The Buzz Records showcase at Lee’s palace (in partnership with Dine Alone Records and Fred Perry) was easily my favourite set of the week. The lineup was beyond stacked, with PONY, Twist, Vallens, Casper Skulls and Weaves. I got to the venue in time to check out Vallens, Casper Skulls and Weaves – all of which have now officially become my new favourite bands.

I was really excited to see Vallens based on the strength of their last EP, Consent. The music is dark and gloomy – crushing, but also mesmerizing. It’s really hard to pin down a genre to describe this band, but they really succeed at lulling you into a false sense of security with soft, melodic vocals and then hitting you with a grungy guitar riff.

Next up was Casper Skulls, who treated the crowd to their melodic and boisterous garage punk. Playing some of the best cuts off their EP Lips & Skull, like “Devotion”, the band straddled that line between melodic hooks (particularly in the interplay between the dual vocalists) with their ferocious, no holds barred guitar assault. In fact, tiny bits of Lee’s Palace’s ceiling fell on me, so they literally rocked so hard they shook the ceiling.

There’s only one word to describe the Weaves set at CMW: mayhem. It was absolute, total mayhem in the best way. Lead vocalist Jasmyn Burke was dynamic – strutting around the stage with intensity, jumping into the crowd. Beyond the (awesome) theatrics, the rest of the band essentially played their songs as loud, hard and fast as possible. Standout moments were definitely songs like “Shithole”, songs that really showcase Burke’s playful vocals and lyricism, and the easy interplay between her and her band should be a master class for any aspiring musicians. They also treated an increasingly frenetic crowd to some promising sounding new material, and closed the set by jumping into the crowd to finish off “Motorcycle” and play a few solos. It was chaos – albeit organized chaos – and it was the perfect way to end a crazy week like CMW.