Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Top 10 Canadian Bands Who Rock!

This post by Mike Sheridan at Crammit Hall concerning I (heart) music's latest poll results got me thinking about what my own choices would have been had I submitted any. Last time Matthew ran a poll I was involved in, I was left with the impression that my Top 10 leaned more heavily toward loud guitars than most other submitters. Since a respectable survey of independent music can be found at the aforementioned blog, I am going to name my own one-person survey of: The Top 10 Canadian Bands Who @#$!%ing Rock! (I shortened it in the post title because I couldn't fit in @#$!%ing - there's the story of my life right there ...) These folks are the 10-hardest rockin' outfits in Canada, with two disqualifications: I'm leaving out locals and ex-locals, because my homeboy bias would just leave me with nine local bands and Mississippi Grover- I'll save that list for another day. So here they are! (In no particular order - I just numbered them because it's easier than keeping track by counting on my fingers.) And yes, this is another lame excuse to hunt through my back catalogue.

1. White Cowbell Oklahoma: Some folks'll turn their nose up at a four-guitar boogie rock army of pretend Southerners. But then there's Andrew, the slack-jawed blogger.

2. Black Mountain: Perhaps "rock" is the wrong word for Black Mountain's fuzzed out melancholy drone, but listen to them long enough and you'll be too stoned to care.

3. Priestess: Montreal produces a bucketload of killer rock outfits; Priestess have killed every time I've seen them, be it as headliners at massive Babylon and Dominion shows, or opening for heavyweights like Motorhead at Capital Music Hall.

4. Hot Springs: The Springs may slide a lot more pop into their sound than the other folks on this list, but thanks to Giselle Webber's onstage antics and some loud guitars they're more than deserving.

5. Brutal Knights: Idiot savant lyrics and raging motorcore from these Teen Crud Combo and Hacksaw veterans.

6. Les Breastfeeders: I'm glad to hear these guys are coming back to Ottawa as part of the NAC's Quebec Scene show. When they played The Dominion with the mighty Le Nombre it was one of the hardest one-two rock'n'roll punches in memory. Three guitars (one of them weilded by the amazing Sunny Duval) and a dancing percussionist add up to a mighty mambo of garage destruction. Incidentally, those wondering why Le Nombre didn't make the list, I understand there have been lineup changes, so I shall reserve judgment until I witness the revamped band.

7. Tricky Woo: I've seen these guys in various permutations, and I think it's fair to say that the current lineup is the hardest (I won't say best, though it's certainly arguable).

8. C'mon: Would probably qualify just for Ian Blurton's beard and Katie Lynn Campbell's hair, but rock so much they'd be on this list even if they were completely bald.

9. Whitey Houston: Two guys and no guitars, so how do they qualify? Answer: Big fur hat.

10. Bloodshot Bill: Almost disqualified for just being one guy, but since he packs the hair grease of a 40-piece orchestra we'll allow it.

Well there you have it. I know I'm going to catch hell for not putting Bionic (never much liked 'em), Shikasta (too long since I've seen 'em to pretend to give an informed opinion), The Heelwalkers (ditto ... are they even still together?), The Subhumans (I'm lookin' at you, Ken!), The Illuminati (dang I forgot about them until now - too late!). Other folks I could have mentioned: sHeavy, Floating Widget, Deadly Snakes (yes, they've broken up, but that didn't stop me from naming The Golden Famile in my last Top 10), Aversions, Iron Giant, Diablo Red, The Sadies ... and on and on and on.

1 comment:

matthew said...

I'm really sorry I forgot to ask you to participate for this! I need to get your e-mail address from you at some point, so that I can contact you via that...

Anyway, a few thoughts:
1) Priestess are one of those bands who seem like they should be a lot bigger than they are, and I don't know why Canada hasn't picked up on them yet. Also, they should win this for sheer loudness...the one time I saw them (at the Horseshoe in Toronto), I was literally almost knocked over by their volume. Plus their album is pretty good (As I on my blog awhile back!).

2) The Deadly Snakes? I was, unfortunately, never able to see them live, but they don't strike me as a particularly heavy band...then again, you did say this was rocking and not out-heavying, so I guess that makes sense.

3) It's unfortunate there aren't more bloggers who like hard rock and punk. The music blogosphere could definitely use more people who listen to that kind of music, so I'm glad that, at the very least, there's you. I really disagree with what Sheridan says -- that it's all bad singing and dance-punk -- because that doesn't describe bands like Final Fantasy, Sunset Rubdown or Destroyer at all, and they all had really good years (and that showed on the poll results)...