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Astoria Pub - Feb 20th 2013

It was exciting to hear Twin Crystals return to the live arena as they have been absent for some time. A trio with a buzzing keyboard Twin Crystals take influence from all over the underground past and present. They are an aggressive outfit with furious DIY ethic.  Like the Screamers before them much feedback ensues and the songs keep coming; it's a blurry world with a sound coming straight from the soul.

SNFU, the Fondlers , Bad P.R. REVIEW

SNFU -  photo by Cat Ashbee
SNFU - Cat Ashbee photo

February 1, 2013 -  Funkys AKA Thrashers

We got into Thrashers in time to catch a nail-biting Canucks victory in overtime over Chicago, to the delight of the packed crowd.  Shortly after, the opening band Bad P.R. took the stage starting with a funkified cover of the Talking Heads classic "Burning Down the House". The funk continued throughout their set, which was a mix of rock and alternative complete with slap bass, guitar wankery, and a little rap.  Basically they were a time warp back to the ‘90s, reminiscent of Bootsauce.



No Longer Off To the Side

by Nathan Pike 
photo by Skinny Tim

There is a live clip floating around online of Greenback High pulling off a great cover of Belgian punkers, The Kids’ 1978 song “I Wanna Get a Job in the City”. It’s a rip roaring cover that should give untrained ears a good idea of the force with which this local four piece have behind them. Their sound is rough around the edges but tight in the right places, taking cues from the Replacements, The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers and other old school favourites. Without encroaching into over-seriousness their lyrical output borders on tales of life in the crunch, political kicking against the pricks and of course, having a good ol’ time.

 A bit of melodic punk, rock n roll, and an honest love for playing music, Greenback High have at times been forced to the side burner during their history. “We’ve been together for over 2 years but It still kind of feels like a new band sometimes,” bassist Rob Beardo shares. “When we first started it wasn’t always easy to get all of us together for shows or practice because of our other commitments.” 

These commitments came in the form of several other bands members were and still are currently active in. While Beardo also does time in The Vicious Cycles, former guitarist Matt Snakes and current member Josh Atomic play in The Jolts, and FloorTom Jones has been with DOA for a couple of years. But this is just the beginning of the lineup story. 

Last year, Greenback High entered into SHINDIG, in what Beardo passes off with a laugh as “just a whim.” Well, that whim turned into a first and second round win, which earned them a second placement overall, but not without some shuffling of band members while getting there. “Matt had to leave the band after we won the first round,” says Beardo. “Because (drummer) Jones could sing and knew the material, he took on guitar. We also had a friend who’d done recording for us and was a drummer as well, so JJ Heathen was a natural fit.” 

With this lineup the band played, and won, the second round. Then Heathen broke his foot and face by falling off of a ladder, which took him out of action and put Jones back on drums, leaving the band a three-piece. All said, they managed to place second and won some studio time for their troubles, which they were perfectly happy with. “We were just surprised to get as far as we did and are happy to have gotten free studio time, which will be at Vogville Studios in Port Coquitlam,” he says.

All of this as well as some sweet spots sharing the stage with DOA, The Pointed Sticks on their Farewell tour and contributing tracks to the upcoming Shake! Records and Devon Clifford benefit compilation called The Party Lives On, it appears that things are coming up roses in the Greenback High camp. Also, along with tracks that will be recorded at Vogville over the next few weeks the band is stoked to be releasing their vinyl seven-inch for “Bombs Away” alongside Slow Learners on March 1st at the Astoria. Rob shares in closing, “I’m kind of glad things have turned out the way they have. This band is fun and even though there’s a lot of other stuff going on for all of us, like Jones having to finish up the final DOA shows and stuff, it still feels like this band is building steam. But whatever the case, I just love playing music and working hard.” Indeed, working hard for the love of it is really all there is, and the only way forward.

The EP and 7-inch Bombs Away b/w All Of Us Or None releases  March 1 at the Astoria Pub, available locally at Red Cat, Zulu, Neptoon, Dandelion, Zoo Zhop and Audiopile. Keep your ears open for more live dates!


take the reins

by More Betty
photo by Leigh Righton

LIONS IN THE STREET - photo by Lee Righton

On The Lam is very much, a rock n roll record which is equal parts denim and leather. A brand new EP by Vancouver's rockers, Lions In The Streets. “It's about exile and being exiled .... angry songs,” says vocalist/lead guitarist Chris Kinnon and “it's not seventies rock anymore.” The band remains a four piece with: Sean Casey on rhythm/acoustic/slide guitars, Enzo Figliuzzi on bass and Jeff Kinnon on drums and vocals. The new release is set to hit the streets February 19, out on Beverley Martel worldwide (

After their seventies flavoured, self titled album there has definitely been some living, grit and growth behind the music. With changes, but still a few connections. “This one's not so backward-looking. We made what we feel was as good a retro record as anyone's ever made, so it was time to move in a new direction. We love the 2009 record and are very proud of it, but it was time for something new and different. Really challenged ourselves with this. Also, listened to lots of metal!” says Kinnon.

One link between the albums are the tunings, the older album was in open tuning and a couple of the songs on the new EP are as well, but the others are in standard tuning. “So that changes the timbre of the music,” explains Kinnon, “but the approach is the same.” The EP will include a remixed version of “Moving Along” which came by request. An earlier version appears on the 2009 LP. “Tighten The Reins” is another 'riff rock' number on the album. “[It is a song] about assholes who take advantage of vulnerability and hit them when they're down. They can tighten but never control,” says Kinnon. The sound on the other songs can be described fuzzy, dark and heavy. “There more minor chords in this music than anything else we've recorded, the guitar tones are a little bit nastier, maybe,” he says, “the rockier side of Cheap Trick, not power pop.” There are no keyboards this time either. Another number off the EP, “So Far Away” is described as “about the temptation to become arrogant and proud and deal with things vigilante or on your own,” he says.

Lions In The Street was a rock n roll band that was poised to do big things, very big things with a label looking at producers such as Todd Rundgren and Bob Ezrin. You hear the stories about bands being dropped by their labels. Theirs, was a story about a label that would not let them go and there was an album that was never finished. They initially entered the recording session with power pop material and by midway the band really had hit their stride writing and amassing a great deal of new material along with rock n roll songs. There was a disagreement with the label as to which songs were going to be part of the record and which songs weren’t. The short of the long story here, is that after substantial time, considerable expense out of the band's own pockets and litigation they were finally able to break free. By 2009 they independently released the self titled Lions In The Street LP, an incredibly infectious album with nod to seventies rock n roll. You can still download the self-titled debut LP or order a CD at

Fastforward to 2013, now with the EP On The Lam under their belt, Lions In The Street will be heading down to SXSW this year. They are also working on a tour. There will be Canadian stops and are looking at western dates in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatchewan, Whistler, Victoria and very select Vancouver gigs.

Lions In The Street will join La Chinga Saturday, March 2 as both bands celebrate EP releases at Astoria Pub, 769 East Hastings


Electric Owl - January 16, 2013

The Spits - photo by tiina liimu
The Spits

Three hooded miscreants and one clown provide a soundtrack to one of the most irreverent garage punk evenings and raucous pits in awhile.

Complete with a stage diver who consistently launched himself off every platform available. The first dive was clear into the only hole in the crowd. Hopefully that polished concrete tasted good.


Despise You photo by photo by Monukka Fajardo
Monukka Fajardo photo

L.A. Forever!

The split male/female vocals tag team some of the most intensely bleak lyrics to bleed out into a to a confrontation of words. “It's all personal stuff from around where I grew up and still live. I don't talk about the 'politics' of any of it in any detail says skater, vocalist. Inglewood California's power violence band, Despise You had built a following putting out vinyl anonymously in the 90s.

“We just did a bunch of 7-inch records, most of that stuff was put together to make the West Side Horizons record since all that stuff was hard to get,” says Dodge. The West Side Horizons LP and CD has been repressed in both USA and Europe. Despise You recently released a split EP with Agoraphobic Nosebleed which is out on Relapse. “A couple of those guys started talking and wanted to play again [and]everyone was into it. When we first got back together we wrote a couple new songs we thought were good so we decided to do a new record,” he says and “we've had different people at different times. The current lineup is the same as the people who recorded the newest album, except Adam is playing bass instead of Chris.”

The list of bands that current and former members of DY have played in starts to read like an evolution of California grindcore and power violence. They have been have been part of Excruciating Terror (grind), Spazz (pv), Stapled Shut (pv), Crom (grind/metal), Gasp (pv), Bloody Phoenix (grind) and Lack Of Interest (pv). For a new listener, this hybrid punk which evolved in the 90's can get involved fast. “I guess it's hardcore? I don't know. Punk ethics, has some metal here and there. I think since we came out in '94 and when all the MITB[Man Is the Bastard], Spazz, Crossed Out etc. was going on and we were associated with Slap A Ham and Pessimiser, we were put into that group of 'powerviolence' bands. That word gets hung on everything now that's fast and non-musical,” he explains. Incidentally, two of the DY band members are behind those labels. Chris Elder (vocalist) is Pessimiser Records, a Los Angeles/Inglewood label. Chris Dodge (bass player) is Slap A Ham a label outta the Bay Area.

The duo vocals over the distorted instrumentation and mixed timings stands out, immediately. “I guess the guy/girl vocals are different than a lot of bands. I know Hatred Surge does that and it sounds good. We have an L.A. sound (on purpose),” says Dodge. This is a rare night and this visit to Canada is a first. A few tickets are still available at the Zoo Zhop.

DESPISE YOU play Thursday February 7th at The Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue with OBACHA, AHNA, OSK, VIOLENT RESTITUTION, SKUFF - 8PM sharp!

- More Betty


CHI - Pig of SNFU by Dan Harbor

Writing the Canadian history of PUNK in 2013 would not be complete without CHI PIG of SNFU front and centre. 

Suited in gold, on the streets of East Van, Chi Pig's artistry abounds. Still vital, still gigging, still touring and hmmmmm, possibly still recording? Duh? They are indeed modern with a webpage, Twitter, a Facebook, a Myspace etc. So keep your eyes and ears peeled for news!

Documented in ink by none other than artist and illustrator Dan Harbord.


Rampage photo by Bev Davies 2013
RAMPAGE  - Bev Davies photo


It was a multigenerational audience for the D.O.A. final show send off.  From the first wave of  the 1970s, the birth of Vancouver punk to successive generations and new fans spread out across the venue from the floor to the balcony. Tickets for the Friday night send off sold out well in advance and due the the popularity of the event, The Rickshaw added a second night for D.O.A. fans. Rebel Spell returned and Real Problems replaced Fierce Creep and Trail of Broken Treaties were scheduled in to start off the Saturday night. Two Skinny Mag writers chimed in on their experience of the punk rock finale.


QUICKSAND - tiina liimu photo 2013

The Commodore Ballroom - Thursday, January 17, 2013

It had been a lot of years since I had last been inside the hallowed walls of the Commodore and even more since I’d last seen New York City post hardcore veterans Quicksand, who reunited in 2012 and are currently on their first North American tour in fifteen years.

CAR 87

CAR 87 - Trapped

Trapped - Independent

Once you slap that blood red disc onto your turntable be prepared to experience four ZERO tolerance numbers. Spared back punk which exorcise the anguished demons of self loathing and addiction. And it's real.


SUBCULTURE by wendythirteen

As I'm repeatedly receiving messages from the 'Save the Waldorf' groups, I just have to chime in about this debacle.... I hastily signed one of the many petitions before I knew the all the facts ... I feel like I was fleeced with the hysterically storied 'Big Bad Condo Developer is to blame' headline...Then bit by bit the real story trickled out... The Waldorf Productions lessees were up to their necks in debt... Three things about this whole scenario screamed huh?