Sediment Club – Live In Montreal

Purveyors of underground rock noise, Sediment Club, performed a rare show in Montreal, on July 16, for Rock Fest (lol generic name). The bill also included Virginia weird-hardcore Buck Gooter, and local heavy noise quartet, Gashrat.

Jackie of Urochromes fame is also part of Sediment Club (with his childhood friends), and it was cool chatting about the underground scene for a short while. New Urochromes 7″ is out, it’s called Night Bully, and it’s terrifying noise, with a surprisingly New Wave remix on the flipside.

Neon – Neon Is Life (2017)

MRR Coordinator, extraordinaire curator, DIY activist, punk archivist, Grace Ambrose, has a new band called Neon. It’s a perfect mish-mash of 80’s post-punk and hardcore forms. The vocals are equally aggressive and playful, exuding timeless and eternal excitement mixed with desperation. In the same vein as UK’s Frau, with the ramshackle sound of Indiana’s CCTV. A really devolved Good Throb with no frills. Could be interesting to hear more recordings, or even a long-form LP.

The Submissives – Live at Snack N’ Blues

If you ever happen to chance upon Montreal’s The Submissives, you will notice something is definitely off in their music. The longing and heartbreak sounds medicated, if not sedated. It’s indie-pop at a degree removed from conventional. Most important is the mood it evokes. Not quite country, not quite folk, guitars that sound like they are dying, and a basic rhythmic pulse that almost doesn’t hold things together.

Their concept is also visual. Dressed in white, they make their entrance sometimes with male ushers,  one by one, with two lead singers, reciting fragments of love letters, and handing out invitations like a mock-wedding.

When the stars align, their choice of venue is unusual and splendid. Snack N’ Blues, the old mainstay in the Mile-End neighborhood of Montreal, before it went hipster, was one of the only venues who refused to enforce the no-smoking ban a few years after it came into effect. The old man working the door, is also the owner, and he hands out free candy (and cigarettes) to patrons, decorates the walls with blues and jazz icons, and maintains a pool table in the back for the old guard who doesn’t care about the music. There is hardly any space for a band to play. In the realm of minimal and off-kilter, Snack N’ Blues is it!

The band setup their gear right by the entrance, as if arranging a window display. The place filled up fast and care had to be taken to not trip over the musicians. A new guitarist was premiering that night (member of Guy Madonna), and quite frankly, it was a success! Hits such as “Betty Told Me” and “Do You Really Love Me?” along with new songs, carried everyone into the atmosphere of an old Southern bar in Memphis. Blues, country, folk, with a psychedelic tinge. It was a sweaty affair, especially with the suit I was wearing, and I made my way out into the cool night immediately after their set.

Mr. Airplane Man – Live At Atomic Cafe

Tara, drummer for Mr. Airplane Man, approached me to ask if I was at their previous show the year before. I said “No, this is my first time seeing you live” I posted a picture of their soundcheck and suddenly the notifications started pouring in. Chris from KLYAM asked “Say hi to Tara for me!” So I walked up to Tara and told her we had a mutual friend.

When the opening act, Gravel Route, performed their brand of classic blues rock tunes, I was dancing next to Tara who was similarly entranced moving to the beat, stomping her feet, howling and hollering. When the time came for her to get on stage and perform, she took me to the side and told me what she really thought about me. “You are awesome. Your energy is great. Thank you for coming.”

I couldn’t have asked for a better compliment, given by someone I truly admire. It made everything worth it, the long nights blasting “Red Light” till dawn, the cravings and longing for love, the hangover depression bouts, and even missing all the other shows in the city that night. I felt like I belonged in front of that stage, wilding out to the fuzzed out garage tunes of Margaret and Tara. Sorry for all the yelling but I was drunk, and happy.

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