Hold tight because the wild ones of Pacific Northwest garage rock, the Sonics have just channeled their raw spirit into thirteen new tracks. Not even twenty-four hours out of the studio, saxophonist and vocalist Rob Lind alerted that the material is on its way to Detroit in the hands of the mighty Jim Diamond. The Vancouver date will debut these. “It will be the first time that we play them in public,” says Lind. It will also be the first live performance in Vancouver since the mid sixties.
Have you ever tried to start a band? There are a few different ways. One is the method of throwing something together quickly just so you can get on stage ASAP and score new friend points. Or, you can shoot for the stars and attempt mainstream success by writing crap tunes that no one cares about, including yourselves. Or you could get together a bunch of egos that constantly bicker, fight and do nothing but play self-indulgent music that confuses the hell out of anyone within an ear's reach.
A sonically abrasive Anion not only lives up to their namesake but also to the 2013 release, Without Solace. By description “a negatively charged ion” characterizes this intense Vancouver four-piece. “Johnny discovered Anion, we liked the word itself as well as the definition associated with it, which relates to our negative and ugly music, so it was a perfect fit,” says bass player Cole Benoit. This uncompromising line-up includes Johnny Matter on vocals, Steve Sepanzyk on guitar and Adam Rayburn enters as the new full-time drummer.
The sound of this “filthy metallic noise rock” is made up of elements of sludge, noise and hardcore. “We strive to make the music really dirty and negative, which is how we all feel heavy music should be and what we want to hear,” says the bassist. “We really wanted to focus on crafting songs this time around, making everything work together and be memorable as a whole song, rather than just a certain riff.” With that intact they also wanted to draw out their influences. “We feel we’ve got more in common with older hardcore bands like Kiss It Goodbye, Playing Enemy and Anodyne then we do with a lot of modern stuff, for that reason, back when bands had a lot of negative emotion to them and wrote ugly yet fantastic riffs,” he says.
The 2013 LP was recorded with producer Matt Bayles at Red Room Studios in Seattle, also known for Botch, Mastodon and Isis. “He’s worked on a number of seminal albums that we relate to as a band, so we contacted him to see if he was interested in working with us. He liked what we were doing and so we booked studio time,” says Benoit. Winnipeg's No List Records is putting out this release and also a great match with a roster of the likeminded: KEN mode, The Great Sabatini and Breathe Knives.
Anion’s discography includes: Manolete, a digital EP, the 7-inch Carrion King on grey splatter vinyl and Corpseflower, which is a limited edition of red cassettes in cloth sleeves. Vinyl albums have reemerged to the forefront and Without Solace is an intriguing audio-visual parcel. “The artwork does relate to the album title and the contents of the album, but I’d rather leave that open to interpretation. I will say that 'Rotting Bloom' is the sonic sequel to 'Corpseflower', an older song of ours, and if you dig into the lyrics of 'Corpseflower' things might make a little more sense,” says Benoit, who is also responsible for the photography of the new album. “To me, artwork is a huge part of an album and always has been, it makes it that much better when the packaging is as fantastic as the music inside. This is even more relevant now when you really need to give people a reason to buy a physical copy, rather than just download it. So I wanted to make sure that our packaging had that,” he explains. “We really wanted to step away from any sort of ‘metal’ or other imagery that might pigeonhole us based on how the album looked. We wanted something really elegant and beautiful, but with a darker edge to it [and] the design to be very clean and simple. Allowing the photos to really come through and again to leave the sonic contents of the album a bit of a mystery.” A song from the upcoming LP, “Snake Oil” is now out on video. Anion is currently booking support tours for North America and Europe.
Without Solace, will be released Sept. 17. Catch the party on Oct. 11 at Astoria joined by Breathe Knives and Weirding. -More Betty
Seventeen years of songs, tours, and shows around North America haven't worn down Motorama, who just produced the high-energy album Found On Road Dead. This release finds them backed Vancouver scene supporters Not Yer Buddy, who produced and distributed their newest release. “We've always gone with revved up rock and roll,” founder and songwriter Marcus Lander relates. “This album has got a little bit more of a pop vibe and a little more angular as well.” Motorama is a heavy noise rock trio featuring some of Vancouver's most prolific and experimental rock musicians. Lander played with supergroup Little Guitar Army and the reformed Fiends, bassist Rich performs solo under his pseudonym Orchard Pinkish and Bertman writes songs for heavy contemporaries the Strugglers. “My aspirations have always been to just write the best songs I possibly can,” Lander explains of this project. “I don't know if I've ever succeeded in that, but that's the intention.”
This energetic night of camaraderie proved to be an international representation of symphonic metal and superb musicianship. Starkill, the Century Media newcomers break the ice to a receptive audience of metal fans.
Headliners, Wintersun, hailing from the land of ice and snow were warmly welcomed with a much-anticipated reception. From Finland: Jari Maenpaa is on lead vocals and guitar, Kai Hahto on drums, Jukka Koskinen on bass and Teemu Mantysaari is on guitar, all demonstrating brilliant arrangements of progressive, melodic, symphonic metal.
Clever compositions keep the audience spellbound by their performance. The passionate, set included “Beyond the Dark Sun”, “Battle Against Time”, “Sleeping Stars”, “Beautiful Death”, “Death And Healing” followed by the grand finale of “Winter Madness.”
Free money!! Anyone else think these Kickstarter and Indiegogo crowdfunding website cash grabs are out of control? It's one thing to have the funds raised actually be for charity or serious life-changing obstacles but when it's funding people's educations and businesses, how far is too far?
I recently found an Indiegogo campaign for a former D.I.Y. haunt of mine asking for dough to expand their business, in exchange for potential goods and services if the endeavor pans out.