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CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and CROWBAR Liquefy The Opera House with Help from THE OBSESSED and MOTHERSHIP [Photos & Show Review]

Last Wednesday night, amid a freezing rain downpour in Toronto, Corrosion Of Conformity, along with Crowbar, The Obsessed, and Mothership, played to an absolutely jam-packed crowd at The Opera House.

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Last Wednesday night, amid a freezing rain downpour in Toronto, Corrosion Of Conformity, along with Crowbar, The Obsessed, and Mothership, played to an absolutely jam-packed crowd at The Opera House. Fans seemed oblivious to the brutal winter weather and, instead, were simply having a great time and getting their metal fix. It was a sea of clenched fists and devil horns which, by the way, if you look that up in the “encyclopedia of metal”, is defined as “having a blast.” Which is exactly what we did.

Mothership, out of Dallas, Texas, started the night off and all I had to say after their set was “did anyone get the plate # off that truck?” Brothers Kelley and Kyle Juett on bass and guitar, Judge Smith on drums… for a three-piece band, they really pack a big punch!

Mothership’s Setlist:
01. Lunar Master
02. Hot Smoke and Heavy Blues
03. Crown Of Lies
04. Angel Of Death

This band is helping to keep “City Nights” alive!


Maryland’s The Obsessed were next and, after word got around that the group might be held up at the border crossing, everyone was thrilled when Scott “Wino” Weinrich (vocals, guitar), Reid Raley (bass), and Brian Constantino (drums) hit the stage. Always ones to deliver the goods, that’s exactly what transpired over their nine-track set.

The Obsessed’s Setlist:

01. Climate Of Despair
02. Mourning
03. Skybone
04. The Way She Fly
05. Sacred
06. Streetside
07. To Protect And Serve
08. World Apart
09. Neatz Brigade

This is one damn “Sacred” song form The Obsessed.


New Orleans “sludge metalers”, Crowbar were the third band of the evening and, not to take away from CoC, could have easily headlined the show. Frontman Kirk Windstein, along with Matt Brunsen (lead guitar), Shane Wesley (bass), and Tommy Buckley (drums) played a wicked tight set. They tore through eight songs in a totally seamless manner that made time flew by. A little piece of “Metal Trivia,” two of Crowbar’s videos, “All I Had (I Gave)” and “Existence is Punishment,” have appeared on Beavis and Butt-head!

Crowbar’s Setlist:

01. All I Had (I Gave)
02. …And Suffer As One
03. To Build A Mountain
04. The Cemetery Angels
05. Walk With Knowledge Wisely
06. To Carry The Load
07. Planets Collide
08. Like Broken Glass

This band is most certainly not “Falling While Rising”.


Headlining the night was none other than North Carolina’s Corrosion Of Conformity, another one of those bands of seasoned musicians that never disappoints in the live setting. Pepper Keenan (vocals, rhythm guitar), Woody Weatherman (lead guitar), Mike Dean (bass), and a new touring drummer (Reed Mullin, the band’s regular drummer, underwent knee surgery last March, so I’m not quite sure if that was the reason he wasn’t playing) had a blast on stage, the energy from which seeped directly into the crowd. After delivering fifteen hits of hard-hitting metal, everyone left the venue feeling more than satisfied.

Corrosion Of Conformity’s Setlist:

01. Stonebreaker
02. Wiseblood
03. Wolf Named Crow
04. Born Again For The Last Time
05. The Door
06. Diablo Blvd.
07. It Is That Way
08. Vote With A Bullet
09. Seven Days
10. Paranoid Opioid
11. 13 Angels
12. Who’s Got The Fire
13. Albatross
14. My Grain
15. Clean My Wounds

The album No Cross No Crown dropped on January 12th, 2018, via Nuclear Blast Records.

Alternative/Rock

Glixen – “foreversoon” [Song Review]

On “foreversoon,” Glixen created a song where youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear,

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Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork
Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork

It’s been less than a year since Glixen released their debut EP, She Only Said, on Julia’s War Records. Still, the Phoenix shoegazers have already dug their heels into the DIY music scene and are heading out on an extensive US tour this year alongside the likes of Interpol, Softcult, Glitterer, and fish narc. Appearances at SXSW and Treefort will only further cement their reputation as a new band worthy of note.

To herald the busy year ahead, the band has released a new single, “foreversoon,” via the AWAL label, and it’s well worth a listen.

Says lead vocalist Aislinn Ritchie:

“‘foreversoon’ represents blissful moments of new love and intimacy. The song harnesses melancholy chords, layered with fuzzy red melodies and gliding guitars that pull you in deeper. I wanted my lyrics to feel like a conversation that expresses my infatuation and sensuality. Time is relentless and memories are fleeting, this song encapsulates those emotions forever.”

It’s a fair summation. Its youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear, think Ride, Curve and Slowdive, but with the fuzz cranked up possibly higher. Ritchie’s vocals certainly share that dreamlike quality of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, and with many of those bands back on the road this year, perhaps the time is ripe to inject fresh blood into the genre.

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Run Time: 3:43
Release Date: February 9, 2024
Record Label: AWAL Recordings

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Dance/Electronic

Mieko Shimizu Premieres Music Video for “Unworldy” Single “My Tentacles”

Get stoked, cause radical multi-instrumentalist Mieko Shimizu premieres the video for the reworked single “My Tentacles.”

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Mieko Shimizu, photo by Ruta Zemmere
Mieko Shimizu, photo by Ruta Zemmere

Radical, nonconformist Japanese singer and multi-instrumentalist Mieko Shimizu recently re-released her offbeat, unworldly single “My Tentacles.”

The single is the offbeat, unworldly title track of Mieko’s soon-to-be-released album. It is be-thronged by chimeric fusions, dysfunctional beats and startling mutations. The single is unaccompanied by an equally radical video created by diz_qo.

Speaking about the track, Mieko tells us:

“‘Emergence,’ the book by Steve Johnson, fascinated me; a colony of ants, a sprawling metropolis, and human brain cells, are all features of the unknown science of self-organisation. I wanted to cut down into society and sing a simple song about people as single cells.”

The multi-instrumentalist explains further:

“They interconnect with the multitude and conjure up a whole that is wiser together than we are individually. When my tentacles reach out and touch you, communicate with you then we become something else, something more than just an individual.”

For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Mieko has played at Sonar alongside Kraftwerk, as well as support for Goldfrapp and Massive Attack at their Melt Down Festival. She is currently an artist in residence for Wonky Plonky Electronk, an experimental, electronic live event which is touring the UK throughout 2024, the next show being on 28th March at The Cinema Room at All Is Joy in London.

Mieko has worked with an extensive range of artists, including Japan’s Mick Karn, Nitin Sawhney, Riz MC, David Cunningham, Robert Lippok and has also remixed the likes of Coldcut and Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra.

For more information on diz_qo, check him out online here. To check out more of Mieko’s work or to pre-order the upcoming album, click here.

Mieko Shimizu ‘My Tentacles’ Album Artwork

Mieko Shimizu ‘My Tentacles’ Album Artwork

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Folk

Morning Bear Reveals Latest Single “A Simple Understanding”

John Runnels unveils the revival of his indie folk project, Morning Bear, with the release of new single, “A Simple Understanding”.

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Morning Bear

Denver raised and now Copenhagen based singer/songwriter John Runnels unveils the revival of his orchestral indie folk project, Morning Bear, with the release of a deeply personal and emotionally charged single, “A Simple Understanding.” Marking the band’s return after a six-year hiatus, Morning Bear’s latest offering provides an intimate glimpse into the mind of its creator, navigating through the profound challenges of loss, resilience, and self-discovery.

Characterised by highly dynamic compositions, Morning Bear’s music weaves together the calm and delicate stylings reminiscent of artists like Bon Iver and Jose Gonzalez, while embracing the complexity and depth akin to the Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens. Featuring soaring vocals and unconventional arrangements, including cello, violin, piano, and more, Morning Bear crafts a textured landscape behind pop-influenced hooks.

The catalyst for Morning Bear’s resurgence lies in the transformative journey of band leader John Runnels, who, after facing a series of devastating events and losses, found solace and inspiration amid the chaos. The global pandemic, the loss of three close friends in separate tragedies, a severe injury, and battles with anxiety and depression marked a period of uncertainty for Runnels, but he emerged stronger and more resilient.

“A Simple Understanding”, a continuation of the first releases from Morning Bear after a long hiatus, showcases Runnels in an intimate and vulnerable performance, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. Released at the time of year where it is most difficult for mental health, John recorded this in a single, live take during a rainstorm in a small garage in a village outside of Andover, UK, and the song captures the raw emotion of Runnels’ struggles and experiences. The lyrics delve into themes of self-loathing and finding hope in the darkest moments of life.

He says “People are often their own worst critic. ‘A Simple Understanding’ speaks to the self-loathing you feel when you have hit rock bottom. How do we find something to hold onto when we’re in the darkest points of our lives?

Morning Bear invites audiences to join them, to embrace vulnerability and share the power of music to heal and connect. With echoes of early Bon Iver in its acoustic performance, ‘A Simple Understanding’ is a brutally honest and delicately executed piece of songwriting that is sure to resonate with listeners, John Runnels bears all in this captivating and emotionally charged offering that sticks.

Morning Bear "A Simple Understanding" single artwork

Morning Bear “A Simple Understanding” single artwork

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