New Music West

Vancouver, BC

May 10 to 13


By A Thread

These ex-Strain and Capone boys put on a heartfelt hardcore performance; with melody, power and emotion the band churned through their set with ease and flawless execution. Unfortunately By A Thread's musical and lyrical depth was either missed or gave audience members brain enemas that caused them to lay about paralysed. -Sean Merril

Capozzi Park

We watched ex-members of Good Horsey and Superconducter stride through a laid-back easygoing indie rock set, giving off a noncommittal and slightly ambivalent attitude. It looked like they couldn't find their swing. The songwriting was unorthodox and stuck within the pop song frame, which made it intriguing, but to be expected, given their background. -Tom Goodwin

Deadman

Jaws dropped around the room when a young man in an undertaker's suit and dobro opened his mouth to play. Ben Harper-inspired finger picking, Oh Susanna-like tales of woe and his own incredibly rich voice made Deadman one of the strongest shows at Music West 2000. –Denise Sheppard

J. Englishman

Awful! He might be able to get passing marks in a grade six poetry class. He was boring and mundane. By sitting through some of his set it makes one appreciate any sincere artist. He played an acoustic solo set that made me think he was trying some sort of a failing interpretation of an Alice in Chains unplugged set. -Tom Goodwin

Gladyss Patches

Although plagued with idiotic stage banter and musical predictability, Gladyss Patches managed to shine at times with their aggro-guitar hardcore rap. But even with a very talented guitarist and nicely executed harmonies, the Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit shtick only goes so far. -Sean Merrill

Gob

These local heroes of goofball punk rock whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their leaping stage performance and slapstick antics. Something has to be said for a band that can play catchy, stupid, punk rock gems and look like they're constipated and hopping around on stage like kabuki dancers at the same time. –Sean Merrill

God Awakens Petrified

Even though this quartet had a couple of skull-hammering songs, the majority of their heavy and loud set consisted of monotonous, never ending songs. What the band lacked in performance and ability, they made up for in looking "hardcore," and professional. Hopefully, they'll realise that 14 cymbals are only necessary if you play them all, and being loud doesn't mean you sound good.
-Sean Merrill


the Gruesomes by Shawn Merrill


The Gruesomes

With guitar hero Bobby Beaton, guitar hero leading their revival, the Gruesomes blasted through "Hey Hey Hey," "The Place Way Down Below," "Bikers From Hell," and at Nardwuar's request, "Nowhere." In an excellent blend of old and new material combined, the Gruesomes performance was a stellar trip down memory lane. -Sean Merrill

Jerk with a Bomb

The most exciting music is usually found down the street and around the corner from what is presented by the industry as the next big thing. Duo Jerk with a Bomb lob aural grenades your way, vocally reminiscent of a less whiny Robert Smith. The stripped down approach leaves nothing lacking, but enhances strong songwriting and street cred that most bands try to buy with a haircut. -Sarah C. Montgomery

Midge

This quartet put in an electrifying, body jolting experience. Each member's intensity and power fed from each other; with their emo-driven aggressive rock, the crowd surged back and forth. When the vocalist began to pound on a separate drum kit, the band's percussion turned into an aural war-zone. -Sean Merill

Mix Master Mike

Made famous by his on-going stint with the Beastie Boys, DJ Mixmaster Mike put on a mediocre performance. Whether he was spinning and mixing, or mixing and spinning, it didn't provide a very exciting visual stimulus. Sure he's talented at what he does, and some of his beats and tricks are stupendous, but one can only hear the words "Mixmaster Mike" mixed into a song so many times. –Sean Merill

Q Bee

A night of female MCs and DJs from all over BC was highlighted by the powerful lungs and intelligent rhymes of MC Matriarch Q Bee. As one of the mothers to a close-knit collective that regularly play around town as "Full Clit," Q Bee's power is equally divided between Lauryn Hill-inspired R&B and her articulate, empowering lyrics. -Denise Sheppard


Real McKenzies by Shawn Merrill


Real McKenzies

What more could you expect than Celtic punk rock, bagpipes, beer and kilt? These lads possess the ability to entertain any crowd and Paul McKenzie's stage banter is always in your face and utterly hilarious. Annihilating such classics as "Scotts Wha'h'ae," "Thistleboy," "My Bonnie" and other traditional Scottish numbers, these wankers in tartan came and conquered. -Sean Merrill

SNFU

Even though lunatic front-man Chi Pig once said, "He's not getting older, he's getting bitter," there was only evidence of SNFU getting better. Armed with a wide array of toys and a repertoire of material from 1984 till now, SNFU were really more of a carnival than just a really good punk band. There's no evidence of SNFU slowing down, or losing their vitality and Chi Pig and crew still have lots of spit, grit, spunk and punk rock left in them. -Sean Merrill

Supreme Beings of Leisure

They set the course for sweet sliding rhythms and mid-tempo grooves while fronted by an alluring and captivating lead vocalist. They orbited around a core of Indian-influenced psychedelic melodies, similar to Cornershop. This was driven by constant sample playing (mainly of sitar) and then trailed by guitars and flowing percussion. –Tom Goodwin

Vancouver Nights

The Vancouver Nights are made up of familiar faces from other Vancouver outfits such as Destroyer and the Evaporators. (They're moonlighting, get it?) Fronted by Sara Lapsley on organ and strutted through endearing pop songs in the indie vein. Her vocal pipes were fragile and melted into the music without really standing out. -Tom Goodwin