Gloin (Toronto, ON)
This Toronto psychedelic noise quintet has a cultish personality to complement their dizzying and hallucinatory sound of fuzz, warbled reverb, and heavy walls of distortion. Their recent album, We Found This (Mothland), is like an invitation into a parallel universe, a cross between a Lynchian nightmare of optical illusions that stalk you or shaking hands with a cosmic entity that enjoys laughing at your confusion. The band’s live show is a different beast; backed by a thick layer of fog, strobe lights, and thunderous instrumentation. No doubt inspired by the chaotic live performances of New York’s A Place To Bury Strangers who the band has opened for, Gloin’s live show and studio work are both impressionable.
Piss For Pumpkin (Montreal, QC)
Piss For Pumpkin is a new punk trio that has carved out a niche for themselves with a fresh combination of slow-burn post-punk and spooky experimental lo-fi noise. Their new album, Scared to Die, sounds like it was recorded on a moving train or inside a dusty shoebox but it’s very much alive. Annie Macleod’s vocals switch from banshee-like screams on “Citronella,” to poetic Patti Smith-inspired croons on “Son Of Ugly.” The crunchy bass tones and driving rhythm section pummel their way through an all ages mosh pit with the absence of guitar barely felt. It’s safe to say that we will be watching Piss For Pumpkin’s trajectory and asking every punk we see when their next show is going to be.
danes (Vancouver, BC)
This three-piece from Vancouver clearly has some built up resentment for the modern world on their newest EP, Dislocation. Their chaotic mix of post-hardcore and noisy improv is dripping with early Kill Rock Stars/Dischord Records enthusiasm with their frenetic guitars, grating bass, heavy drums, and hoarse vocals. While a housing crisis rages on in Vancouver, many artists face the constant threat of being evicted from jam spaces, or even their homes for that matter. This is where danes’ energetic dirge rock comes from — working class uncertainty. Read our interview with danes for more on where they came from.
Century Egg (Halifax, NS)
It’s hard to pigeonhole Century Egg’s diverse blend of post-punk, DIY pop, and garage rock. The lyrics are usually positive and run the gamut of topics including staying true to yourself or the glory of food, but every now and then darker themes of depression rear their head. Their recent single “Mirror” explores brave new sounds for the band as the Mandarin-sung vocals offer a hypnotic effect. Mandarin also just sounds so good with a distorted garage guitar backdrop and we want more.
Witch Victim (Calgary, AB)
Witch Victim at times sound like they’re from the mid-2000s when the jammier side of art rock was taking over, but they also add in the 80s post-punk attitude of bands like The Cure or The Fall. They could be called the most groove-oriented group on this list, with jumpy guitar lines, cloaked vocals, and coldwave distortion. Unfortunately, they only have a few singles out, like “Setting Sun,” and “Light Leaks” from various periods of 2020, but it sounds like they’re hard at work on a full album.