The Skinny Magazine in Vancouver is LIVE - LOUD - LOCAL covering independent and touring music - Punk, Metal, Garage, Noise and Rock n Roll since 2008!


ANCIIENTS photo by tiina liimu

Mine their first full-length recording

Anciients are alive and rock among us. Their music is precise and poetic and the band is on a heavy metal misson.

Guitarists/vocalists Ken Cook (Black Wizard, SprëadEagle) and Chris Dyck (SprëadEagle) make up one half of the band Anciients. Recently they took a moment to reflect on their music and where it is about to take them. They are fortunate to have a great rhythm section in bassist Aaron “Boon” Gustafson (SprëadEagle) and drummer Mike Hannay (Mammoth, M16) who inspire them both every practice and performance.


Redd Kross, Neurotica Line Up,  photo by © Jonathan Krop

Back in the front row

Power pop punks Redd Kross have a new album, Researching the Blues out on Merge Records and much like one of those great reunions with a long lost friend, it defies time and continues right from where it left off. Current members feature: Jeff McDonald on Vocals/Guitars, Steven McDonald on Bass/Vocals, Roy McDonald on Drums and Robert Hecker on Guitars. If you weren't aware of this already, brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald got their start 34 years ago during the Los Angeles' first wave of punk.

It's been fifteen years since the last album and Jeff Macdonald has continued to refine his craft. “For some reason I never stopped writing songs and the one thing I had yet to do is write the perfect pop song. I'm not sure that I ever will but it's something I can't let go of just yet...” says MacDonald and this endeavour found it's shape as the new album. “I had a collection of songs and once we started performing again it made sense to at least lay them down.” There seems to be a timelessness about the songs, especially the current ones. “I really never think about what's going on musically so I just try to please myself. I think we've always known if we dig it, there will be others like us.” That's what you learn when you've been around so long” he says.
At first glance the album title points at historical context. “It's both absurd and heavy and it just came to me one day. I was reading a lot books on the history of American music at the time I wrote the song, so people really do research the blues. I guess I was.” says Jeff and adds “It can also be about doing the same things that constantly make you miserable and not being able to stop, who knows? 
However, the oddity here is the source of the line, not only is it the title of opening number but the actual line 'researching the blues' came from an old song called "Fiona Apple" that Jeff and Steven wrote with Ze Malibu Kids. A project recorded with family: Steve, Anna, Charlotte and Astrid. With so much fragmentation and sub-genres, is it just a good time to just some fun with rock n roll? “I never really pay too much attention to “What's Happening” says MacDonald and “Rock n Roll can be very deceptive in the sense when you're dealing with something so simple it must be pure and if it's not authentic on some level it will fail. It seems it's much more of a challenge to make a really great rock record that one can listen to from start to finish than it is to make art noise or something beat orientated. Very few great rock albums come out each year and even then most are still a bit spotty. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Frank Sinatra, I love noise and heavy grooves. Right now I only listen to Korean girl groups, so what do I know?”

Collecting vinyl is on a fabulous return and something about special those seven inch 45's. “I originally wanted to do five double A sides because most of the songs were written in that single style. I could hear any two songs paired together to make a strong seven inch” says MacDonald.The album, ten songs, Researching the Blues is now available in most formats.
 Looks like Vancouver will get to experience these live and it also seems very likely that you'll have a lot people dancing in the front row. “The last time we played Vancouver the L.A. riots were going down and I think most of the audience was on ecstasy. You never forget a show like that” he says and “I promise there will be something for everybody. Vancouver is a special place. Can't wait!”

Redd Kross play the Rickshaw Theatre September 6

- More Betty


 Four New Vinyls: Ballantynes - The React! - Tranzmitors - The Radii

Vancouver was recently been graced with a stellar four band vinyl release party presented by Vancouver-Victoria La Ti Da Records. They just put out some 7-inch vinyl for: the React! Tranzmitors and Ballantynes. Friends and like-minded musicians, Radii joined them at the event and showcased their self-titled release of songs, a 12-inch LP recorded with Jessie Gander of the Hive Creative Labs.

Ballantynes: Misery/Stay - Two new tracks from this soul seven piece with dual drums! “Misery” can be related to the months of rain we get here in Vancouver while “Stay” can get a little romantic… Get on the floor baby!


Skeletonwitch photo by tiina liimu

The Biltmore Cabaret - July 30, 2012

One-hundred percent audience participation wiped out any lousy attitudes clear across the room. The entire floor was spun into a grinding-thrash-metal-punk-hardcore subgenre vortex.

The level of respect between the band, Skeletonwitch and audience was a mutual affair. From the moment the curtain was pulled vocalist, Chance Garnette worked his way across the the entire front row with a high five for absolutely every fan within reach. The air was so thick with adrenaline and tour momentum there was no end from this point on. The Athens, Ohio band has certainly mastered an unstoppable degree of speed and darkness as they paced through a thrash metal sermon that had worked the floor into a circle pit fervour. The “Abomination Tour” was in a state of unquestioning velocity.


put a bandaid on it

Lovesores photo by tiina liimu

Introducing, Portland's latest cast of garagepunks. The Lovesores hit the road seeking love in all the wrong places, with a fresh vinyl in hand and a name that is a parody of The Heartbreakers. Frontman, Scott 'Deluxe' Drake is a familiar face to the fans of the legendary '90s garage rockers and punks, the Humpers. The Lovesores line-up is: Jeff Fieldhouse on Guitar (Humpers, 8 Foot Tender, Suicide Kings, Partners in Crime), Adam Kattau on Guitar (Fast Takers), Alex Fast on Bass (LSD & D), Eric Bennes on Drums (Fast Takers, Carnabetian Army) and vocalist Drake (Humpers, Vice Principals, Fabulous Prizes, Suicide Kings and Naughty Women).

Lovesores just put out a self released 7”called Fast Friends / Red Alert in July. Producing and releasing your work DIY puts the process back into your own hands and “for exactly that reason; you have complete artistic control. But sometimes it’s also nice to have someone else pay for manufacturing! It’s really hard to break even on a release and that financial pressure can break bands up sometimes. You have to go into it realizing that nowadays a record serves more as a 'calling card' than as a product” says Drake, a veteran with album credits throughout the '90s. The Lovesores are recording a full-length with an expected release in October on the U.K.'s Devil’s Jukebox Records.  Check in for a GaragePunk Hideout Compilation at The Lovesores at Garage Punk Hideout. That seven inch is available on great distros all over, so Google it, check Burnside or demand that your local record store orders it!

So, where does the old band leave off and the new one start? With their first gig announced in June, “the Lovesores really have no connection to any of my previous bands, this is an entirely new band, new people, new songs. Jeff is the only one I’ve played with before” says Drake. Describing this kind of rock n roll in today's context of a million genres seems tricky. “Yeah, the genre question is a tough one. I’ve been playing the same kind of music for 30 years, but they keep changing the name of it! Punk, rock and roll, garage [is] basically three or four chords and a backbeat, you can call it what you want!” he explains.

What do the Lovesores sound like live? “Well,... you’re gonna get 100% unadulterated rock and roll, no bullshit. Good songs, good players, high energy, what more could a kid want?” says Drake and “we always have a great time with our northern neighbours!”

by More Betty


Night Birds photo by tiina liimu

Live review at Iron Road Studios - August 1, 2012

The common denominator was all about subtraction. A set of bands that stripped bare the genre divisions of hardcore, punk rock, garage and rock n roll. It didn't matter which corner of the block was your territory. If you didn't walk out of this show completely soaked to the skin, the sorry news was, you weren’t working on the right equation. Next question, what happens when you book two slaughtering bands off Grave Mistake with two of Vancouver's uncompromising favourites?


raging DIY for the eighth year

Distort Vancouver

This Western Canadian fest has grown tremendously, especially by DIY punk standards. Distort began in 2004 by organizers Zach Batuldin and FOAT inspired by Pointless Fest, Prank Records Fest, Havoc Fest, Chicago Fest and Chaos in Tejas. “After seeing these amazing and fun festivals [that] bring punks from around the world together...we decided that Vancouver should have one of these” says FOAT. Batuldin is now with the Spectres but still helps out where he can and FOAT has been doing the fest solo since 2009. “The last two volumes of Distort have been the biggest [and] I'm happy to say that in the last eight years, I have had some of my favourite bands and people up....which I guess is why I still do this year after year. Believe me, it's definitely not because of the money!”

Is there more thought behind the selection of Distort bands other than just shit that FOAT likes? “Actually, no, there is no more thought than that. I do this fest for me and my dear friends. Which means I only put on bands that I'm stoked about. If you try to please everyone, sooner than later you got some shitty hipster fest. So “this year I'm maxing the Visa and getting Wolf Brigade to destroy. I think North American punks can be schooled on other kinds of hardcore than Black Flag and Minor Threat. Bands like Wolf Brigade prove that in countries like Sweden, punks are light years beyond our conception of hardcore.” says FOAT. “If I'm gonna go in the hole every year, it better be worth it....a lot of people accuse me of being pretentious and elitist because of this....but that's usually because they're in a shitty band that no one gives a fuck about anyway.”

Distort Volume VIII

The Volume VIII fest is: Wolf Brigade (Classic Swedish d-beat punk), War Cry (Portland d-beat masters), Crimson Scarlet (Oakland goth punks), Midnite Brain (Oakland raw punks), Asile (Raw d-beat punk from Ottawa), Mania (Silenzio Statico punks from LA), Oust (Phoenix death metal skids), Biocido (Brutal phoenix grind), Rapid Loss (Edmonton/Vancouver hardcore punk), Death Count (LA drunk raw noise fucks) Raw Nerves (PDX Hardcore), Deras Krig (Raw mangel from Oakland), Terokal (Portland d-beat punk), Night Nurse (Portland fucking heavy metal punks), Taratuja (Edmonton party rockers), Skabiis (Calgary punks not a Ska band!), Side Effects (Bay Area hardcore punk), Bellicose Minds (Portland gloom punk), Zoloa (Raw LA ponx), War Sound (Disrupting d-beat from LA ex-What Shame?), Frenzy (ex-Nerveskade from Portland), Six Brew Bantha (party grinders from Victoria), Hoopsnake (stoned doom metal from Squamish), Bishops Green (ex-Alternate Action street punk from Vancouver), Spectres (Vancouver's least cheerful peace punk goths) and Nu Sensae (wild weirdo punk from Van).

It is notable how many female fronted bands and players are at the fest. “That's kinda weird, cuz it's not really an intentional part of Distort which I think is awesome, because, in many ways women's involvement in punk seems to have become more common place and we barely even notice the gender of the musicians. Who cares about the genitals of the guitar player as long as the music is raging....and I hope in 2012 most people share this point of view. That said, I know that sexism definitely lurks in the punk scene....but it's refreshing to hear that you have noticed a fair representation of women in punk” says FOAT. “Distort would never be possible without the help of Hesher, Batuldan, Annie Basterd, Boxcar and a sea of punks who help me out in a billion ways....I am just one punk dude. You, the reader, have just as much power to do something like this. This is what punk is about to me. Taking control of what you want to see in the scene, and building a world you want to live in and be a true part of. Now do your own punk fest! Up the punks.”

Distort Vancouver is September 27, 28 and 29

by More Betty


The Meatmen

Live Review at Fortune Sound Club - August 9, 2012

The compass was dialed in on “all points” punk and the night was brought to you by the letter “C”.

Controversial - Meatmen are as big as frontman's Tesco Vee's inflated appendage and after 20 straight classics of controversy, yes the set list was long. Then the words “the Dwarves are the second best band in the world, we are the Meatmen and you suck” emanate out of the PA. Microphone in hand, eyebrow raised and if you know the Dwarves, it's pretty clear what kind of night you were in for. They've been laying down the bait since 1981. Pass the salt.


SUBCULTURE by wendythirteen

Red tape! I have a vivid childhood recollection of my Government employed Geologist father retiring from his job muttering those very words along with some expletives... For the pseudo environmentally friendly Canadian Government, their border crossing application system is in the Dark Ages... Who the hell has a printer or fax machine anymore and that's the only way they accept the applications! And its six dead tree pages per band!!


Bert Man by Dan Harbord

and the September feature is?

Bertman! Three things about Bert. He can be seen and absolutely heard upfront tag teaming Little Guitar Army vocals, but also the driving force behind the kit for the stripped back and built up noise rockers, Motorama. If that isn't enough, this errant gent fronts up his own Vancouver project called the Strugglers.

Ink lovingly provided by caricature artist, illustrator, Dan Harbord.