Selfish Things – Vertical Love – REVIEW

In 2015, Alex Biro made the move from solo singer-songwriter to frontman singer of Toronto-based Selfish Things. On March 16th 2018, they release their first major EP Vertical Love. At six tracks, the EP as a whole offers a lot for any Alternative Rock fan to enjoy, with many of the archetypical tropes and inevitable highs and lows. There’s a bit more beneath the surface to observe though, lots of fine guitar parts interlinking and some crafty production work on offer. Look out for the keys and piano too. Let’s dive right in.

You start looking for the fire exit pretty early when opener 8147 Mullholland Terrace boots up, but just hold tight for a second. It doesn’t exactly send a good omen off the bat when some questionably croaky vocals start to form, but there’s a pleasant surprise in store when the surprisingly lofty chorus takes hold of the song. It’s very chalk and cheese, and doesn’t afford the audience much easing in. There’s a strong riff running throughout, but it’s mostly fairly uniform, stationary Alternative Rock – throwing a You Me At Six vibe into the mix. It seems like a risky opening move, on one hand they’ve tried to cast a wide net with a neutral opener – which makes sense – but tried to offset that with some edgy moments in between the lulls.

Things improve though when the keys in the intro of Rust Cohle Never Sleeps seem to want to take the EP by the scruff of the neck. This is a saving move, as the dynamic control and overall atmosphere is really positive in the critical parts of the song. The similarly eerie intro of Without You makes them partner well back-to-back, but unfortunately it labours as the song wears on despite some intriguing lyrics. It seems a premature move at this point, as the EP doesn’t seem sufficiently built-up for this quieter number.

That said, Five Years is much closer to what Without You should have been and it’s hugely satisfying. It’s right on the money, probably the most natural sound on the EP. A steady and delicate drum rhythm pulls the coarse words through the song, behind gentle piano and guitar parts offering echoed, terse and plucking sounds in astute combinations. The song escalates well, there’s something brittle and vulnerable to the song which gradually gets more compact. Hangman by contrast is a looser entry and a welcome change of pace. The layering in the song keeps you waiting for an impact moment which is delayed and delayed. This suspense is well dictated so that when it does go into full flowing instrumentation, it’s a really gratifying execution.

Closing number 1435 is the trough that the album warrants. An ebbing and flowing piano has some refreshingly colourful movements, and supports Alex Biro well with a downcast, chesty vocal display. This changes in the latter half when the drums and guitar come belting through the front door, a little predictably but not to its detriment, allowing Alex to move into a more heartfelt cry to the audience and close Vertical Love with a customary crescendo to fade out. Textbook.

This is a promising first major EP from Selfish Things which at face value bodes well for them. Selfish Things benefits from a singer with solo artist experience as he is able to capture some excellent individual moments, but his transition to a full band singer is the right move in his development, as he doesn’t always possess the strength of presence to sustain interest in a song when isolated. As a result, Vertical Love is inconsistent with its quality and can fluctuate rapidly depending. With the support and compensation of a technically astute band which capitalises on some deft production quality however, this record is for the most part intriguing, provoking and captivating: 7/10

Selfish Things are on Facebook. Vertical Love is out 16th March and can be purchased here.

Check out that cracking track Rust Cohle Never Sleeps below

counterparts servant you're not you anymore

Counterparts release single ‘No Servant of Mine’

With their latest album due out later this year, Canadian hardcore band Counterparts have released their latest single. It is titled No Servant of Mine and has a video out to accompany it, which you can watch below. The album itself is their third full-length which is due out on 22nd September, titled You’re Not You Anymore.

Vocalist Brendan Murphy said of the track: “No Servant is about relationships failing  whether they be romantic, platonic or business oriented. One way or another, the connection between two or more people is gone and we have to carry on knowing that it may be for the better. The song is my way of saying ‘If you no longer care, then go. You don’t need to stay because you owe me nothing.'”

Watch the video of No Servant of Mine here:

Catch them playing these dates with Napoleon and Polar:

11th November Patterns, Brighton, UK
12th November Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, UK
13th November Vintage Bar, Doncaster, UK
14th November Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK
15th November G2, Glasgow, UK
16th November Rebellion, Manchester, UK
17th November Think Tank, Newcastle, UK
18th November The Dome, London, UK
19th November Joiners, Southampton, UK
21st November Patronaat, Haarlem, Holland
22nd November Lux, Hanover, Germany
23rd November Poglos, Warsaw, Poland
24th November Firlej, Wroclaw, Poland
25th Durer Kert, Budapest, Hungary

Social Arsonist announce British Columbia/Alberta dates

Giving you a heavy hitting music style, Chilean/Canadian thrash hybrid Social Arsonist will be hitting the road for dates across British Columbia as well as Alberta in May, which will then be followed by a tour of Chile and a return to Canada to perform at the Loud As Hell festival.

You can check out the dates below:

May 18 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre –  info
May 19 – Vernon, BC – Record City – info
May 20 – Prince George, BC  – Legion
May 21 – Kamloops, BC – The Dirty Jersey
May 25 – Edmonton, AB – DV8
May 26 – TBA
May 27 – Calgary, AB – Lord Nelson’s
May 28 – Lethbridge, AB – Smokehouse
May 29 – Kelowna, BC – Muninn’s Post
June – Chile Tour
July 14 – Abbotsford, BC – Brother’s Bowling and Billiards
August 5 – Drumheller , AB – Loud As Hell Fest – www.loudashell.com

ShrEdmonton Line Up

Featuring some of the heaviest acts from across Canada to rumble the Alberta prairies, this year’s ShrEdmonton will be headlined by Vancouver power titans Unleash The Archers, Winnipeg’s doom funeral Psychotic Gardening and Edmonton gore masters Bleed from Friday, 12tt May to Sunday, 14th May 2017 at the Mercury Room. This year’s festival also features an all ages event on the Sunday date, as well as the return of the all-ages industry conference aspect, which includes panels on publicity & promotion, festival booking plus vocal, guitar and recording / live sound clinics. It really is not one to miss!

Friday, May 12

Show (18+) 
Doors 7:00 pm

8:00 – 8:45 – Days I Die (Calgary, AB)
9:00 – 9:45 – Osyron (Calgary, AB)
10:00 – 10:45 – Sleeping in Traffic (Edmonton, AB)
11:00 – 11:45 – Leave The Living (Red Deer, AB)
12:15 – 1:00 – Psychotic Gardening (Winnipeg, MB)

Saturday, May 13 Seminars (ALL AGES)

Publicity/Promotion Clinic – 1:00-1:30 pm
Vocal clinic 1:30-2:00 Guitar Clinic – 2:00-2:30 pm
Stage Moves with Jesse Valstar – 2:30-3:00 pm
Festival Seminar – 3:00-3:30 pm
Recording/Live Sound Clinic – 3:30-4:00 pm

Show (18+)
Doors 6:00 pm

7:00 – 7:45 – Valyria (Edmonton, AB)
8:00 – 8:45 – Burning Effigy (Calgary, AB)
9:00 – 9:45 – W.M.D. (Calgary, AB)
10:00 – 10:45 – Gatekeeper (Vancouver, BC)
11:00 – 11:45 – Eye of Horus (Edmonton, AB)
12:15 – FIN – Unleash The Archers (Vancouver, BC)

Sunday, May 14

Show (All Ages)
Doors 3:00 pm

3:00 – 3:45 – Disturb The Dead (Devon, AB)
4:00 – 4:45 – Scarlet Serenity (Edmonton, AB)
5:00 – 5:45 – Krepitus (Calgary, AB)
6:00 – 6:45 – Voltang (Hamilton, ON)
7:00 – 8:00 – Bleed (Edmonton, AB)

Terrifier premiere ‘Nuclear Demolisher’ lyric video

Skullsnbones.com have been given the honour of premiering Terrifier‘s latest lyric video for Nuclear Demolisher. The video is in support of their new album Weapons of Thrash Destruction released in January via Test Your Metal Records. You can catch the track here.

Terrifier have also announced a mini tour in Canada for this week:
April 5 – The Royal On Baker – Nelson, BC – info
April 6 – Smokehouse Bar and Grill – Lethbridge, AB
April 7 – The Forge On Whyte – Edmonton, AB – info
April 8 – Nite Owl – Calgary, AB – CEMR Metalfest (Headliners) – info

You can also catch them live here:
April 22 – SBC Restaurant – Vancouver, BC – info
May 5 – Logan’s Pub – Victoria, BC – info
July 15 – Hassen Arena – Armstrong, BC – Armstrong MetalFest – www.armstrongmetalfest.ca
August 11 – Brookside Resort – Prince George, BC – Metallion Festival – www.metallionfestival.com

Black Mourning Light Fest announce 2017 line up

Black Mourning Light Fest has announced their 2017 line up, including some huge names.

 

Check out the full  below

 

Black Mourning Light 2017 Line-Up & Set Times:

Friday, October 13th 

Blasphemy (Vancouver, BC) – 12am
Rites of Thy Degringolade (Edmonton, AB) – 11pm
Fortress (Kalispell, MT) – 10pm
Sorguinazia (Edmonton, AB) – 9pm
Ares Infernus (Lethbridge, AB) – 8pm
Doors 630 pm

Saturday, October 14th 

Revenge (Edmonton, AB) – 12am
Gravehill (Los Angeles, CA) – 10:30pm
Antichrist (Vancouver, BC) – 9:30pm
Xul (Armstrong, BC) – 830pm
Funeral of God (Canton, OH) – 7:30pm
Scythra (Regina, SK) – 6:30pm
Goathammer (Saskatoon, SK) – 5:30pm
Doors 4pm

 

Black Mourning Light organizer Dustin Ekman comments:

“This year we are taking extreme to a new level for Black Mourning Light, and I couldn’t be more honoured to have true legends in black metal on the festival. Revenge and Blasphemy are two of the biggest names in black metal, and with them are some of the best bands in the world to create an absolutely killer lineup. This is a year to not be missed, that’s for sure.”

 

Pick up your tickets at Starliteroom and at the following links:

Day Ticket – Oct 13 – https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1434131-black-mourning-light-metal-edmonton/

Tickets are $45 for one day, $75 for both days.

 

Black Mourning Light links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Dance Gavin Dance release ‘Betrayed By The Game’

Dance Gavin Dance have released a music video for their new single Betrayed By The Game, from their forthcoming 7th studio LP Mothership, which is out on October 7th on Reprise Records. They are kicking off their tour this weekend at Chain Fest in Orange County, California.

Tour Dates
US/CANADA
9/22 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
9/23 – Social Hall SF – San Francisco, CA
9/24 – Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
9/25 – Neumos – Seattle, WA
9/27 – The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
9/28 – Granada Theatre – Lawrence, KS
9/29 – Amsterdam – St. Paul, MN
9/30 – Portage Theater – Chicago, IL
10/1 – Emerson Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
10/2 – Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, MI
10/3 – Mr. Smalls Theatre – Millvale, PA
10/4 – Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON
10/5 – Les Foufounes Électriques – Montreal, QC
10/6 – The Waiting Room – Buffalo, NY
10/7 – The Middle East – Cambridge, MA
10/8 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA
10/9 – Webster Hall – New York, NY
10/11 – Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD
10/12 – The NorVa – Norfolk, VA
10/13 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC
10/14 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
10/15 – The Orpheum – Tampa, FL
10/16 – Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
10/17 – The Social – Orlando, FL
10/19 – Rocketown – Nashville, TN
10/20 – The Ready Room – St. Louis, MO
10/21 – Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
10/22 – So What?! Music Festival – Dallas, TX
10/23 – Scout Bar – Houston, TX
10/24 – Mohawk – Austin, TX
10/26 – Vinyl – Las Vegas, NV
10/27 – The Nile Theatre – Mesa, AZ

EU/UK
3.11.16 – Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy 2
4.11.16 – Brighton, UK @ The Haunt
5.11.16 – Birmingham, UK @ Institute3
6.11.16 – Southampton, UK @ Engine Rooms
8.11.16 – Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms
9.11.16 – Newcastle, UK @ O2 Academy2
10.11.16 – Manchester, UK @ Sound Control
11.11.16 – Glasgow, UK @ Garage
12.11.16 – Leeds, UK @ The Key Club
14.11.16 – Cardiff, UK @ The Globe
15.11.16 – Bristol, UK @ The Fleece
16.11.16 – London, UK @ Underworld
18.11.16 – Cologne, Germany @ Underground
19.11.16 – Hamburg, Germany @ Headcrash
20.11.16 – Berlin, Germany @ Musik & Frieden
22.11.16 – Munich, Germany @ Strom
23.11.16 – Frankfurt, Germany @ Nachtleben
25.11.16 – Haarlem, Netherlands @ Patronaat
26.11.16 – Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Dynamo

July Talk – Touch

July Talk‘s second album is released on Friday September 9th, and opens with the loud gruff vocals of Pete Dreimanis. The first impression was an assault on the ears until Leah Fay’s vocals mix into the chorus. The opening track, Picturing Love, is a great song to make the listener sit up and actually listen. The two singers seem to be arguing for vocal supremacy over the track and eventually find a harmonic balance.

There seems to be a mix of genres within the album that sits well within the alt-rock genre. Track 4, Johnny & Mary, lyrically sounds like the Step Off song from School of Rock in the chorus. The middle of the album contrasts the beginning with soft vocals from Dreimanis accompanied by piano, synth and soft guitar on Strange Habit. This album really shows off his vocal ranges from loud heavy shouting to super soft, almost whisper singing.

Push + Pull is the lead single from the album, which seems to be a mix of their style from their last album while simultaneously launching into something heavier. This makes it the perfect choice for a lead single, and it spent 12 weeks at the top of the Canadian Alternative Chart. However, a lot of bands these days seem to do the black and white video with shots of each musician playing their own instrument interspersed with weird dance moves.

The rest of the album deviates from the argumentative spirit of the opening track as the singers seem to swap lines instead of harmonise. Fay’s voice matches the guitar part in some tracks, whereas for the most part Dreimanis seems to be the ‘lead’ singer in this album. Towards the end of the album seems to get more mellow and samey.

Touch is the follow-up to their self-titled debut album and explores the themes of human connection which weighed heavily on the band during the album’s creation. Dreimanis comments on the album saying, “It seems to get easier every day to disconnect from the people around you. Leah and I started to see human touch as this pure thing—this antidote to a world that had become obsessed with mirrors and screens. We became fascinated with that moment where two bodies can actually touch and experience each other honestly.”

The album ends much like it began; with the two singers sparring for control but harmonising towards the end as tension builds with more and more backing vocals adding in. With an explosive ending to a varied album, it won’t leave you disappointed.

Great tracks: Lola + Joseph, Push + Pull, Picturing Love, Touch

High points: The difference between Fay’s higher pitched voice and Dreimanis’ gravelly voice combining to make something a bit different to most alternative rock on the market.

Low points: Too much repetition towards the end of their songs, and Jesus Said So.