly departed Etobicoke pub, Orwell’s, RIP) that has clearly become the local home to the “scene,” and it’s been so sick to see bands like Dreamwell play there while being the oldest person in the room by at least a decade (it’s only weird until you realize you are just straight up invisible to all young people). This new song is fucking sick and builds off the promise of their 2021 full length, Modern Grotesque, with some very tight riffs and a kinda-chorus that tricks you before the grind really kicks in. Very stoked for this album!
Jos: Do you think Sam is being ignored at these little Hogtown skramz shindigz (disgusting turn of phrase, oof) because he’s so old, or is it because all of these little dorks are secretly obsessed with him? I mean, these people clearly know This Exists right? I watched for a minute until I couldn’t handle anymore top-knot haircuts and playing Nintendo Switch in the van. I love to play video games, but I think playing them in public is kind of reprehensible. Have some self-respect. Also is this really screamo? Sounds like Deathwish, Inc.-adjacent metalcore to me.
Creeper “Cry to Heaven”
Sam: Ignored this when it was released back in May because despite going ga-ga for Eternity, In Your Arms one billion years ago (2017), Creeper really lost me with a deeply soft follow up that leaned into all the stuff I didn’t like about them. Well I’m an idiot because this song makes me laaaaaaaaaaaugh with joy. The solo is playing right now and I’m really smiling IRL, it’s so silly. Oh the key change is coming! What a treat. Honestly the Creeper stuff that grabbed me initially was the Alkaline- Trio-but-also-MCR-but-just-the-parts-of-the-songs-that-are-good-to-me, but this is an entirely new gear I didn’t even know they had. It powerfully evokes the opening song from some lost Nightmare on Elm Street sequel called like The Dream Phantom or Freddy’s Mystique. It’s so straight faced and genuinely good. Creeper back.
Jos: I think I’m grumpy because I have the taste of Mile End waste lodged in the taint that exists between my nose and mouth, but as soon as I hit play I was annoyed that they went for de-interlaced and film grain. You gotta pick one! Anyway, this song is pretty awesome but only because it reminds me of Stryper. Every band would be better if they became born-again Christians.
Mutual Benefit “Little Ways”
Jos: I guess I gotta keep finding new music to put in here every week, which is definitely something that feels like a divine punishment at this point in my life, but I also secretly love it because honestly, at the end of the day, it’s cool to find some stuff. I mean this one is a total accident — I was looking to see if I’ve heard of anything on the Stereogum New Music page, and their site is such a horrible labyrinth of “doctors hate this weird trick” ads and awful hardcore hype articles that I actually clicked this by accident. I love it, just some great vintage, vaguely country-tinged indie pop music to do the dishes to. I just read this under the music video: “Filmed among the beauty and the trash of Brooklyn, NY.” That definitely makes me want to kick this guy’s ass. But you almost want this kind of music to be made by a guy who’s ass you want to kick, you know?
Sam: Realizing that Josiah is mostly responding to the music videos for the songs I’ve written about while I’m generally streaming the songs and only finding the videos for the purposes of sharing here. And yet here I am, initially hating this until I clicked over to the video and saw a sweet little turtle. What a neat creature! Love their whole thing — being ancient, slow, and rude. Like me at the Hogtown skramz shindigz! Okay the turtle is gone and I hate it again.
Patrick Holland “Ending with 1000”
Jos: I was at my cousin’s wedding last weekend in the city of Ottawa, which I’ve now officially realized is the worst city on God’s green earth, the downtown of which seems like someone tried to imagine a central Floridian nightlife but over-exaggerated how shitty it could be. At the wedding, turns out my other cousin’s fiance (my fiance-in-law-one-removed?) is a guy who works for the CBC and has read all my articles, and in his wide-eyed optimism he asked me what I thought of the Polaris short list. A very funny question at any given time, but I honestly didn’t even know the Polaris still existed. Because he was such a nice guy, I gave a long response, trying my hardest to make it make sense for both of us. “Wow, that was even more cynical than I could have ever expected,” he replied. Anyway, there is cool Canadian music, you just have to read about it in America or not read about it all and just know that it’s cool because you know. Like Patrick Holland, formerly Project Pablo, who is continually striking the right tone. His recent pop album didn’t fully connect with me quite like the early house stuff, but it seems like this new EP has him squaring his two personalities into something very sweet.
Sam: Cackled reading this. Do I miss Josiah? He would have told me this story if we were doing the pod and I would have got even more details about how precisely his cynicism emerged despite his best efforts to disguise it. Or maybe he didn’t disguise it he just tried to make it more considered? Fuck. Was this short listed for Polaris? I produced the show for years and, between us girls, made it through a few rounds of interviews in a failed attempt to become the Executive Director after the original main dude left. And here I am, more free and happier than ever… but missing Josiah. Life is a tricky thing.
Code Orange “Take Shape”
Jos: I was kinda hoping Sam would put this on here so we could talk about it. There’s no way Sam doesn’t like this band. It’s the logical end point of all the stuff he posts in here all the time. It’s also funny how hard they seem to have fumbled the bag… like everyone, everywhere seems to hate their guts? But they were once basically like the Odd Future of blog hardcore? I guess it’s because they just suck too bad. This song is gross as all hell, but I need to listen to the whole thing because I love Billy Corgan too much. I’m doing this for you Billy. It’s so painful. I hate when this kind of music has a “chorus.” Okay I made it to the Billy part. It’s awesome that he definitely wasn’t willing to be in the video so they just put a bald mask on some guy. He sounds cool in it, I wish he was singing the whole thing and also that it had different music and was a different band. I wonder how much he charged them for those 10 seconds.
Sam: Yeah dude of course I love Code Orange. My favourite Code Orange fact is that they have gone through enough dramatic transformations to have played a show with Junior Battles a decade ago. I wish we could play with this band now. This is fucking garbage but I respect them so much for so quickly backsliding from nu metal (good) to “nu metal” (bad). This sounds like Three Days Grace. Hahaha oh shit Billy Corgan! This is good now. Every hardcore band that sniffs being trad cool immediately debases themselves so it’s actually very sick that Code Orange could have been the Armed and instead they’re making wrestling music for actual wrestling fans (the really dumb ones).
Was Matt Skiba the coolest one all along? That can’t be right….
Free every Friday.