These next bands are my top picks for post-punk acts playing this year’s Sled Island.  Post punk is genre that seems to have gained particular momentum in the past few years.  Inspired by a fusion of early punk rock and 80s underground sounds, post-punk music has been the foundation for a variety of musical expressions including but not limited to goth rock, new wave, and electro synth pop.

Viet Cong @ Olympic Plaza on Saturday the 27th at 6:50 PM.
Calgary’s Viet Cong have been making huuuuge waves in the global music scene since releasing their debut EP last January.   This is art-punk music beyond compare.  Their sound has that ultra urban feel, making one think of neon lights, and monster skyscrapers with very little green space in between. Driven by heaving 80s inspired beats, and adopting grunge-y, distorted versions of sounds popularized by the Cure or David Byrne, not to mention its neurological and poignantly stirring qualities, Viet Cong are one of this year’s most hyped-up bands.  This performance is sure to be jam-packed.  Prepare to be a blissed-out ant among the masses.

Fountain: Bamboo Lounge on Thursday the 25th at 12:00 AM and Dicken’s pub Friday the 26th at 10:30 PM.
Lyrics manifested in their proper, aggressively mumbled punkster format, simple yet enticing pop melodies, fuzzy reverb, aggressive blurts, lilting jangles, and lots of loudness and energy, these are the many qualities that pertain to Victoria’s Fountain.

Mystic Triangle: Local 510 on Saturday the 27th at 4:00 PM.
Here now, representing the gothic and disco expressions of the post-punk genre, more often labeled as dark wave (and these two genres go together a lot more than one might think), is Mystic Triangle from Toronto.  The lyrics are pure wallow and hard to understand, the melodies are synthy and hard to shake, and most prominently is the pure 80s disco factor which some may dub cheesy and others haunting.  Dance parties, even if a bit on the sad side, will most likely ensue.

Melted Mirror: The Palomino on Thursday June 25th at 10:00 PM.
Of all bands in this list, Melted Mirror most authentically sound as if belonging to another decade completely.  Calgary born and bred, the sound of Melted Mirror is aptly described by their name, a beautifully textured canvas of drum machines melting into analog warmth, that industrial darkness and those 80s mono-toned vocals far more similar to cyborg angels then humans. It’s 80s synth-pop, upgraded with all the bells and whistles of 2015’s music-technology frontier.

Television: Olympic Plaza Saturday the 27th at 9:30 PM.
 Also destined to draw a crowd are New York’s Television, who don’t just emulate a polished post-punk sound, but in ways kind of, invented it, with their debut album Marquee Moon highly regarded as one of the most pivotal and influential in the commencement of the post-punk movement.  Since the late 70s, this band has been taking classic punk riffs to high realms of intellectual expansion.  Theirs is a clean and stripped down kind of punk, driven by a sometimes jazzy interaction of lead and rhythm guitars, with hints of psychedelic and surf influence as well.  Within the sound of any post-punk group since then, you will hear elements of Television.

Birdstriking: Republik on Wednesday the 24th at 11:00 PM.
Long and complex post-rock jams, bursts of noise-punk, occasional glimmers of dream pop, and extended euphoria-inducing sequences of pure sonic noise, Beijing’s Birdstriking are an extremely unique and accomplished group who place no caps on their experimentation.  One of the bands I am looking most forward to this Sled Island!