Alternative, Canadian, Experimental, Metal, Watch


No Comments 23 July 2014

by Mark Anthony Brennan

Video of “Limitless Part 2″ by Montreal progressive metal band MIRE. Fans of Tool will love this.

Album Reviews, Alternative, Canadian, Experimental, Music

[Album Review] Five Alarm Funk- Abandon Earth

No Comments 18 July 2014

by Mark Anthony Brennan


Release Date: June 7th, 2014
Label: Independent

The last thing that occurs to you when first listening to ‘Abandon Earth‘ is that there is any coherent theme to this barely bridled mayhem. The album is an exhilarating but frightening rollercoaster ride through funk, heavy metal, gypsy, punk, prog rock, afro-beat and many other musical styles just too numerous to list. This is such high octane insanity that you’d never believe there was actually a method to the madness. But there is — this is actually a concept album, which relates the sci fi tale of a demented ice cream vendor who laces his wares with drugs and then takes his victims on a psychedelic trip to the centre of the earth. Whoa, hang on, that sounds … nuts. Maybe we should just say that there is madness to their madness.

Five Alarm Funk have been around for ten years now, and in that time they have evolved from a more traditional-sounding funk band into something heavier, darker and weird, something that is all their own. They make full use of everything at their disposal – drums, guitars, brass, sax and percussion —  to gleefully whip their listeners into a frenzy. It is still a carnival, but where it was once a romp in the fun-house it is now a riot at the freak show.

The album opens to the chiming of an ice cream truck, which gives you a bit of a shiver because you know that it’s ominous, like the singing of a nursery rhyme at the beginning of a horror movie. Then there is a brief bit of vaguely Balkan-sounding guitar work before the flood-gates open and the band hits you with all that they’ve got — and this is a 9-piece band, so that’s quite a bit. When lead singer (and drummer), Tayo Branston, delivers the narrative he does so with a menacing growl that one normally associates with death metal, putting you on notice that this is no walk in the park. This is a dizzying, high-energy thrill ride, but it has a sinister edge.

Once the band unleashes their sonic barrage on “We All Scream” they never let up. ‘Abandon Earth‘ is impressively creative with its unique concoction of sounds, but it’s relentless and it’s intense. So intense, in fact, that when the band plays this material live they make sure to intersperse it with some of their older, less demanding songs.

However, for all of that, Five Alarm Funk’s music remains rhythmic, bouncy and infectious. The story they tell on this record may involve catastrophe, fear and destruction, but at the end of the day it is still a party.

Alternative, Ambient music, Canadian, Experimental, Listen


No Comments 17 July 2014

by Mark Anthony Brennan
beef terminal 2

Impressive ambient guitar music from Toronto’s Beef Terminal. “The Short Turn” is the first track on the new album ‘Canadian Patent’.

Alternative, Canadian, Concert Reviews, Experimental, Music

Ought w/ Dub Thompson @ The Drake 7/14/2014

No Comments 15 July 2014

by Tiana Feng
Ought @ The Drake Hotel 7/14/2014
It’s rare that I would go out on a Monday night to see a band, unless it’s something I am really excited about and Ought was just one of those bands. Continue Reading

Alternative, Canadian, Electronic, Experimental, Listen, New Age

[Listen] Default Genders – Negotiating With Demons

No Comments 14 July 2014

by Mica McCurdy

Default Genders Magical Pessimism 2014

Default Genders (formerly Dead Girlfriends, and moniker of musician James Brooks), pulled a Beyoncé today and released Magical Pessimism 2014 seemingly out of the blue. It’s a striking album featuring new sounds, reworked tracks from EP Stop Pretending, as well as work pre-dating it. Listen below to the stand out “Negotiating With Demons”, a visceral track with a beat that makes my heart race.  

Alternative, Canadian, Experimental, Folk, Listen, Music

[Listen] Clara Engel- Looking-Glass Fire

No Comments 12 July 2014

by Tiana Feng
clara engel

Clara Engel’s Looking Glass-Fire might be one of the most over-looked things this year. It’s a poetic 6-song masterpiece that is dense enough to arguably be an album. Her unique and distinct style and sound make her one of the most interesting song-writers to follow in Canada. Do yourself a favour and stream Looking-Glass Fire below.

Alternative, Canadian, Electronic, Experimental, Listen, Music

[Listen] PS I Love You – Bad Brain Day

No Comments 12 July 2014

by Mica McCurdy

PS I Love You - Bad Brain Day

PS I Love You have released another track from their upcoming album For Those Who Stay. “Bad Brain Day” is beautifully layered with an ethereal, yet sad, vibe. Listen below and look for the album on July 22nd.

Experimental, Instrumental, Listen, Music, New Age

[Listen/Download] Tim Hecker – Amps, Drugs, Mellotron

No Comments 07 July 2014

by Mica McCurdy

Tim Hecker

Released through Adult Swim’s singles series, this alternate track wasn’t on Tim Hecker’s recent album Virgins but recorded from the sessions that made it. “Amps, Drugs, Mellotron” is a shimmering and subtle piece best played on hot late nights like this one. The download is available via Adult Swim here.

Album Reviews, Alternative, Canadian, Experimental, Music, Pop

[Album Review] Wunderstrands- Wunderstrands

No Comments 06 July 2014

by Mark Anthony Brennan


Release Date: May 29th, 2014
Label: Independent

Wunderstrands‘ is the self titled debut from the duo of Mara Pellerin and Brad Kilpatrick. They are both members of the Newfoundland indie rock outfit Gramercy Riffs. It is unclear whether this is to be considered a “side project”, but it is certainly a marked departure. Pellerin and Kilpatrick eschew any notion of pop commercialism in favour of a delicate, ethereal sound. Continue Reading

Alternative, Canadian, Electronic, Experimental, Listen, Music

[Listen] PS I Love You – Friends Forever

No Comments 28 June 2014

by Mica McCurdy

PS I Love You - Friends Forever

In advance of their upcoming album For Those Who Stay, PS I Love You have shared another track – “Friends Forever”. Don’t let the title fool you though, the chorus’s menacing guitar riff and strong bass line suggests a more sinister relationship. Look for the album on July 22nd via Paper Bag Records.

Album Reviews, Alternative, Canadian, Commercials, Experimental, Music, Pop

[Album Review] Owen Pallett- In Conflict

No Comments 28 June 2014

by Tiana Feng


Release Date: May 15th, 2014
Label: Secret City Records

I let In Conflict stir in my mind for a month before I decided to write this review. I even saw Owen Pallett play at Danforth Music Hall the week of its release. While Heartland, told us a tale, In Conflict is like a personal confession. Continue Reading

Canadian, Experimental, Instrumental, Listen, Music, New Age

[Listen] James Bunton- ITAI

No Comments 28 June 2014

by Tiana Feng
We may have said goodbye to Ohbijou, but that doesn’t mean that the members aren’t still actively making music. Bunton, who’s also in Light Fires scored Michael Caldwell’s choreography for “Itai”, part of the 2014 CanAsian Dance Festival. The resulting music is beautiful minimalistic, exploring emotions through each of the different sounds.

Ambient music, Canadian, Electronic, Electropop, Experimental, Listen, Music, Under 2000

[Listen] ginla – Almost Plastic

No Comments 09 June 2014

by Nilabjo Banerjee 


ginla is Toronto-based duo of producers Joe Manzoli and Jon Nellen. ‘Almost Plastic’ is the premier release off an upcoming EP set for a spring release. The track starts off with a splash of beach waves, and sets up an ambient vibe backed by hazy distorted vocals and groovy electronic beats,  finishing off with some major reverb action and recognizable MGMT-esque keys riff. There is an anonymity around the duo, as there are no pictures available, except a visual loop accompanying the track on the website. With a debut as strong as ‘Almost Plastic’, ginla won’t be a mystery for too long. 

Acoustic, Alternative, Canadian, Experimental, Listen, Music, New Age, Pop, Psychedelic

[Listen] The Autumn Stones – End of Faith

No Comments 29 May 2014

by Nilabjo Banerjee


Toronto’s dream-pop outfit The Autumn Stones are working on their new record Escapists. In the mean while, you can enjoy the single ‘End of Faith’. The song features a distinct sax riff, Ciarahn Megahey’s melancholic yet comforting vocals and his cerebral  words. (unlock your mind / make friends with time ). The acoustic version features Margot Collins on flute, adding to the soothing vibe of the song. Recommended listen while taking a stroll in a spring evening with a light breeze


Acoustic, Alternative, Canadian, Experimental, Listen, Music

[Listen] Heaven for Real – Protégé

No Comments 23 May 2014

by Nilabjo Banerjee


Listen to ‘Protégé’ by Heaven for Real. The moniker of twin Grundy brothers from Halifax are premiering the single off their new  EP Heaven For Real’s Live Underground. Categorizing this as ‘pop music’ would be an insult, and labelling it indie-rock  is laziness. How about we describe their sound as  having the simplistic Beatles-esque sensibilities featuring melodic guitar intricacies and 60′s spacey vocals. Make sense? No? Well,then listen to the song yourself and draw your own conclusions. If you like what you hear, check em out in Toronto on May 28 @ Smiling Buddha 



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