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BeatRoute Magazine BC Print Edition February 2018

BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics. Currently BeatRoute’s AB edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton (by S*A*R*G*E), Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. editor@beatroute.ca BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120

Born Ruffians - Uncle,

Born Ruffians - Uncle, Duke & the Chief Cecil Frena - The Gridlock Scallops Hotel - Sovereign nose of (y)our arrogant face Born Ruffians Uncle, Duke & the Chief Paper Bag Records Born Ruffians are one of many indie rock bands that bubbled up in the mid 2000s. Hailing from small-town, Toronto-adjacent Midland, Ontario, the group draws heavy inspiration from bands like Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire. The band went through a bit of a change a few years ago with their 2013 album Birthmarks when they parted ways with their original drummer Steve Hamelin and added a second guitarist. It led to a cleaner sound, one that was a little less rough around the edges. With their fifth studio album Uncle, Duke & The Chief, Hamelin returns and the band shifts back to their grittier sound, recording as a trio. Born Ruffians seem to produce their best material when that frantic nature comes out in their songwriting. Moments on Uncle, Duke & The Chief sound like drunken eulogizing, with lead vocalist Luke Lalonde rapidly shifting from desperate yelps to sing-along celebratory anthemic shouting. Catchy choruses, jubilant guitars and an intense earnestness all shine through on the band’s new output, something that’s been lacking from the band’s output since their debut in 2008. The album’s songwriting is strong, strong enough to buoy it above the ocean of albums out there like it. • Cole Parker Cecil Frena The Gridlock Hovercraft/Kissability Cecil Frena has been around for awhile. The mastermind behind Edmonton weird pop acts Gobble Gobble and Born Gold, he’s also worked with other lauded acts from that scene like Purity Ring, Grimes and Chairlift. The Gridlock is his debut under his birth name, his first full release since 2013 and a noticeable shift towards a different sound. A lot of care is placed into the sonics of the record. Layered synths and vocals, wildly varied guitars, and Frena’s experience with glitchy pop music is channeled into furious growls of feedback and noise that feel so, so good. “Nerves Grow Rust” and “All of My Heroes” open the album with some great synth-singed pop rock before you hear the chugging of a car engine, a count, and a stellar drum fill that leads you into the hardcore track “Unknow Yourself.” The Gridlock feels like an artist deconstructing his identity, musical and otherwise, and letting us watch as he pulls the pieces back together, with lyrical content to match. A bank robber speaks aloud the existential crisis brought on by L.A. property prices, Frena reluctantly confesses love, and asserts that dancing on an airplane might treat some of his nihilistic woes. The Gridlock is a horribly fun rebirth of an artist who’s still actively finding the best version of themselves. • Cole Parker Sidney Gish No Dogs Allowed Independent Boston’s Sidney Gish is a distinctly 2018 kind of songwriter. The 20-year-old has quietly been developing a voice for absurdist, memeas-music songs through YouTube and BandCamp since 2015, but No Dogs Allowed, her sophomore album, is an internet breakthrough. Like Clairo, early Frankie Cosmos or Car Seat Headrest, Gish’s career exists almost solely on the internet, but gone are the days that would be a knock. With its MS Paint cover aesthetic, No Dogs Allowed is deceptively clever bedroom pop that puts Gish’s neuroses front and center. On standout track “Sin Triangle,” Gish’s lyricism and deft skill of self-roasting is on full display. “Two-faced bitches never lie / And therefore I never lie,” she sings overtop a laptop lounge rock joint that feels effortlessly cool. Every nook and cranny of No Dogs Allowed is filled with earworms and it’s not hard to fall in love with it. • Jamie McNamara The Go! Team SEMICIRCLE Memphis Industries The Go! Team has made some seriously bombastic music over the years, but has always maintained a level of obscurity that keeps any of their tracks from being too sugary to rock out to. From bubblegum pop, to grimey hip-hop, to indie rock, it’s always been big melodies for people who abhor contemporary pop production. SEMICIRCLE is no exception, a huge record full of compelling vocal melodies, driving rhythms, and badass instrumental arrangements. The downside is that the whole record sounds like it’s being performed from the bottom of a well. This production style, which pushes the vocals back in the mix and compresses much of the instrumentation to a similar level, creates an almost marching band like listening experience. Every instrument sounds like it’s in the same room, possibly a high school gymnasium. It’s impressive that a band that has at moments been a rock ensemble can still sound like themselves with so many horns, xylophones and flutes, but the fuzzy production keeps any of the real bangers on the record, like the single “Semicircle Song,” from being that successful. The most effective tracks on the record are the more contained ones, especially the tracks that let Ninja stand out with her gorgeous vocal performance like “Plans Are Like a Dream U Organize.” It’s hard not to smile your way through SEMICIRCLE, it’s just so much fun, but it doesn’t necessarily reward close listening. • Liam Prost Scallops Hotel Sovereign nose of (y)our arrogant face Ruby Yacht As Scallops Hotel, Wisconsin rapper and producer Milo creates tranquil atmospheres like an alchemist who found the philosophers stone. He knows when to let the beat rise and bubble before splashing in his conversational flow, which is reminiscent of Earl Sweatshirt in style and skill. Sovereign nose of (y)our arrogant face is the second entry in a trilogy that began last year with Over the Carnage Rose a Voice Prophetic. The production is minimal and piano-heavy, meshing perfectly with Milo’s poetic and often hilarious versus touching on topics like socioeconomic shifts and Mortal Kombat references. Fittingly, on “Rank, Title, Pressures,” Scallops Hotel mentions Mugen, a character from the stylish and hip-hop-inspired anime Samurai Champloo, which used to air on Adult Swim. The network is known for its impeccable music between shows, favouring sounds on the Flying Lotus spectrum. In this sense, the 25-year-old rapper is embracing the influences of his youth as Scallops Hotel, carrying the fluttering torch to enlighten a new generation. Whether his next release is labelled as Scallops Hotel or Milo, Rory Ferreira proves time and time again he can turn his old influences into modern gold. • Paul McAleer The Sumner Brothers To Elliot - In Remembrance Of Wolf Independent Through a career notable for sonic twists, Vancouver’s Sumner Brothers follow up the dark, energetic tone of their 2015 release, The Hell In Your Mind, with the reflective and gentle To Elliot - In Remembrance Of Wolf. The album is a collection of instrumentally spare covers by a who’s who of roots songwriters, including Billy Joe Shaver, Warren Zevon, and Bruce Springsteen. Brothers Bob and Brian Sumner keep the arrangements light and tight to the originals on To Elliot. Brian’s plaintive drawl on Springsteen’s “The Ghost Of Tom Joad” and Zevon’s “Carmelita,” allows the melody and lyrics to shine through, the latter getting a relaxed electric guitar and subtle female harmony to go along with the mellow cantina vibe. Bob’s baritone is haunting on his take of The Tragically Hip’s classic album cut “Scared,” and on Jolie Holland’s “Damn Shame.” For those aware of Zachary Lucky or Colter Wall, 28 February 2018

Friday, March 23, 7:30pm Bill Copeland Sports Centre, Burnaby ROCKERS Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo) Dallas Smith Chad Brownlee Craig Northey (Odds) Devin Cuddy Grant Lawrence Many more players to be announced! NHL GREATS Cliff Ronning Dave Babych Jyrki Lumme Kirk McLean Troy Crowder Brad Dalgarno PRESENTS HOSTED BY JANN ARDEN & BOB ROCK SUNDAY, MARCH 25 AT NOON ORPHEUM + MORE ARTISTS TO BE ANNOUNCED junoawards.ca #JUNOS SPACE PROVIDED BY PROCEEDS BENEFITING

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