Author Archive

March 24, 2010
Rickshaw Theatre
Vancouver, B.C

I was lucky enough to catch Every Time I Die twice in one week, as I had seen them play at the Starlite Room in Edmonton, AB this past Monday and nearly blew out my vocal chords by singing/screaming along to each song.  I chose to watch tonight’s show at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver with a clear (and sober) perspective.

Located in the lower eastside of downtown Vancouver, just off the corner of East Hastings and Main Street, the Rickshaw’s cold cement walls give it just as much character inside as it does outside.  In other words, its atmosphere is great for bands of the rock/punk/metal genre.  Accompanying ETID tonight would be Four Year Strong, Polar Bear Club and Trapped Under Ice.  I thought it was a nice touch for Every Time I Die to tour with bands of various styles, as it keeps things fresh and interesting.

Four Year Strong was the only opener I was able to catch, as I did not make it to the venue in time to take in the other two bands.  I wasn’t familiar with FYS, and while their “hardcore guitars-meets pop-punk vocals” sound is not my thing, I will give them props for being a very cohesive live act, and I could tell a good chunk of tonight’s audience were fans.  After quickly perusing the band’s MySpace before the show, I was able to familiarize myself with “Bada Bing Wit’ A Pipe.” It was definitely their most catchy tune of the night, and an easy (potential) radio hit.  While mostly everything came together after a song or two, FYS continuously suffered from sound issues (initial muddy vocals), especially with synth/vocalist Josh Lyford’s keyboard being entirely inaudible.  When Lyford wasn’t doing vocals, his main job was to seemingly pretend to play keyboard, and keep the energy of the audience in tact, which in his defense, was done well.  FYS’s gang vocals, catchy choruses, and semi-hardcore breakdowns made for a pretty good pick-me up before ETID were to tear it down.

Photo credit: Michael Caswell

Buffalo’s ETID took the stage around 930pm and instantly had the crowd eating out of their greasy palms.  Rhythm guitarist Andy Williams chugged the intro to “Roman Holiday” on a black Fender Strat, cuing the entrance of vocalist Keith Buckley (and the audience) that proceeded to roar in with his charbroiled screaming. I couldn’t have picked a better opening track—the song is so raw and angry that you can’t help but scream along and pump your fist. The band then proceeded to blast the crowd with quicker follow-ups such as “The Marvelous Slut,” “Wanderlust,” and “Who Invited the Russian Soldier” all from their newest release New Junk Aesthetic. The band would touch on tracks from everything post-Hot Damn! and I was ecstatic to hear each and every one of them.

For ETID, encouraging their fans to stage-dive is a staple for every gig.  Their official invitation to dive came halfway through the set, as the band broke into their new single, “A Quarter Turn of a Revolution.”  Bodies flew off from all parts of the stage—always entertaining to watch.  I chose to fall back in order to avoid being smashed by anyone either too reckless and decides to cannonball off the stage, or is just too big to jump.  I found the Vancouver audience to be a bit more conservative than Monday’s Edmonton crowd, but the amount of fun had by each audience seemed pretty similar.

Guitarists Williams and Jordan Buckley compliment each other as players, but are complete opposites as far as appearances are concerned.  Jordan, the more limber of the two axemen, would climb a top the bass stack during the final breakdown of “No Son Of Mine”, and at times throw himself into the audience, guitar and all.  Williams, a heavily bearded, black-rimmed-glasses-wearing pro wrestler of a man complete with Lady Gaga t-shirt would pace the stage left and right, only to stop and headbang during every breakdown.  Bassist Josh Newton (the seventh bassist in the band’s ten years) did all the backup vocals/screams supporting Keith, all the while slamming away on his left handed P-Bass.  I hope Newton decides to stay on board, as his stage presence is top notch and I can imagine that a solid foundation is just what this band needs in order to improve.

Photo Credit: Michael Caswell

Brand new drummer Ryan “Legs” Leger was a site to watch, as he easily had the toughest job of the evening playing the many different (and subtle yet perfectly placed) time changes brought on by the each song.

He fits in well, and played with total precision and intensity.  He’s also the only Canadian member!  Keith made reference to his citizenship, along with some friendly anti-Canadian Gold-Medal hockey jokes, that worked to slightly annoy the Canadian crowd.

Although I’m a proud Canadian, it makes me laugh so much on how sour a Canadian will get when one messes with his national identity.  Keith often shoved his microphone into the faces of appreciative fans—fans that would rabidly end his verses and choruses on cue.  It was pretty awesome to hear the crowd sing along to older classics like “Bored Stiff,” “Kill the Music,” and especially “The New Black” which is easily the best party anthem in their discography.  I was also impressed on how well his voice held up.  During rare moment of non-screaming,his singing voice was clean—and most importantly—in key.  His post-Gutter Phenomenon vocals sound much better when singing older tracks like “Floater” and “I’ve Been Gone a Long Time,” adding a more updated ETID sound.  It definitely made me appreciate these older songs a lot more.

Photo credit: Michael Caswell

The band closed with “We’rewolf, “For the Record,” and “Ebolarama” to complete a badass one-hour set.  The balls-out attitude, energy, and ability to pull off the great breakdowns/headbangs, are what I enjoy the most about the band but their mixture of fun rock lyrics, great riffage, and badass tri-tonal breakdown squeals always manage to irk that part of my brain that makes me want to get crazy.  It was thoroughly enjoyable and wouldn’t hesitate seeing them again.  ETID covered a good amount of material from their last 4 albums, which would please any longtime fan.  An encore would have been great, but seeing the band twice in one week made the night’s show seem like an encore in itself.

- Metal Muskrat

Photo credit: Michael Caswell

Setlist:

1. Roman Holiday
2. The Marvelous Slut
3. Apocalypse Now & Then
4. No Son Of Mine
5. Wanderlust
6. Who Invited The Russian Soldier
7. The New Black
8. Bored Stiff
9. She’s My Rushmore
10. Kill The Music
11. Quarter Turn Of A Revolution
12. Floater
13. I’ve Been Gone A Long Time
14. Buffalo 666
15. We’rewolf
16. For The Record
17. Ebolorama

Visit these artists online:

Every Time I Die – myspace.com/everytimeidie
Four Year Strong – myspace.com/fouryearstrong

Photos by Michael Caswell @ flickr.com/photos/caswell001/

“Wanderlust” music video

“For The Record” (Party Pooper DVD)

Category : Renegade Rock Review | | Date : April 5, 2010

I had my reservations when I heard the first track of Fang Island’s self-titled debut.  It started out with just synthesizer and I thought to myself, “great, just what I need, more hipsters and their love of synth.”  Fang Island’s sound can be summed up in four words:  “everyone high-fiving everyone.”  Their self-titled debut album may lack most prototypical song elements—continuity, a chorus, and sometimes any verse at all—but nonetheless joyous and catchy.  The album showcases many genres, from the smoothness of classic rock to the choppy edginess of post-punk, all collectively woven together so well that I was simply caught up in how fun it is.

The first track, “Dreams of Dreams,” starts off slow and simple, leading into the much more powerful “Careful Crossers.”  The third track, “Daisy,” is the one that had me sold on the album; it starts off strong and energetic then leads into an Andrew WK-esque epic harmonized guitar riff that continues throughout the track, accompanied by the chanting of “They are all within my reach / They are free.” Would it be cheesy to say that this song is perfect for chasing dreams?  Well, then call me cheesy, because it is.

At one point it may seem that Fang Island are complete deconstructionists, but then the music goes in an altogether different direction with “Treeton,” which sounds like it should belong on a Modest Mouse album.  The majority of the album is pulling and pushing you into every direction imaginable, but the last track, “Dorian” feels like Fang Island has taken everything that has come previously, given it some warm milk, and got it ready for bedtime, because it is incredibly calm and soothing—the perfect way to end an album so intense.

The music is infectious with its heady mix of humour, positive mantras, power chords, and squealing solos that makes Fang Island so unique and wonderful. It is definitely an early contender for what I believe may be one of my favourite albums of this year.

- Jenna “Street Rat” Sailer

out of 5 weasels.

Track Listing:

  1. Dreams of Dreams
  2. Careful Crossers
  3. Daisy (FREE MP3)
  4. Life Coach (FREE MP3)
  5. Sideswiper
  6. The Illinois
  7. Treeton
  8. Davy Crockett
  9. Welcome Wagon
  10. Dorian

Fang Island was released February 23, 2010 on Sargent House

Visit Fang Island online: fangisland.com /  myspace.com/fangisland

“Daisy” music video

“Life Coach” music video

Never trust a street rat. Support the artist and find out for yourself. WestCoastWeasel.com encourages purchasing Fang Island locally at Red Cat Records in Vancouver, B.C, any independent record store of your choice or online here.

Category : Turncoat Turntable | | Date : March 26, 2010