Published Jan 31, 20111. White Lung It's the Evil (Deranged)
Being a fan of Patti Smith, I was delighted to listen to this album for the first time. I mention that particular punk rock artist because I noticed a striking similarity between lead vocalist Mish Way's raw, energetic vocal delivery and that of Patti Smith. That is not to say that they are the same, but quite similar, perhaps Smith may have influenced Way's style. The rest of the group can only be described as the result of a car crash between the Stooges and Black Flag. The bass and guitar work is simple, as it should be, and is not overdone like that of so many other groups. In other words, it is refreshing to hear White Lung's stripped down music. Both instruments sit well against the driving force of Anne-Marie Vassiliou's drums. White Lung as a whole understand that simple arrangements can have more meaning than complex ones. To make things better, they are Canadian. This makes me wonder if they could be at the forefront of something big. It certainly feels that way.
Mohammed Malik, Windsor ON
I grew up listening to Misfits, Rancid, Sex Pistols, Ramones and such... with the whole pop punk scene I was disappointed and thought that wave would drowned that old invigorating energy and rebelliousness. Thanks to Exclaim! I got to hear about White Lung. I can't get over the bass in the "Atlanta" track, it's simple but that's exactly the sound, that picked distorted-ish bass line that moves me.
Christopher Whelan, White Rock BC
Absolutely punishing and solid.
Jason Wellwood, Thunder Bay ON
2. Flatliners Cavalcade (Fat Wreck)
Probably the best album to come out of a Canadian punk band in a very long time
Willis Porter, Kitchener ON
Cavalcade reminds me of 1994: skate parks and trouble. Skate punk has really taken a back seat to other punk genres as of late, this album shows it's still alive and kicking ass.
Michelle Schnob, Toronto ON
This album is solid in both its musicianship as well as lyrical content. It shows these talented and local musicians have firmly planted themselves within the genre and are here to stay. While every album might take on a new change and sign of maturity, these boys will forever tear it up on stage.
Matt Seaborn, Toronto ON
3. Bad Religion The Dissent of Man (Epitaph)
Given their lengthy tenure in the scene and their well-established signature sound, the best thing that Bad Religion can do these days is satisfy. Which is exactly what they do on The Dissent Of Man. Thought-provoking lyrics and solos that sound just as fresh and awesome as they did on Suffer make this the best Bad Religion album since No Control, and one of the best of the year.
Justin Gruchy, Oshawa ON
Old band, but pleasant as the first day.
Catherine Brulotte, Sorel-Tracy QC
4. Gaslight Anthem American Slang (Side One Dummy)
This album and this band is everything the music world had been missing since the '80s. They have revitalized the way punk rock and blues can coexist.
Eric Scharf, Ottawa ON
On American Slang, the Gaslight Anthem are finally displaying their true selves to the world, paying homage to their influences but not hiding behind them. American Slang sees them creating an identity of their own. There's stronger musicianship, more memorable rhythms and varied tempos. Fallon's voice has grown too. It still has that blue-collar gruffness to it that helped characterize the band, but there's a quivering vulnerability in it that makes his words ring true. All in all, the Gaslight Anthem have stepped up their game once again, staying consistent without reproducing the same album again and again.
Bobby Gorman, Sherwood Park AB
5. Burning Love Songs For Burning Lovers (Deranged)
It's both amazing and mind-boggling that you can still see Burning Love, one of the best new punk bands to come from Canada this year, in a tiny, albeit packed, venue. This band is a burning reminder that punk has never lost its importance nor its urgency.
Chris Morin, Montreal QC
These guys are my favourite Toronto band. Listening to their music (live or otherwise) always makes me feel like I've just chugged three energy drinks, thrown back a shot of whiskey, and then am promptly punched in the face.
Jalene Johnstone, Kincardine ON