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The Punishing PURE NOISE TOUR Invades Toronto’s Opera House [Photos & Show Review]

The Pure Noise Records tour recently hit Toronto’s Opera House with Stick To Your Guns, Counterparts, Terror, Sanction and Year Of The Knife all delivering a killer time!



Pure Noise Tour (w/ Stick To Your Guns, Counterparts, Terror, Sanction, Year of The Knife) at Opera House (Toronto, ON) on July 27, 2019

On July 27th, the Pure Noise Records tour made its way through Toronto’s Opera House. With a lineup this good, featuring headliners Stick To Your Guns and support from Counterparts, Terror, Sanction and Year Of The Knife (YOTK), it was a show at which to be present from doors ‘til the last note.

YOTK started off the night. The newer, straight-edge band from Delaware didn’t exactly play to a packed house but with the fans in attendance being dedicated ones, and vocalist Brendan Mullen spending a pile of time in the audience, it was a sight to see. Just about every fan would rush to the barricade for the big moments or take a break from all the swinging; back and forth it went.

Sanction followed and the violent moshing did not stop. The band dropped their full length, Broken In Refraction, the day before and the audience was ready for it. From watching the crowdkills to being sprayed by beer during a stint in the photo pit, my first live experience with this band was one I looked forward to for weeks and it didn’t disappoint.

Take a listen to the wild sound of Sanction with the song, “Sixhundredthirtyone:”

Things were taking a hardcore beatdown turn in the crowd, but then Terror came in to save the day. Anybody who is remotely familiar with the hardcore legends knows vocalist Scott Vogel is all about crowd participation. They want you to mosh, they want you to crowd surf, and jump on somebody’s head, but in a positive way. That did take an abrupt turn when the group stopped mid-set due to a mix up between security and a fan getting a bit too into it. With Vogel being the wordsmith he is, the fan and security worked it out (or at least came to a stalemate) and the show carried on as usual.

Counterparts were set to play their “hometown” show (Hamilton is about an hour drive from Toronto but hey it’s close enough) and this is when things really started to pick up. Nine times out of ten you attend one of their shows around here and it goes off. Playing a whole bunch from 2017’s You’re Not You Anymore, as well as a new song, for which they’ve already made merch for, the five-piece just about stole the show. With the obviously dedicated crowd and vocalist Brendan Murphy’s cheeky banter between songs, their 35 minutes or so on stage stood out from the rest.

Fresh off the presses, check out the music video for “56” from Stick To Your Guns’ new True View record:

Now it was time for Stick To Your Guns to close the night out. Vocalist Jesse Barnett came out repping The Tragically Hip and got off to a quick start with impressing the crowd. Playing a little bit of something from every release, the group put on a show that reminded us why the group is still relevant after all these years. From the general stage presence to Barnett’s takes on current events unfolding around the world, they made themselves heard and we listened.

The Pure Noise Tour is absolutely insane. There’s no other way to describe it. The bill may look like just a bunch of “screamo” bands to some that maybe aren’t as familiar with the genre, especially when you consider that Pure Noise is also home to many thriving pop-punk bands, but you get a taste of everything that’s hot on the scene at the moment with this tour. You’d be a fool to miss out on this night.

Stick To Your Guns’ latest album True View was released on October 13th, 2017 via Pure Noise Records:

Album Review

The Eighty Six Seas – ‘Scenes from an Art Heist’ [Album Review]

Overall, this album does exactly what it sets out to do in encapsulating a fictionalized version of a famous art heist. Well done, The Eighty Six Seas!



The Eighty Six Seas ‘Scenes from an Art Heist’ album artwork
The Eighty Six Seas ‘Scenes from an Art Heist’ album artwork

On February 23, 2024, The Eighty Six Seas released their first 11-track full-length album, Scenes from an Art Heist. Each track on this album is meant to represent a fictionalized story of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

The first track sets out an eerie aura that aligns with the track’s title, a dedication to Isabella Stewart Gardner. The next song is a quick switch up from the first, with flighty strings and a whispered voice from lead singer Nick Stevens.

Moving on to track number three, “Coffee and Art,” you’ll hear a faster-paced, nearly techno piece that feels like caffeine hitting your bloodstream for the first time in the morning. Their next song, “Jenny,” is a piano-led ballad spotlighting Steven’s melancholy voice. With “Lonely Afternoon,” the track transforms back into the techno feel of “Coffee and Art,” but with a darker twist.

The next song, “Cat/Mouse,” sounds exactly as you’d expect—like a tense cat-and-mouse standoff, with the music accenting this push-and-pull dynamic. “Hey Little Bird” is more or less an instrumental, with occasional lyrics included, but it is clearly meant to be the interlude.

Moving on, we arrive at a track called “The Day I Die,” a techno piece with a fabulous crescendo after its quiet beginnings. Following that, “The Eighty Six Seas” provides its track, “Portrait of a Smuggler,” which quite literally encapsulates the feeling you have while walking through a park on a sunny day.

Next, we come to “Ghost in the Cityscape,” which has darker undertones, a sorrowful cello, and a slower tempo. The final piece is titled “Frames,” which will remind you of a love letter saying goodbye or a beautiful lullaby. Overall, this album does exactly what it sets out to do in encapsulating a fictionalized version of a famous art heist. Well done, The Eighty Six Seas.

Scenes from an Art Heist Track Listing:

1. For Isabella, March 1990
2. Scenes from an Art Heist
3. Coffee and Art
4. Jenny
5. Lonely Afternoon
6. Cat / Mouse
7. Hey Little Bird
8. The Day I Die
9. Portrait of a Smuggler
10. Ghost in the Cityscape
11. Frames

Run Time:
Release Date: February 23, 2024
Record Label: Independent

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Glixen – “foreversoon” [Song Review]

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



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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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.”



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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