Fall of Knowledge’s Silent Majority reeks of their distinctive post-grunge sound with whiffs of defiance and thoughtful rebellion. The debut from Montreal musical machinists was recorded at Toronto’s The Pocket Studios with Mike Turner (Our Lady Peace, Crash Karma), and Adam Kasper (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam) mixed two of the songs in Seattle. This album is literally the fallout of the infamous 90s grunge movement, making for a sound that is just as authentic and classic as it is unique and eccentric.
The aptly titled first track, “Lemonade” is a bittersweet tune, tart yet refreshing- characterizing an atmospheric, almost cinematic quality present throughout Silent Majority. Then the groove flow pivots with “The Door” a slower tune of epic proportions, featuring powerful vocals and impressive riffing. Video single “Anonymous” is a menacing track that mixes hard rock with light metal. “Alone” exemplifies the band’s dynamism with a sultry sound and the added voice of an acoustic guitar. Closing track “Nucleary” is exotic at it’s roots, beginning with vox samples and waves of electronic noise. Pounding drums usher in a pointed dénouement for an album that steals the best parts of grunge and combines them with the progressive vitality of this millennium.
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With a name like The Regrettables, you better be damn sure of your sound, otherwise the puns are going to start flyin’. And luckily for you (and me) these mofo’s are. The debut EP by Toronto-based grunge outfit is an interesting foray into a sound that refuses to stay dead. Heavily influenced by Incubus and other grunge rock bands of the 90s like Silverchair, the band managed to make a record totally DIY that doesn’t sound like it.
Keeping true to their roots, all the tracks are longer than your average-radio friendly hit, together James Ricci, Jonah Birenbaum, Brendan Tomotsugu and Kris McKenna together are a solid team of songwriters. “Tonight” is the shortest song on the album (clocking in at one second over three and a half minutes) and an excellent introduction to the album. The starter track paints a picture of a band that is restless to get going and a sound that refuses to be tied down. The intro riff is acoustic with some voice samples haunting around it. Ricci’s vocals finally cut into the mix and pleasantly surprise your ears with a sense of strange familiarity, like running into someone you haven’t seen in ages.
The next four songs are dynamic, going from heavy to light effortlessly. “Dead and Gone” begins with a ballad feel from the guitar and vocals backed up with some heavy distortion and strong drumbeats. “So” is my favourite track on the record, the intro drum fill and git-slide get the juices flowing leading into some epic choral compositions. “Suicide Fling” gets dangerously close to being a monotonous rehashing of it’s predecessors but slyly subverts the sound, bringing a more lax vibe to the record. “Way Out” is the final jaunt on the EP, closing the album out with over five minutes of a sound we’ve grown oh so fond of. The highest points are driven home through well-adjusted vocal harmonies and a gritty guitar solo. The track puts The Regrettables’ debut to bed beautifully and is far better at saying goodnight than most bands in the same scene, it truly sounds like the finale of a stadium concert.
I’ve always held the belief that for every 10 shitty grunge bands there is one that reignites the genre in the hearts of listeners and The Regrettables are that one. Though they are heavily grunge infused, a fan can easily pick out glimpses of newer punk tone as well as broad rock and maybe even a hint of folky country, making for a sound that is anything but cookie-cutter. Ricci’s wide vocal range is continually keeping the listener intrigued, hitting some high falsetto notes at times. Birenbaum on drums managed to capture the essence of 90s rock beats, dusting off the cobwebs with some 2000+ style. McKenna’s metallic bass tones are the strong backbone while, Tomotsugu riffed his ass off for this one, the end resulting in some stellar guitar licks that elevate the musicianship of the album. Some professional studio time with a well-versed producer could quite possibly take the band from sounding like they belong in amphitheaters to actually playing there.
Legendary shoegazers The Veldt recently announced their return to life with a new EP called The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, available worldwide on April 8. The band also released a string of Spring tour dates, including a stop-off in Toronto at The Silver Dollar Room on April 3 with Mimico, Noah Bird and Enoch Ncube. They will be following the EP up later this year with a full-length titled Resurrection Hymns via SonicBLAST! Records.
After their 1989 debut, The Veldt began a controversial career as black musicians playing white music. They were criticized for being “difficult” and not having a sound that’s more similar to bands like Living Colour, but they won the hearts and ears of indie and alt rock lovers world wide. Though never quite breaking through to the mainstream, The Veldt made their mark on the music industry and helped open doors for marginalized voices everywhere.
04/01 London, ON – 765 Old East Bar & Grill
04/08 Ottawa, ON – Zaphod’s Ottawa
Below, an interview by The Scene Magazine’s James Rockso with Jordan Viaene, bassist and producer of DIY rock outfit Kandy Face.
The worldwide music scene has evolved much since the height of bands like Alice in Chains and Queens of the Stone Age, seemingly making 90s grunge and rock music obsolete. What would you say to fans that say this music is dead? All of my music tastes aside, Stupid Famous is an album I genuinely enjoyed start to back- excellent music to rock or chill to.
Music like ours and music with programmed instruments are two totally different breeds. I would say that genuine music performed with real instruments is far from dead. In fact, I see more rock bands coming out nowadays than ever before. Not only rock bands, all types of music. Technology has brought us to the point where anyone with a decent computer and a few small pieces of gear can make something pretty decent whereas even 10 years ago, not nearly as many people were able to accomplish such sounds with such few pieces of technology. Music is so diverse now and there is no way something can ever really be dead in my opinion. Music from all eras pokes through all sorts of music today. I think what makes it tough is the fact that pretty much anyone can make a decent recording now, there’s so much to listen to and it’s hard to separate and pick out what actually holds value.
I say it’s definitely not dead, but harder to accomplish because so much has been done before, to have any sort of longevity with music now is so tough. You have to find an edge for sure. I always say that if we were back in the 90s right now, we’d be golden! But since there so much stuff to sift through, it’s much harder to stand out.
What sort of approach do you and the rest of the members take when creating new tunes? To keep things fresh, essentially.
Well, we are always trying to change things around and develop our songwriting skills. We have such incredible chemistry as a band. Johnny, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Jesse the drummer, and I have been playing together for over eight years. It took us a while to get where we are now, and it only continues to grow almost exponentially. From our songwriting to our recording to our live performance, all aspects are tightening up. When we do our songwriting we will usually have about 20 – 30 different riffs or chord progressions that we just kinda jam to, and then when it comes down to picking which ones we want to work on, it’s more or less just which songs just happen to fall into place naturally and which songs mesh well together. We end up scrapping a good chunk of things we write, but we’re always looking to write songs as straight bangers. A lot of the change comes down to the production and how we want the music to actually sound by the end, we put a lot of thought into it.
John writes all the lyrics. In terms of the lyrical content, it’s whatever he has in his crazy mind, but the new songs we’re trying to put a lot more meaning into so that people can really dig into and get something out of. Not meaningless crap, stuff with compassion that holds a purpose.
It’s nice to hear that a band is actually working together so tightly. I know a lot of bands, just by interviewing them and seeing how they interact, don’t look like a team.
We definitely are a team, and a family as well. The music is literally a representation of ourselves. It can get very emotional at times but that’s what makes our music so great. We read off each other so well and it’s second nature how we come up with stuff sometimes. We’ll be jamming and we know subconsciously what to play and how to play it too a lot of the time. We play and bounce off each other’s energy and that’s something that takes years to develop.
14 tracks on Stupid Famous, which I love, I get a better grasp on a band’s mentality and vibe with LPs instead of EPs. However, you announced a few days ago (Nov. 11) of a three track EP titled “KF3EP”, could you tell me a little more about it?
Yeah, 14 tracks on Stupid Famous, and 14 tracks on our debut. That’s a lot of work for one guy to record. The only thing I didn’t do on this album was the mastering, which is the cherry on top of the cake, when you’ve been listening to the same songs for months it’s a good idea to get a fresh set of ears on the final step. We really wanted people to understand what we can do as a band. You hear how diverse the album is, there is a very wide spectrum of styles involved. We wanted to keep things interesting and each song have something that stands out from the rest. This “KF3EP” thing we’re doing only started about two weeks ago, we had a little bit of a dry-spell from playing shows, and we have our own studio built here at our rehearsal space, so we can record any time we feel we are ready.
We have some new songs that we wrote shortly after recording Stupid Famous that we were just dying to get out, so instead of doing a full length and spending a year making that, we want to give our fans something quick and new to listen to. It’s going to be a concept EP, all about question, aliens and humans, the world, stuff like that, which we touched on in Stupid Famous. We just did all the rhythm guitar tracks, and we’re currently building around those, which we use as the foundation. They sound damn good already. I think we will be done this by Spring 2016 if we continue the pace we’re at, but we’ll be talking more about it as the project continues to build.
I hear a lot of Dave Matthews Band and Soundgarden in your music, but is there a line that you don’t cross when it comes to inspiration? Including metal techniques or crazy jazz fills?
Soundgarden for sure, any of the great grunge bands of the 90s. It’s hard to pinpoint really where our inspiration comes from. I wouldn’t say there is a really line we try not to cross. We take our inspirations from everything, we try not to let other music make too much of an impact on ours, we play what we feel basically. And I guess our influences naturally come through in our music without us really thinking about it too much. We were all fans of metal at some point, and still are when the time is right, and none of us are really too trained with jazz. We kind of set our own limits, putting into our music what needs to be put in, what feels right, nothing more and nothing less.
Evan, our guitarist, joined Kandy Face in May of this year. The guy is a machine and can play pretty much anything, including those jazz licks you’re talking about. One thing we are very excited for is having him write his own guitar parts for the new songs. I have always been the one to write the lead/secondary guitar parts and now that we have a guy who IS trained in jazz and truly knows his way around a fretboard, I’m excited to see what the new songs are going to sound like with a whole new type of influence in the band.
When can we expect a new single from the EP?
It’s completely undecided at this point, but at least a month before the EP is out. We may want to do some sort of a video to go with it. The song we will be releasing as the single will be the song “Klear” (yeah, we like to spell stuff different). It is without a doubt one of the best songs we have written- simple, catchy, powerful and meaningful.
I want to aim for the First Day of Spring as a deadline for the single.
With the release of their long-awaited sixth studio album, Five Crooked Lines, under their belts, Finger Eleven is ready to road-test the new songs for their Canadian fans. Kicking off on October 20 in Winnipeg, the group will make their way across Western Canada through the fall.
“I’m excited to reconnect with our Canadian fans and share the new material with them,” says Scott Anderson (vocals) about the forthcoming tour. “I’m hoping old school fans of the band feel good about the new record. Some of you have grown up with us and our goal was to reward your loyalty with a great record and a new live show that will make you proud.”
The group will also be teaming up with presenting radio stations and media partners to launch an opening act contest for select dates. Local bands will have the opportunity to submit their music to the band for the chance of performing as the opening act at the Finger Eleven show in their hometown. Stay tuned for more details on the contest and how to enter!
Five Crooked Lines was released on July 31 via The Bicycle Music Company/Concord, and is the band’s first offering in five years.
October 20 – Winnipeg, MB – The Oak
October 21 – Regina, SK – The Pump
October 22 – Saskatoon, SK – O’Brian’s Event Centre
October 23 – Edmonton, AB – River Cree Casino
October 24 – Grande Prairie, AB – Better Than Fred’s
October 26 – Lethbridge, AB – Sound Garden
October 27 – Calgary, AB – Marquee
October 28 – Kelowna, BC – Kelowna Community Theatre
October 30 – Vancouver, BC – Hard Rock Casino
October 31 – Sidney, BC – Mary Winspear Centre
November 2 – Whitecourt, AB – Eagle River Casino