Author

Mark Wilson

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For anyone who’s into any kind of emo or screamo music, even for people who are into some more intense indie styles, I think that Suis La Lune and their new record Riala are a must. Hailing from Sweden, I’ve found myself coming back to their previous releases over and over again for the last few years. When I learned that they were recording a new full-length I was absolutely elated and the band certainly did not disappoint.

Animal Faces’ newest release Anomie is a completely mind-blowing piece of post-hardcore music. This Toronto based band has managed to top their previous release Analytical Dreaming in every way. Anomie expands on the sound the band forged with the previous record with excellent use of dynamics and flawless time signature changes.

I’ve always had a real soft spot for good pop-punk, ever since I started listening to Blink182 when I was about 12 years old. This said, with their new release Time & Temperature, the melodic pop-punk band Steiner Street managed to recreate all the things that made me love the genre at that young age. By incorporating several aspects of music that I listen to today however, Steiner Street managed to create something both nostalgic and fresh.

If you haven’t heard Toronto’s own Animal Faces you should consider the possibility that there is something severely wrong with you. This three-piece showcases members of the Love and Terror Cult as well as Authors creating a heavy, mathy, powerful and unique hardcore sound. There debut release Analytical Dreaming absolutely blew me away when I first heard it and it was followed up with an undeniably strong live performance.

There has been a flood of 90’s emo revival bands over the last few years and I for one am extremely excited about this new trend. That being said, Before You Go by the UK’s Forrest didn’t really impress me all that much. There were plenty of aspects to the release that I felt had promise, but without the execution that sends chills down your spine. Forrest demonstrates that they are capable of utilizing several hallmarks of the genre with decent song writing on all six tracks. However, the band doesn’t branch out too much sonically or lyrically between each song, which doesn’t allow Before You Go to make much of an impact on the listener.

After listening to the album Lions Among Men by Portugal’s The Firstborn, I was absolutely blown away by the incredibly comprehensive song writing and soundscapes they achieve with such a large variety of sounds and instruments. However, the one song that sent chills down my spine was “Sounds Liberated as Mantra,” an entirely instrumental song with an absolutely epic sound. The image that it brought to mind was that of a gigantic tidal wave crashing over the land.

Recently Converge came to Toronto and brought one of the very best hardcore bands in existence with, Loma Prieta. After their opening set at the Mod Club, Loma Prieta played an after party show at local DIY venue The Soybomb. Loma were the secret special guest headliners playing with several amazing local Toronto hardcore bands. As jaw dropping as it was to see Loma Prieta up on a bigger stage there just isn’t really anything like seeing them in a smaller and more casual space. The experience seems so much more powerful and exciting than in a large venue.

There seems to be growing popularity amongst many contemporary hardcore bands to take influence from a lot of emo and scream bands from the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Xerxes is an example of a group that takes influence from acts like Comadre and the early works of Envy. However, they do so while maintaining the heavy crunch of many of today’s hardcore bands. There newest LP Our Home is a Deathbed is a great example of a blend of the two styles.

Toronto’s own The Bulletproof Tiger put together one of the best math-rock albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Wanna Kiss About It? is almost as good as the band’s live performance, capable of performing their recorded material to a tee with added energy every show The Bulletproof Tiger play is absolutely mind-blowing. A few weeks ago I emailed guitarist Drew Krech and he was nice enough to send a reply and to answer all my questions about The Bulletproof Tiger and the recording of Wanna Kiss About It?.

A lot of modern screamo and emo music hardly resembles what its forbears where trying to accomplish. Most of these bands tend to create a sound that is too clean and refined which pushes content that is whiny and unchallenging and that ultimately results in something generic and unfulfilling. However, Toronto’s very own Foxmoulder and their debut release Hindsight makes no attempt to be cute or accessible and avoids the clichés of the genre. Hindsight is everything screamo should be, fast, abrasive, challenging, and unapologetic.

Toronto band The Bulletproof Tiger’s first LP You Wanna Kiss About It? is one of the most fun math-rock albums I’ve ever listened to. A lot of other math-rock bands can overwhelm listeners with constant time signature changes and intricate song composition; however, The Bulletproof Tiger produced something that flows together into an incredibly well-written, bouncy, tappy, and more important than anything else, very enjoyable album.