What is immediately clear about this album is that it will live as a testament to the fact that anyone from a remotely well-known band starting another band with other people in other well-known bands will immediately have to deal with the whole “supergroup” moniker which music journalists have a real hard on for throwing around. I say forget all that. I’ve reviewed Surveillance on the basis that I’ve never listened to any of those other groups, and so I’ve been given an album with no subtext or history to it. This always has its own positives and negatives, and in this case, I think it may have been a positive thing.

First off, this release has got some groove. I love the guitar work, and more importantly, it’s clear how well the artists work with one another. What is immediately evident is that this band wants to be varsity rock mixed with punk, added with a dash of hardcore and even some strains of 90’s post-hardcore. But while the indie vibe that permeates everything is bolted firmly to a backbone of hard rock and heavy, crunchy tone with perfectly disaffected vocals, this is an album that fails to bring singles.

Rather, this strikes me as a live record that needs to be listened to live. Obviously, there’s plenty of production here, but I have the feeling that what we have is an example of a band that is conveying an idea of their level of energy and attitude live into a record that may not necessarily translate all of that into a recording.

With that said, what we’re left with is a record that still deserves to be listened to. Whether there are any songs that will stay in your head after is a different story, but Surveillance is a solid album that deserves your attention. It is a remarkably good platter of rock with enough presence of hardcore and other influences to make it interesting, and keep you coming back for more.

Surveillance Track Listing:

01. Realist
02. Outlier
03. 17
04. Seven Pointed Star
05. Painter
06. Pretty Ruined
07. Exile
08. Vanishing Life
09. Thinking Weightless
10. People Running
11. 16
12. Big Other

Run Time: 38:07
Release Date: November 11, 2016

Check out the lyric video for the song “Vanishing Life”


Director of Communications @ V13. Lance Marwood is a music and entertainment writer who has been featured in both digital and print publications, including a foreword for the book "Toronto DIY: (2008-2013)" and The Continuist. He has been creating and coordinating content for V13 since 2015 (back when it was PureGrainAudio); before that he wrote and hosted a radio and online series called The Hard Stuff , featuring interviews with bands and insight into the Toronto DIY and wider hardcore punk scene. He has performed in bands and played shows alongside acts such as Expectorated Sequence, S.H.I.T., and Full of Hell.