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Kill Matilda: Exclusive “Zombie Apocalypse Tour 2011” Tour Journal 2 with guitarist and vocalist Dusty Exner

We made it to the eastern tip of Canada and back to southern Ontario with few problems other than the occasional horde of raving zombies that needed to be slaughtered. Little did we know that the near vehicular miss we had suffered in Montreal (see Facebook page for pictures of the car that drove up the side of our car and flipped itself but only damaged our car in a very minor way) was actually a hit; the rear axle of our touring vehicle had been cracked in the accident but didn’t break all the way until we were driving…

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We made it to the eastern tip of Canada and back to southern Ontario with few problems other than the occasional horde of raving zombies that needed to be slaughtered. Little did we know that the near vehicular miss we had suffered in Montreal (see Facebook page for pictures of the car that drove up the side of our car and flipped itself but only damaged our car in a very minor way) was actually a hit; the rear axle of our touring vehicle had been cracked in the accident but didn’t break all the way until we were driving down the street in Toronto.

Once it broke, though, the car was done; within one day it had been written off and we were on to a frantic search for a new vehicle and a way to register and insure it in time to get to Sudbury for our show there. Somehow we magically managed to pull it off and found the perfect touring van, complete with mood lighting, futon couch that folded down into a bed, and four bucket seats that could rotate and transform the interior of our car into a cool living-room type hang-out space. It was only possible through the support of our friends and family. Big ups, guys!!

We made our way up and through northern Ontario with very little zombie trouble; thanks to the relatively isolated nature of northern Ontario cities and high rates of rifle ownership, rates of zombie infection were low and easily manageable. Winnipeg, however, was a different story. The ravenous roaming packs of zombies were a tough fight for Kill Matilda; we spent hours sweeping from north to south with as many weapons as we could possible get our hands on, and only made it to our show moments before we were supposed to be onstage, without even time for a shower.

Saskatoon had a similar zombie infestation problem – the undead were freely roaming the streets and the townspeople had to take cover in the local bars for safety. Luckily, we made it just in time and took out every last stinking bag of brain-eating rotten flesh. The show was great too! We hypothesize that due to the flat and easily-traversable nature of the praries the zombies were able to spread like wildfire., Grande Prairie and Prince George proved that the north of Canada knows what real rock and roll is – the shows were awesome and we had a great time.

It was a huge relief to get back to the lower mainland, although we decided to add a little excitement to our lives by taking the sea-to-sky highway – the provincial government really spruced it up between Vancouver and Whistler, but before Whistler its almost irresponsible to call that windy little piece of tape of the side of the mountain a highway – we actually had to take a right corner (not just a curve, an actual turn) at 30 km an hour about a bazillion feet up the side of a huge canyon. We had to pull over after our front brakes caught on fire. I don’t mean that figuratively – they were literally smoking and red hot, and no amount of puddle water that we splashed on them could cool them off. We made it in one piece, in time for thanksgiving with our friends, family and loved ones, and all the way to Vancouver island to rock out a few shows in places we’d never been. Victoria and Port Alberni were relatively zombie-free; luckily BC Ferries is quite strict about walk-on undead.

We wrapped up the middle portion of our tour with an epic Vancouver comeback. Vancouverites learned to protect themselves from the threat of the undead and rocked out as hard as they could, and we all left the media club in a big, sweaty mess. Next up: Alberta and Kamloops, and that’s all she wrote!

“Zombie Apocalypse Tour 2011” Dates:

10/21 – Drayton Valley, BC – DV8 Nightclub
10/22 – Drayton Valley, BC – DV8 Nightclub
10/23 – Regina, SK – Buffalo Lounge
10/27 – Calgary, AB – The Vicious Circle
10/28 – Edmonton, AB – DV8
10/29 – Kamloops, BC – Pogue Mahone

Check out the song: “Fault Lines”

Album Review

Blind Channel – ‘Exit Emotions’ [Album Review]

While ‘Exit Emotions’ (Century Media Records) contains many of the tropes from the golden age of nu-metal, it still feels refreshing. Blind Channel continue to move from strength to strength.

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Blind Channel ‘Exit Emotions’ album artwork
Blind Channel ‘Exit Emotions’ album artwork

Cast your minds back to 2021; it was a dark time for humanity, with the entirety of the world still gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, countries going in and out of lockdowns, and the entertainment industry being brought to its knees. Yet, in the midst of all of this, mankind fought on, with some events managing to take place. One of these was Eurovision, which has delivered, over the years, some incredible winners and given lesser-known artists global recognition. 2021 saw Måneskin take the crown, but on their heels was Finland’s own Blind Channel in sixth place with their song “Dark Side.”

The Finnish nu-metalers already had a handful of records to their name but it was Lifestyles of the Sick and Dangerous that contained their aforementioned Eurovision entry and made the world really sit up and take notice. With its mix of metal, hip-hop, synth and a touch of glam, it was a breath of fresh air from the European region better known for its output of, let’s say, the (much) heavier side of metal.

With Exit Emotions, Blind Channel now have their eyes focused on bigger things. Whilst they have broken through to the mainstream beyond their borders, it’s not enough for the six-piece, as they explore what it means to truly be on the global stage.

Exit Emotions kicks in hard with “Where’s the Exit,” with its distorted nu-metal beat laced with some techno elements followed swiftly by distorted vocals mixing rap and metal styles seamlessly. Dual vocalists Joel Hokka and Niko Moilanen bounce off each other in a symbiotic way, indicating how in tune with each other these guys can be. “Where’s the Exit” feels like it throws everything the band can portray at the wall from their varying influences, and while, on paper, a mix of metal, rock, hip hop, techno, and synth, if difficult to get right, Blind Channel nail it with absolute precision. Several songs on this record follow this formula, like “Deadzone,” “Wolves of California,” and “XOXO” (amongst others), and if the entirety of the record kept to this, whilst fun to listen to, it would run the risk of becoming samey. Thankfully, Blind Channel does mix things up throughout.

Blind Channel, photo by Christian Ripkens

Blind Channel, photo by Christian Ripkens

Keeping it Surreal” maintains a relatively heavy approach but dials it back a tad to give the hip-hop elements more of a chance to shine and deliver a more emotional element with the band, highlighting the surrealness of their current position. This is followed by the extra-emotional “Die Another Day.” The tune opens with a piano melody and slows the entire pace of the record, and moves into ballad territory. Hokka and Moilanen are accompanied by RØRY, ensuring the sensitive lyrics portrayed are emphasized to the max. Despite the relative negativity of the lyrics, the trio somehow makes this extra melancholy tune drive forward positive feelings.

Exit Emotions is a great follow-up to Lifestyles of the Sick and Dangerous, and although it contains many of the tried and tested tropes of what was delivered in the golden age of nu-metal, it still feels refreshing. The band has gone from strength to strength since their respectable placement at 2021’s Eurovision, which demonstrates they have lots more to offer than just their hit song “Dark Side.”

Read our interview with Joel Hokka and Niko Moilanen at last year’s Download 20.

Exit Emotions Track Listing:

1. Where’s the Exit
2. Deadzone
W3. olves of California
4. XOXO
5. Keeping it Surreal
6. Die Another Day
7. Phobia
8. Happy Doomsday
9. Red Tail Lights
10. Not You Bro
11. Flatline
12. One Last Time… Again

Run Time: 35:15
Release Date: March 1, 2024
Record Label: Century Media Records

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Metal

Silent Planet Bring Their “Superbloom Tour” to Worcester Palladium [Photos]

Silent Planet brought their “Superbloom Tour” to Worcester Palladium with support from Johnny Booth, Aviana, and Thornhill.

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Silent Planet on Feb 20, 2024, photo by Christina Altamirano
Silent Planet on Feb 20, 2024, photo by Christina Altamirano

Silent Planet brought their “Superbloom Tour” to the Worcester Palladium on February 20, 2024. They had Johnny Booth, Aviana, and Thornhill join them on this fun adventure.

I had no idea what to expect during Johnny Booth and was happy with the outcome. Johnny Booth is a five-piece hardcore band from New York. They performed a seven-song setlist with a few cuts like “2040,” “Full Tilt,” “Asymmetrical,” and “Deep Fake.” Johnny Booth stands out with their crushing melodies and multi-genre influences.

Following Johnny Booth was the Swedish alt-metal band Aviana. I had heard a few songs off Spotify, but I’ve never seen them live, and I loved every second of their time! The band wore masks and cloaks, so you can’t see anything under it. When they opened with “Rage,” the crowd chanted “Rage” with frontman Joel Holmqvist. Other songs were “Illuminate,” “My Worst Enemy,” “Oblivion,” and “Obsession.” This is definitely a band worth checking out!

Next was the Aussie alt-metal band Thornhill. If you know Thornhill, then you know you’re going to have a good show! They played eight songs, consisting of “Arkangel,” “Viper Room,” “Coven,” and “Casanova,” and closed with “Where We Go When We Die.” During their set, you can see fans all over having fun and dancing to the music.

Lastly, Silent Planet! The band incorporates a screen in the back for stunning visuals to accompany the songs being played. They performed mostly new songs off their latest album, Superbloom, and other beloved songs like “Panic Room,” “Native Blood,” and closed with “Superbloom.” Towards the end of their set, they did a jam session, which was fun to watch! During their encore, they performed their popular song “Trilogy.”

The “Superbloom Tour” is coming to a close this week. If you got to see it, then you know you got to go to an awesome show. Here’s to the next one!

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Album Review

The Western Civilization – ‘Fractions of a Whole’ [Album Review]

The Western Civilization delivers expressive vocals and a wealth of stylistic aromas with an existential richness on ‘Fractions of a Whole.’

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The Western Civilization ‘Fractions of a Whole’ album artwork
The Western Civilization ‘Fractions of a Whole’ album artwork

It was the Greek philosopher Aristotle who said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Applied to Texas-based indie-rock outfit The Western Civilization, the adage refers to the chemistry between Rachel Hansbro and Reggie O’Farrell, a chemistry on display in their recently released album, Fractions of a Whole.

Speaking about the album, Hansbro says, “The new songs were inspired by the amazing people who are part of my chosen family. Reggie has always been good at reminding me of the positive things. (He is) another voice saying, ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay.’”

Reggie O’Farrell and Rachel Hansbro first met while playing in separate bands. A friendship developed, resulting in two albums and performances at the Vans Warped Tour, SXSW, Halifax Pop Explosion, and, most importantly, an artistic alliance that survived a variety of obstacles.

Revolving around Hansbro and O’Farrell, The Western Civilization is a collaborative project with a rotating cast of musicians and collaborators who expose the actuality of Aristotle’s dictum.

The album opens with “Noctambulism,” a floating, folk-rock song with hints of Americana flowing through it. Driven by a sparkling piano topped by the voices of Hansbro and O’Farrell merging, the melody wafts and undulates like drifting clouds across the sky.

High points embrace “Bible Verses for Kids,” which reveals elusive Celtic flavors, a bit like The Cranberries. A rolling snare gives the rhythm a galloping motion as layered harmonies infuse the lyrics with choir-like textures verging on grandness.

A personal favorite because of Hansbro’s deliciously casual vocals, “Fool” resembles a child’s nursery rhyme reimagined as indie-rock – dreamy, drawling, almost discordant vocals riding over loose, garage rock harmonics. The imperfect, raggedy feel of the tune makes it wondrously genuine and gratifying.

Proselytism,” the closing track, travels on light, migrant surfaces as Hansbro’s soft, breathy vocals imbue the lyrics with subtle, eccentric whimsy, a kind of didactic reflection.

Expressive vocals, along with a wealth of stylistic aromas, invest Fractions of a Whole with an existential richness.

The Western Civilization in 2022, photo by Jack Potts

The Western Civilization in 2022, photo by Jack Potts

Fractions of a Whole Track Listing:

1. Noctambulism
2. Stitches (read our song review)
3. Bible Verses for Kids
4. She’s by the Sea
5. If You’re Lucky
6. Fool
7. My Mess
8. The Snake and The Saint
9. The Ocean’s on the Rise
10. Proselytism

Run Time: 42:18
Release Date: February 16, 2024
Record Label: Independent

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