Posts Tagged ‘Buzz Records’

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Three girls, three instruments and one hell of an awesome and brutal energy. That’s how we describe in few words our new favorite Toronto’s band, The Beverleys. They play fast, loud and with no bullshit. Brutal was their debut album and is literally how that word sounds. We all have very different influences… Susan loves Nirvana, it’s her favorite band of all time and so she loves the heavy grunge stuff. Steph is more of a Britpop and hip-hop kind of fan and Joanna loves all sorts of classic rock music, Britpop and shoegaze. It was just sort of all those things coming together and that’s just what made what you hear today. Nothing purposely influenced what we did.

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Originally released November 6th, 2015

Susie – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Jo – Guitar, Vocals
Stephanie/Audrey – Drumz

Written and Performed by The Beverleys 

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The Exeter, UK, punk band remain political and critical—on their sophomore record ‘Fixed Ideals’ while showing us what personally makes them tick. It is no secret that the Exeter, UK, punk band, which includes Hekt, Dean McMullen, and Luke Ellis, often draws inspiration from the American poet and novelist Sylvia Plath’s works and then craft eardrum-shaking rock songs from them. “Gas Mark 4” from their stunning debut, From Caplan to Belsize, is a referential of The Bell Jar, Plath’s first and most famous novel. The group is readying the release of their sophomore, Fixed Ideals, out August 31st via Buzz Records. At 13 tracks in length (cut down from a hefty recorded 19, Hekt says) it doesn’t feel long or linger too much.

“Falling Down,” Hekt wrote more personally about drinking, which she hasn’t done for almost a year. “‘Falling Down’ is funnily enough… I didn’t know what it was about,” she says with a laugh. “This happens a bit where I’ll write a song and not know what it’s about until, like, months later. But it turns out to be about is drinking. It’s about a hangover, which I didn’t realize. There’s a line in it: “Go to bed / Wake up smart.” So it’s kind of like talking about having a hangover and waking up the next day and knowing not to do it again.” The track is surprisingly tender, while at the same a bit biting about some dumb shit we usually do to get through our youth. The song sounds fuller, largely due to the three-piece trying their hand at a four-piece without any additional person. Hekt learned guitar in addition to playing bass. It’s a smart, pop punk tune—jaunty and cheeky, almost, with an earnest and infectious chorus that is absolutely sure to get stuck in your head.
Band Members
Lande, Dean and Luke

“Falling Down” is from Muncie Girls’ “Fixed Ideals” LP out August 31 via Buzz Records (US/CAN) and Specialist Subject Records (UK/EU).

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Muncie Girls have announced their triumphant second album, Fixed Ideals, set for release on August 31st (Buzz/North America, Specialist Subject /UK+EU, and Lost Boy/AUS). To celebrate, they’ve shared the video for lead single, “Picture of Health” .

The title, like the band’s first LP, From Caplan To Belsizewas inspired by the writings of poet Sylvia Plath, in this instance drawing from a line of Plath’s Sonnet: To Eva regarding “perfume, politics and fixed ideals.” It was produced by Muncie Girls’ longterm collaborator Lewis Johns (Funeral For A Friend, Rolo Tomassi, Gnarwolves) at The Ranch

From Caplan To Belsize, the debut album from Exeter’s Muncie Girls, was one of the better pop-punk albums of 2016, a heady fusion of razor-sharp lyrics and wonderfully subtle flourishes (not to mention endlessly sing-along-able refrains) that elevated the band’s four-chords-and-an-attitude into something special—and making our list of 2016’s best music along the way. Now they’ve followed it up with Fixed Ideals, an album that doubles down on the anthemic spirit of their earlier work while becoming more musically adventurous in both sound and style. With a lengthy recording process that found singer Lande Hekt often playing both guitar and bass during the songwriting, the group created a record that if excellent leadoff single “Picture Of Health” is any indication—will be even catchier and more inspired than the last.

“Picture of Health” is the lead single from Muncie Girls’ “Fixed Ideals” LP out August 31 via Buzz Records (US/CAN) and Specialist Subject Records

Annabelle – guitar/vocals She began writing songs for the project in 2015 before recruiting bandmates—bassist Jimmy Tony Rowlinson , guitarist Alejandro Cairncross, and drummer Denholm Whale (Odonis Odonis)—from the city’s underground scene. On October 14th, the group released a four-song debut EP, “Rats in Paradise,” on Buzz Records that showcases its chaotic mix ofpost-punk, garage, shoegaze and other musical influences while exploring themes of modern society, death, sexualty, and ultimately, conquering fear.

“Leisure Life,” the first single from “Rats in Paradise,” kicks off with a chugging bassline and a dissonant guitar line before alternating between clean harmonies and walls of fuzz. Lee describes the album single, “Leisure Life,” as “a song about consumerism, consumption, entitlement and capitalist greed.”

Peeling plays on these themes in their new music video for the song. “We recruited animator Jason Harvey to create a demented video with super fast, chaotic and abrasive imagery that looks like your worst acid trip come to life,” Lee says. To accomplish that, Harvey (who has previously collaborated with bands such as Weaves, No Joy, Mac DeMarco, and Majical Cloudz) invented a cast of creepy-looking anthropomorphic characters (including a goat man with a rather concerned expression on his face), and set them loose among fires, clouds, and a denim cutoff-clad Michaelangelo’s David, while the band members gaze on at a sea of error messages flashing on their computer screens.

Check out the video for “Leisure Life” below and kick off your weekend with a little “trip” of your own. “Rats in Paradise” is available for purchase now on Buzz Records.

 

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Casper Skulls have announced their debut EP, Lips & Skull, The EP arrives at the end of what has been a busy first year of existence for Casper Skulls, who have built a reputation as one of Toronto’s most exciting new bands on the back of their self-released “King of Gold” 7″, their first Buzz Records single “Mink Coats,” and their intense live shows with acts like Perfect Pussy, Dilly Dally, Screaming Females, Suuns and Greys. Following an early 2016 Canadian tour supporting Solids and the Dirty Nil, the band began working on the EP last February with Josh Korody (Dilly Dally, Fucked Up, Beliefs) and producer Shehzaad Jiwani of the band Greys. Inspired by the friendship between Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell as depicted in correspondence between the two reproduced in Hell’s memoir “I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp,” letters from which the band takes its name and the EP gets its title, Lips & Skull captures Casper Skulls at a crucial moment of their development. Vocalist/guitarist Neil Bednis describes the EP as “a document of some of the earliest songs we worked on together,” and as such the EP functions as a snapshot of a young band at a moment of discovery, harnessing for the first time the depth and direction of their considerable potential.

Listen to the track and the EP’s first single “Devotion” it sets the tone for the release, introducing the band at their taut and kinetic best, and illustrating their dynamic range, building tension in between eruptions of the track’s thunderous hook, while exploring for the first time in their recorded material, the interplay between Bednis and the band’s other vocalist Melanie St-Pierre.

“The song traces devotion from its most humble form (devotion to a sports team or a coffee shop) all the way to an American state’s devotion to follow through with capital punishment,”

“Errands” is the follow-up to Casper Skulls’ single “Devotion,” off of the post-punk group’s debut EP Lips & Skull.  On “Errands,” a doleful melodic track practically leaking distortion, the Toronto-based group is weary with jaded humor; vocalist Neil Bednis offers, “Hope I’m in your will/ Who’s a guy gotta kill?” Bednis further offered some background on the song:

The song at a surface level is about having to run errands for someone who has passed away. I was watching Mad Men at the time and Pete Campbell’s father dies in the series. He resented his father in the show and I imagined writing a song about doing errands for someone that died that I didn’t particularly like or get along with. If you look deeper into the narrator of the song and the deceased you see that they are both flawed people. The deceased was ignorant, sexist, and egotistical and ultimately a product of North American capitalism. The narrator is just as imperfect as he has little ability to mourn the death of his father and instead focuses on his monetary gains.

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The ten-song, 39-minute long player delivers on the promises the Toronto quartet made on 2015’s Repulsion EP, placing the band in more spacious environments and letting them build upon their noise rock foundation by incorporating new textures and dynamics to temper their trademark onslaught of discordance, which was already perfected on their debut record, 2014’s If Anything. Where their formative material saw them paying homage to their heroes, the new album sees Greys making a concentrated effort to realize their own sound. Whether that means employing tape drones, drum machines and synthesizers as noise-making tools on “Sorcerer,” or breaking into a three-part harmony adorned with sleigh bells in the middle of the hardcore intensity found on “In For A Penny,” these four young men prove that they are more than up for a challenge.

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In a very literal way, singer/guitarist Shehzaad Jiwani has made it clear on this record that he wants his voice to be heard. Each song contains a sweet-and-sour earworm that brings his characteristically self-aware, often satirical lyrics to the forefront, and his serrated shout is almost entirely swapped for a more tuneful approach. Almost. Lyrically, his focus has sharpened, moving from inward to outward. This is best evident on first single “No Star,” wherein Jiwani addresses the aftermath of the shootings at Bataclan in Paris by declaring, “Don’t shoot/I’m not the enemy.”

“It’s difficult to feel like you have a voice in these situations when you’ve grown up in a predominantly white community and don’t identify with either side,” explains Jiwani. “On the one hand, some people are attacking anyone who looks remotely like you, but on the other hand, the people who are trying to defend you are also speaking on your behalf, taking away your voice. It’s like I had nowhere to turn because no one was listening to me, like I wasn’t able to speak for myself.”

Each song filters its subject matter through Jiwani’s wryly incisive perception of those topics, from a news story about a group of teens barbarically murdering their classmate on album opener “Cruelty,” to the advent of technological singularity on closer “My Life As A Cloud.” Elsewhere, on “Blown Out,” the frontman confronts his own mental health by painting it in the context of a relationship with a partner who doesn’t fully understand the unrelenting complexities of depression. The climax of the song sees him wailing, “I want you to see/There’s something wrong with me,” which would be a harrowing moment if it wasn’t the single catchiest song Greys have ever written.

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With their intense live show documented admirably on their previous releases – and honed alongside bands like Death From Above 1979, Viet Cong, Speedy Ortiz, Cloud Nothings, Perfect Pussy and their Buzz Records brethren Dilly Dally – the four piece sought to explore their more atmospheric tendencies on Outer Heaven. Produced by longtime collaborator Mike Rocha at the hallowed Hotel 2 Tango studio in Montreal (Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor), the record displays unprecedented depth and range for Greys, calling to mind groups as disparate as Sonic Youth, Swell Maps and The Swirlies without ever losing sight of what defines the band – a distinct mixture of melody and dissonance, order and chaos, volume and substance.

 

Guitarist Joanna Lund talks Toronto’s tight-knit music community and gets quizzed on her Britpop fandom.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Toronto’s Buzz Records has become one of the city’s best suppliers of irreverent and incensed rock ’n’ roll. And though the label isn’t purely rooted in it (see the giddy pop of Weaves, or the arpeggiating synth blizzard of Beta Frontiers), the intense guitar-fronted attacks are its bread and butter. So far, some very resounding evidence of this has come via impressive full-lengths by Odonis Odonis, Greys, HSY, and Dilly Dally. Now, it’s the Beverleys’ turn.

Formed in 2010, the trio of Susan Burke, Joanna Lund, and Stephanie Lund have taken their time with their debut LP. But as last year’s self-titled EP hinted, it was worth the wait. Brutal is a beast of an album: scowling vocals, scowling dual guitars, scowling drums. It’s pretty damn scowling – that album cover says it all. But within the barrage are some razor-sharp hooks that make their fuzz-laden “junk punk” jams so much more than a source of anger management. Brutal is pop music at its most raw and unbridled.

The band’s pop sensibilities shouldn’t come as a surprise either: the Lund sisters spent part of their youth growing up in England where they fell in love with the hook-filled mid-’90s movement that was Britpop. And so amongst a series of questions about their own music, I felt the need to grill guitarist Joanna about her Britpop partialities.

AUX: In your new video for “Visions” you have a number of different Toronto musicians making guest appearances. Would you describe the scene as a tight-knit community?

Joanna Lund: Definitely. I don’t think we’d be where we are if it wasn’t for that tight-knit community. When we first started we didn’t know a lot of bands. But when we started rehearsing at our space we would run into people and we ended up getting close with these bands really quickly. And a lot of them are on our label, which is pretty great.

Buzz Records seems to be a family, when it comes to its artists.

It has a lot to do with people who are really passionate about music. I would say that Buzz had a lot to do with it. We knew people in HSY, like Kat the drummer. Jude for HSY does or did A&R for Buzz with Ian Chai. Jude came to see us early on, which was when all we cared about was getting really drunk and playing instruments no matter where we were. He came to see us a few times, but we caught him on a good night. And from there we just got to know all of the bands on the label.

So did everyone that participated in the video shoot know how to play the song? They look very convincing.

We didn’t really know how it would turn out until the day of the shoot. We just put out a call to our friends, a lot of them were in bands. One person in the video we didn’t know until that day. She was friends with Katie [Monks] from Dilly Dally, who brought her. Another girl in the video is a co-worker of mine, but she doesn’t actually know how to play an instrument. It was more, “Just show up, and we’ll find something for you to do.” Whether it was helping Henry, the director, or bringing snacks or beer. And we just ended up getting a great group of people.

Relationships have a way of hijacking your whole body. You don’t just give your heart to someone as a gift; you do it so they can move in and start paying rent on that tiny little little panic room for when it will inevitably go bad. The single “Hoodwink” by Canadian trio The Beverleys is for the moment you hit the switch and need that person to get the fuck out of you before you explode.

Vocalist Susie Burke lists off all the places lovers tend to lurk: “In my head, in my heart, in my skin.” The fuzzy guitars sound like they’re sizzling off a steady flow of tears into steam because sometimes the only way to exorcise him from your mind is through an amp.

The debut LP Brutal from The Beverleys is out today from Buzz Records.

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The Beverleys have released the second single from their debut album “Sore”!

Susan Burke says, “is about the frustration you feel at the over-and-over-again whirlwind of disappointed expectations and the impossibility of communication.” In 2010 three friends made the decision to start making music together on a whim… three years, countless rehearsals and live shows later, we have The Beverleys, a TKO of a trio dead set on using their impulses to make heads bang while they shake off their troubles. Their dual guitar (Joanna Lund, Susan Burke) and drum (Audrey Hammer) attack recalls the time when punk first broke— their sound is imbued with a grungy heaviness characteristic of the Toronto scene but with the sharper and more defined lines of a band too quick to get lost in the murk. To their credit, it hasn’t taken long for others to catch on: in 2012 The Beverleys recorded early versions of their taut tunes with Fucked Up’s Ben Cook which they then released via their Bandcamp. They’ve also become an in-demand act locally, playing a flood of shows throughout 2013 with the likes of Buzz’s own HSY as well as The Dirty Nil, Crosss and Ice Age.

Toronto-based independent record label Buzz Records label co-founder Ian Chai about the story behind the label before letting the bands themselves introduce each other.

Buzz Records first started as a musical venue in a garage in the Chinatown area of Toronto back in 2011. Initially hosting punk and noise shows, the space rapidly became something of a multi-genre hub, playing host to like minded touring bands on their way through town, with acts like White Lung and Sean Nicholas Savage passing through its doors. All the shows were recorded to tape and sometimes released in small quantities. As is often the way, with underground or DIY venues, the space was closed down in late 2012. However, the ethos of “Music for the sake of Music” remained.

When Metz invited Odonis Odonis out on tour in 2013 the Buzz story sparked back to life. Dean and Denholm of the band joined forces with Jude of HSY (another founding member of Buzz the venue) and Ian Chai to put together a label that Chai describes as “taking forward the ethics and values of the people who came through the original Buzz”. The labels first release was Odonis Odonis’ Better EP, which was followed by HSY’s Self titled EP and ANAMAI. “Initially it was just releases from the immediate, original Buzz family, but soon we reached out to others, including The Beverleys, Weaves and Greys”.

Although many of the labels releases lie at the more noisy end of the spectrum, and that much of the ethos behind the label stems from growing up in the DIY and Punk scene, Chai is keen to point out that the labels approach is not genre specific. “We listen to fucking everything. I don’t care if someone thinks we sold out because we put out something different. Surely the inherent thing with having your own label is that you can curate it. And we do that. So we can put out a pop record by Weaves, or an Electronic record by Beta Frontiers…we have meetings and sit and really listen to and talk about the music. We send it to the other bands on the label because we want them to have a say, or get excited, or want to tour with them or remix them or whatever. It’s not like we are just going to put out a polka-trance record. You can be eclectic but you can’t be unfocused.”

Buzz’s approach seems to be a simple one, in a world that Chai feels can often over complicate things: “We got fed up with that one size fits all approach – the same marketing, the same touring circuit…we like to work one to one, and see what different people can bring to the table. There isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow anymore – so you have to work with the right people. After a while, you just know, you can almost smell it. We work with people who have the same view of loyalty as we do.”

But now more than ever, with a little effort, you can find people with like minds and you CAN make it work. But you still have to focus, you have to be judicious and enterprising – that might be house shows, or it might be the traditional agent route, whatever. We do what it takes,
“There is no one way of doing things, and there is no manifesto, but if there had to be one golden rule I guess don’t be a dick fits the bill.”

At The Bottom of the page is a Buzz Records sampler, with tracks from each of the artists currently releasing on the label. And, in order to get to know the bands better,


   

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