by Daniel Colussi | Vancouver’s music scene is nothing short of an embarrassment of riches. There are shows and goings on in various on and off the radar venues most nights of the week, by bands of all stripes and colours. In the past few weeks there have been a number great new releases. After the jump you’ll find some of the most stunning highlights to be birthed by city of gardens and glass.
Mode Moderne – Real Goths
Summertime is not the season for goths. It’s got to be tough to maintain a clammy white pallor. But for all the Vancouver goths struggling to avoid the sun’s tanning rays, you can rejoice that Mode Moderne have your back (that’s their Electrocute Me track at the very top of this post). No other band has exorcised the spirit of Manchester gloom so well as these guys. Sadly, Real Goths is only available in that most un-goth format: through iTunes. Hopefully, vinyl will be made available soon.
Slamdunk – The Shivers CD
While technically from the garden city, Victoria, Slamdunk are an honorary East-Van band given that they seem to play at the Astoria or the Biltmore every couple weeks. Slamdunk live is a sight to behold,with the band and crowd both caught up in a kind of Dionysian eruption of sweaty headbanging and ritualized group release. Slamdunk is the sound of drunken bike rides and other forms of joyful abandon.
Blood Diamonds – Grins 7″
The new kid on the block, Blood Diamonds is making a splash with his wall of sound, post disco party jams. This is expertly crafted computer music made to be heard on the computer, all pitch-modulated vocals and stacked samples. And yet Grins is released on good ol’ wax, for those of us that still like some crackles and pops with our disco anthems.
41st And Home – Raised By Wolves
Recalling the kind of epic orchestral post-rock of Do Make Say Think but with a greater emphasis on catchy pop songsmithery, 41st And Home’s sound has a rarified grandeur. Raised By Wolves is an accomplishment, and its available on vinyl no less.
Weed – With Drug/Eighty 7″
There are but 200 copies of Weed’s new 7″ floating around so don’t sleep on this one. These two new druggy, early 90s inspired guitar songs are nice blast of noise and melody welded together by the charming falsetto of frontman Will. Yo La Tengo would be proud.
Shearing Pinx – Night Danger
Veterans of the scene, Shearing Pinx have wailed and thrashed through many a late, late night at venues legal and illegal across Vancouver, always with the amps at eleven. This is avant grunge noise for the beer swilling set. Night Danger is a rejoinder to last year’s Weaponry, and yes, it’s available on wax.
Dirty Beaches – Lone Runner 7″
A Vancouverite by way of Montreal and China, Alex Zang Hungtai conjures the spirit The King, The Boss, and Alan Vega popping pills and drooling over a gold-embossed reverb tank that reaches into the very centre of the earth. Channeling a kind of collective nostalgia that none of us can account for, Lone Runner is stunner release from a serious new contender.
Capital 6 – Fever/Henry’s Opus 7″
Much loved around these parts, Capital 6 specialize in jangly, organ heavy psych-pop. Fever is a dreamy ballad while Henry’s Opus is a nod to the band’s deep love for organ heavy sounds of early Soft Machine. It all sounds like some kind of weary 1969: Velvet Underground Live deep cuts that you somehow never noticed before, which all that any of us wants.
An finally, courtesy of local cassette label Nice Up International, Secret Pyramid gives us a set of songs that are the audio equivalent of sun bleached photo of some ancient rainforest uncorrupted by human hands. Smeared tones, deep-earth drones and hallowed moans abound.
Zulu Records veteran and tunage aficionado Daniel Colussi is the Music Editor of Scout Magazine.