Biblical

Biblical (Toronto, ON)

Bio Says: “Their debut self-titled EP offers a thoroughly satisfying listen that will enthral and delight any fan of guitar-based rock music with a filthy tone that moves between tense, fast paced burners and sludgey organ-drenched breakdowns.”

What they think they sound like: “a band that deftly reconciles Motorhead swagger with Bad Seeds dread.”

Sounds like: Ideas.

Honest review: Actually really stoked on this. Heavy psych the way it should be played. One of the few instances where the bands self-description is dead on – totally evokes Nick Cave fronting Motorhead. Why aren’t there more bands like this?

Reverbnation account? No

Bend Sinister

Bend Sinister (Vancouver, BC)

Bio Says: “Labeled as anything from math to prog to pop but feeling most comfortable in the plain guise of rock, Bend Sinister of Vancouver BC have evolved through numerous styles and absorbed a plethora of influences to become a band so refreshingly original that the struggle to categorize them is a losing battle.”

Honest review: Bend Sinister are still a band. It must have burned to get nominated for the Sirius XM “Emerging Artist” this year.

Genre: Radio3core.

Reverbnation account? YES.

Bella Clava

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Bella Clava (Toronto, On)

Bio Says: “These hooligans made so much noise, they had to leave the mean streets of Thunder Bay for a bigger city”

Sounds like: Hard RAWK.

Honest review: I think a question more bands need to consider is “who are we making this music for.” If making music “personal satisfaction”, then good for you. Just keep your garbage music away from my ears please. 

However, if the answer is “to attract an audience and be a rock and roll starTM” then the second question should be “is anyone out there buying what we are selling?” In the case of Bella Clava (awful, awful name), the answer to the second question is: No.

Destined to be a local bar band from now until eternity.

Reverbnation account? Yep.

Beginners Guide to Endings

Beginners Guide to Endings (Kingston, On)

Bio Says: “But alas, unless it gets featured on an episode of ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ or some other ‘reality’ train wreck, it may fall under the radar. However,that doesn’t make this masterpiece debut any less ‘Meaningful’.

What they think they sound like: “led zeppelin nirvana the beatles”

Sounds like: Kingston Long and McQuade employees started a band!

Honest review: Let’s talk about Beginners Guide to Ending bio for a minute. Aside from the fact that it is sub-literate, they both compare their recent album to Led Zeppelin IV and Nirvana’s Nermind, and complain about The Kardashians. Twice. Their guess as to why no one cares about Beginners Guide to Endings is that people are too busy watching reality television.

Here’s the truth guys: no one cares about Beginners Guide to Endings because your band is terrible. Leave the Kardashians out of this, stop playing the blame game, and get with the times. Your music is extremely dated. Your lyrics are embarassing. Just because you can shred on a guitar doesn’t mean that anyone wants to hear the noise it makes.

Genre: Long and McQuade Rock.

Reverbnation account? Obviously.

Beekeeper

Beekeeper (Vancouver, BC)

Bio Says: “The trio is garnering buzz for playing “some of the cutest math-rock around” (Discorder Magazine, 2012), “[weaving] sturdy hooks around fancy rhythms” (Georgia Straight, 2010).”

What they think they sound like: “Indie-pop”

Sounds like: The Promise Ring with too many ideas

Honest review: The first band I’ve actually seen before. I’ve seen a LOT of Canadian bands over the last decade, and maybe this is a testiment to CMW that it only attracts bands no one has heard of (or wants anything to do with?). I remember that a friend of mine really likes Beekeeper, but I find that their music annoying. Too many ideas jammed into every song, ala mid-nineties mathrock, aka the worst genre ever invented.

Reverbnation account? Yes

Beams

Beams (Toronto, On)

Bio Says: It’s never clear why some collectives spark and others fizzle. Maybe it’s the chemistry between the members, the ability to read each others’ minds, the ghosts of bands they used to play with. Some indefinable alchemy that makes ears perk up and eyes open wide the first time they encounter them. In the case of BEAMS, it’s all of the above.

What they think they sound like: “Many things”

Sounds like: “Many things”

Honest review: It is actually really hard to evaluate bands who are slaves to genre as opposed to attempting something new, because ultimately it is a binary equation: do they play this genre correctly Y/N. In the case of Beams, their bluegrassy-folk concoctions are bluegrassy-folk concoctions, there is nothing to set them apart from the pack, no matter how much it sounds like Feist singing.

Genre: Bluegrass

Reverbnation account? No!

Bad Captain

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Bad Captain (Montreal, Qu)

Bio Says: “They have since dedicated most of their free time off of their “9 to 5” jobs to making energetic and catchy Rock songs with lyrics that make you realize that it’s okay not to be perfect, that your mistakes define who you are and that no matter what, you just have to push and carry on! Bad Captain delivers an uplifting, unifying, motivating and positive message and isn’t afraid to make you headbang every once in a while.”

What they think they sound like: Foo Fighters, Billy Talent, Simple Plan, Four Year Strong, Paramore, All Time Low, 30 Seconds To Mars, Alexisonfire, Blink-182, Thrice, Taking Back Sunday, Coheed And Cambria, Our Lady Peace.

Sounds like: The music made by middle aged dudes trying to hang out at a grade 12 graduation party.

Honest review: Whoa, this might be the worst band so far. Seriously. A band who heard the first Simple Plan record and decided that they didn’t need to go any further. If you could imagine a band, in 2013, wanting to sound like Simple Plan. Whoa. It’s actually blowing my mind a little. I can’t believe how bad Bad Captain really are.

Genre: SimplePlancore

Reverbnation account? YES.

Babe

Babe (Toronto, ON)

Bio Says: “When you’re a musician growing up in Toronto, a dynamic and diverse city where your senses constantly stand at full attention, it’s likely that the music you enjoy and make will also be eclectic.”

What they think they sound like: “In the case of BABE, their sound mixes an array of elements and has drawn wide-ranging comparisons from, ‘The Rapture’ and ‘Interpol’ to ‘The Knife’ and ‘Fela Kuti,’”

Actually sounds like: Whatever it’s called when you throw up on yourself while taking a shit.

Honest review: Hey guys, 2004 called, they want their derrivative indie dance punk back. BABE is both a terrible name for a band and also a terrible band.

Genre: 2004core

Reverbnation account? Yes

B-17

Photo: After the In-store performance at Sonic Boom. Photo by Nick Pitt.

B-17 (Toronto, On)

Bio Says: “B-17 formed in Toronto,Canada in 2011.”

Sounds like: Spacemen 3, Wooden Shjips, Sadies

Honest review: After reviewing 23 bands in the CMW Artist section (starting with the letter A), I was feeling pessimistic that there were actually any bands worth checking out. B-17 are a band that I will check out.

Genre: Psych

Reverbnation account? No. Need more info still, but so far my theory that only terrible bands use Reverbnation stands. I have yet to be proven wrong.

Autumns Cannon

Autumns Cannon (Ottawa, ON)

Bio Says: It may have taken Autumns Cannon a few years to find their way, but the group is sure to stick around for a number of years to come

What they think they sound like: “The composition of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen inspired guitar and vocal melodies is also driven by the bands distortion-driven alt-country” 

Sounds like: Nothing I would ever want to listen to again.

Honest review: Autumns Cannon members met working at a music store (let’s just assume it was Long and McQuade), and it sounds exactly like the music that people who work at Long and McQuade make. Boring music. I bet they have super nice gear tho.

Genre: Radio3core

Reverbnation account? Yes

Attagirl

Attagirl (Toronto, ON)

Bio Says: “We’re a band. We’re like the Jonas Brothers, but not the creepy older one. We’re like Nick Jonas. We’re like three Nick Jonases making sweet melodies for you.”

Sounds like: An unfunny joke.

Honest review: The nicest thing I could say about ATTAGIRL is that at least they are shooting for an iPod commercial instead of a car commercial. STILL. This isn’t good.

Genre: Radio3core

Reverbnation account? Yes

Atlantis Blueprint

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Atlantis Blueprint (Barrie, ON)

Bio Says: “Atlantis Blueprint are currently preparing for a show with Coalition Recording Artists ‘Finger Eleven’ on New Years Eve in Barrie, Ontario” 

What they think they sound like: Foo Fighters

Sounds like: Foo Fighters if you were a generic rock radio band that has never actually heard Foo Fighters.

Honest review: Hahahahahahahaha.

Genre: RockRadioCore

Reverbnation account? Obvs.

Atom and The Volumes

Atom and The Volumes (Toronto, ON)

Bio Says: “ATOM AND THE VOLUMES is an indie groove-rock project. The band mixes upbeat jams with a youthful, garage rock rawness”

What they think they sound like: Broken Social Scene, Pavement, City and Colour, Arcade Fire, Hey Rosetta, Dirty Projectors, Neil Young, Phoenix, The Black Keys, David Crosby, Broken Bells

Sounds like: The combination of the worst songs from all of their favourite bands.

Honest review: Please stop making music.

Genre: pleasestopmakingmusiccore

Reverbnation account? I’m not even gonna bother looking, but my guess is YES.

Anthony Damiao

Anthony Damiao (Waterloo, ON)

Bio Says: “grew up listening to early new wave bands and British Isle punkers, all of them held together by a Beatles cassette which lived in my father’s truck.”

What he thinks he sounds like: The Violent Femmes, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, The Mountain Goats

Sounds like: Someone loaded an episode of CBC’s THE CURRENT into Microsoft Songsmith.

Honest review: Terrible.

Genre: Openmicnightcore

Reverbnation account? YES

Andy Shauf

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Andy Shauf (Regina, SK)

Bio Says: “Recorded alone in the basement, Bearer is 11 songs built on a weathered piano, a warm guitar, a clarinet, and the melody of a broken heart. At the heart is Andy’s one-of-a-kind voice and dark knack for story.”

Thinks he sounds like: Elliott Smith, Paul McCartney

Sounds like: Living in Regina.

Honest review: I would never buy an Andy Shauf record. Nor would I bother tracking down a free download. BUT: Andy Shauf might actually be good. There is actual talent here, taste in both lyrics and arrangements (the production… not so much. Listen to those early Elliott Smith albums recorded on 4track some more and get back to me).

I’d go as far as saying there is some potential here that I haven’t heard in a single band reviewed to this point. Not bad. Except “not bad” really isn’t cutting it for me: being on top of shit mountain isn’t really much to brag about.

Reverbnation account? Yep (tsk tsk).

Andy Brown

Andy Brown (Fredericton, NB)

Bio Says: “Maybe it’s the curly locks. Or those blue-green eyes. Maybe even that boyish charm. Or perhaps it’s the emotionally raw vocals, stellar guitar skills, and riveting performances that get us every time.”

Sounds like: The movie “ONCE”

Honest review: Don’t hate Andy Brown because he’s beautiful. Hate him because his music sucks. Or just congratulate him for having his music featured in awful television shows! SAVING HOPE?!?! REALLY?!?!? WOW!!! CONGRATS!!!!!

Genre: BadTVcore

Reverbnation account? YES!

Amos The Transparent

Amos The Transparent (Ottawa, On)

Bio Says: “Although they claim to be transparent, Amos are anything but. They live between the light and the dark, sometimes in the shadows, occasionally in the dark, more often in the light. Their songs take them there! Quantum shifts between heavy and light, soft and hard, loud and quiet.”

What they think they sound like: “Amos has been featured on Q with Jian Ghomeshi, who referred to them as “the Canadian Wilco”.”

Sounds like: Inspirational music for use in automobile commercials.

Honest review: There is just way too much to hate, so where does one even begin? The kind of band that attempts earnest sincerity and, as a result, comes off shallow and souless. I can’t believe that there is still a market for this kind of tripe.

Genre: Radio3core

Reverbnation account? YES

Amity Beach

Amity Beach (Grand Bend, ON)

Bio Says: Their self-titled debut EP, released on Eternal Bummer Records, features three songs that embody the atmosphere of the beach and the carelessness of living by the water.

What they think they sound like: “Borrowing the cheerful exuberance of Vampire Weekend, the frantic energy of The Strokes, and the lyrical ambiguity of R.E.M, Amity Beach have crafted a bright sound that achieves a feel-good tone without lacking the depth in meaning and substance that gives lasting power to good music” 

Sounds like: Some kids trying to be chill and have a good time at the beach.

Honest review: I really hate the beach.

Genre: Instagramcore

Reverbnation account? YES!

Alright, Alright

Alright, Alright (Toronto, On)

Bio Says: “WHATEVER HAPPENED to those classic two-minute-fifty second rock ‘n’ roll songs we used to know and love?”

Sounds like: “equipped with their favourite Clash, Buddy Holly, and Motown Records”

Honest review: The first mistake is a band answering the question of “how were they?” in their name (“Alright”). Alright, Alright are just… alright. If they were from the UK, NME would loose their shit over them for two weeks and then pretend they didn’t exist after that. If we got these “rockers” to rock and roll boot camp and toughen them up a little I think they might have potential. Untill then, bland bland bland.

Genre: NMEcore

Reverbnation account? YES!

Alex Leggett

Alex Laggett (Gananoque, ON)

Bio Says: “He loves new opportunities and embraces the struggle that comes with working toward a lifelong career in music”

Sounds like: Earnest strumming.

Honest review: Like eating flavourless pudding, Alex Leggett’s music has a strange texture that will leave absolutely no impression.

Genre: Openmicnightcore

Reverbnation account? Every earnest strummer needs one!