Music Review :: The Contortionist — Language

No, this is not a classic review, as I often do. Today, I want to bring light to one of the most interesting albums to come out in the last 10 years.

Language is a beautiful album. It contains playful guitar lines, crushing bass, deft drums, etherial keyboards, and one of the most magical juxtapositions of vocals you will ever find.

Actually; let’s start the review with the vocals, for once. The singer has one of the most angelic voices you will find in music, let alone metal. When he sings, it is with one of the most pure tones you will ever find. He hits the notes with clarity only found in top-40’s pop, and he maintains notes for a substantial amount of time. Not since Tool have I found a more talented singer.

Where he gets very interesting is now he switches (at times, in a bar) from the voice of an angel to a daemon. His growl is brutal, Earth-shattering, and chill-inducing. What is beautiful about this album is that he never sticks to one style for too long. In fact, you do not even hear the growl until almost two minutes into track two.

Language part two (track three) opens with one of the most interest flows. The time signatures make little sense if you do not count them actively. The kind of chaos continues for the first minute, then moves into a sort of lull, where the focus seems to be places more the strings than anything else. Near the two minute point until the vocals kick back in, and singing does not return for another 30 or so seconds.

Okay, let’s go back to what I consider to be the most important part of most bands: the drums.

Not only is this possibly my favourite drummer in modern music, the choices he makes in relation to the music is perfect. It truly feels like the drums are another instrument, unlike other pieces where the drums feel like they are there because that’s what has to happen. Think Danny Carey meets Chris Pennie*, and you get a kind of feel for what he’s doing here. Ghost hits and polyrhythms litter the entirety of this album. I have listened to this collection for about a year at this point, and I am STILL discovering parts that I previously missed.

Why do I bring this now? I bring this album to the attention of those who care because this is what the new Tool album should have been more like. 12 years working towards releasing a spiritual rehash? I love Tool. In fact, until recently, they were my favourite band. The long waits, couple with the underwhelming releases that come at the end of the long waits, really ground my admiration with the band to the quick. Do I hate them? Far from. This sort of revelation just implies that I am going to be very critical of everything that they do moving forward.

*Danny Cary and Chris Pennie are Tool and The Dillinger Escape Plan respectively. This comparison will anger some, but I feel that it is just. Have a better comparison? Let me know.

Advertise videos?

I am a stats whore. I love to watch numbers move.

With that said, I get discouraged easily when I don’t move from where I think I should be.


I posted the re-master of the drum video I shared the other month a week ago, and it has a tenth of the hits. I stared at the page, trying to figure out why I didn’t have even a quarter of the views on it then I had on the poor quality one.

Then, after not ten minutes of looking, I remembered that I forgot to post the update was even available on this page. So, no one even knows that it exists!

That’s where I am at now. That is the point of this update! I POSTED A BETTER VERSION OF ME DRUMMING! Well, better sounding. It still cuts off awkwardly, and still looks like hell, BUT IT SOUNDS BETTER!

Also, I did a music video for a demo Hannah (my old guitar player) recorded the other day. You should check that out.

Classic Album Review :: 65daysofstatic — The Fall Of Math

I would like to start this post with an apology:
I know that I have been doing a fair number of album reviews, but they are fun and easy to put together! That, and I hope that someone somewhere is taking the time to actually look into some of the albums I highlight. Art is important, and music is my heroin. Some people find peace in things, quiet, reading, playing music, video games, building computers…

…I find my peace in listening to music. I get too involved in the industry side when I am in a band, and I forget sometimes to just enjoy the realm that I am in. So, that is why I write these. Not only do I get to listen to some of my favourite albums, but recommend them to someone, ANYONE, who has never listened to them before.

NOW THAT I HAVE SAID I’M SORRY, this album is the start of something amazing. 65daysofstatic was my introduction to the world of instrumental music beyond the occasional track. They are not the only ones I listen to now, but they are still in a minority for me. Even bands like ‘Do, Make, Say, Think’ delve into vocals now and then. If you ignore the bands that are rock based, there are very few who have no vocals what-so-ever.

Why do I recommend them over the other bands doing the same thing? They keep things interesting with surprising dynamics, frantic drum machines, and some of the best musicianship I have ever heard.

Mogwai is in the category: bands with no vocals. Mogwai never appealed to me because I felt either over or underwhelmed at all times. Maybe it was just the album I listened to, but every song had one volume for the entire piece. 65daysofstatic, meanwhile, keep things engaging. For a fantastic (yet extreme) example, look at the title song “The Fall Of Math.” This song goes from literal classical to ear piercing intensity in moments. The best part is how it NEVER stays in one decibel for too long.

I am not a fan of drum machines, usually. I find they are used as a crutch at times, or far too often at others. 65daysofstatic use them as another instrument. I can almost hear the eye rolls, but hear me out! By using them as an instrument, I am implying that often drum machines are used to fill out or are used instead of percussion. 65daysofstatic use drum machines to create a kind of soundscape that their music is based around. This, in conjunction with acoustic drums, creates an industrial sound reminiscent of ’80s bands like Throbbing Gristle or early Nine Inch Nails, where the percussion is used to create atmosphere and emotion. The song “Retreat! Retreat!” comes to mind because it is by far the most organic drum-wise on the whole album. There is still the use of a drum machine, but it is used almost exclusively to create a mood. They explore this palette more on later albums, but this album demonstrates exactly what they are going to be growing into in the coming years.

I will admit: this is not my favourite album by this band. It is VERY good, and the aforementioned “Retreat! Retreat!” stands as one of my favourite songs of all time. They still use swells and white-noise on this album to great effect. The intro is a prime example of what I am getting at. In fact, the first three songs are the best introduction to a band I have found. The album opens with sound clips and static chopped into a grinding beat, the second song had beautiful piano and guitar swells, then a driving bass comes in like an omen of what is coming. Then, it doesn’t. For the first 4 minutes of the album, there is no hint of the absolute beast that is about to be unleashed onto the world.

It is very tempting to do a play-by-play of the album. The emotional peaks and valleys hit in each passing bar is noteworthy and poignant. I could actually see someone forgetting there are no vocals, if only because there are so many other things to listen to.

I went on enough about it already, so I might as well post the video.

Oh, if you’re looking for something to hurt every part of the musician in you, try to count “I Swallowed Hard, Like I Understood” without listening to much more than the first minute.

~”New” Video

The other day my parents sent me a rather unnerving question. They had found an old video recorder, it was full, but had one video. There was no further information than that.

I was not a bad kid. I would not have recorded anything damning. Not usually, anyway. Still, my blood ran cold at the thought of what I found interesting enough to record.

Turns out, it was me drumming for just over three minuets.

It didn’t suck.

I use the quotations to emphasize the video is new TO THE INTERNET! It was recorded several years ago, and it cuts off randomly. Sound quality is shit, but I was near the top of what I could do musically. Judging by the recording and how it randomly cuts off, I think the really impressive stuff was played just after the end. That does not excuse that the video is still kind of neat, and contains a being not massively explored.

Give it a watch! Let me know what you think.

Just a reminder that Martha comes out on Friday. I am super proud of it, and excited to see what everyone thinks. This also means there will not be a “plain text.” update on Sunday, but I will return the week after with more information and, hopefully, Good News!

You have not HEARD?

I have not done a music spotlight since the beginning of April. I find that strange because music plays such an important roll in my life, and has since I was a young child. So, for today, I am going to direct your attention to a few albums you really need to listen to that there is a good chance the majority of people have never even heard before.

Kill the Lights — Buffalo Of Love
Band from Montreal, Quebec. Very reminiscent of the indi sound of the early 2000’s including a singer who can’t-sing-but-does-anyway-and-no-one-else-should. This album has some of the fastest drumming I have heard outside of metal. I saw them open for the Constantines a few years ago. At that show, the keyboard player did an awkward chicken dance through most of the set — it was awesome/awkward. Did I mention that it was awkward? Does not change the fact that this is one of the best albums with this sound I have ever heard.

Really unfortunate: I cannot find any music anywhere on the internet. However, it is on Spotify, but I hate that site.

June — If You Speak Any Faster
I hate that I love this album. It is in the same veign as Taking Back Sunday’s Louder Now, but less epic and awesome. (sell it better, Jay. Come on) I love this album. It does have it’s low points, but it starts  perfectly. Dueling vocals, playful guitars, and powerful drums. The best part is that it is fun to sing with.

The Junction — ST
I really enjoy the contrast between this and the EP. Half the EP is somewhere on this album, but the songs are SO much darker. It’s just so damned interesting what they changed and what they kept. The first song is nothing but an assault on the ears (in the best way) and it never lets up until the end. Remember Love is so delicate compared to most of the album, but that does not make it less amazing.

The Last Shadow Puppets — The Age of the Understatement
Singer from The Arctic Monkeys, and I find this project so much better. Think Spaghetti-Western but rock. So good.

Pretty Girls Make Graves — Elan Vital
This was a random album that a co-worker threw into the player one day. The result was both he and I scrambling by the end to purchase it before the other. It is haunting, beautiful, complicated… Yeah. I was very tempted to put this on my list from a month ago, but it just lacks the emotional attachment to my life.

Quicksand — Slip
It actually offends me that more people do not know of this album. Yes: I admit that he cannot sing. However, the influence this sound has had on music is massive. This album does it better than every other in my opinion. The fact that his voice is so terrible adds to everything. Again, so close to my list, but not quite.

Samaris — ST
I went to Iceland on the one week where there was no live music. To make myself feel better, I walked into a record store and picked up a random album by a band that I have never heard of. What I got was one of the darkest and beautiful albums I have ever heard. Who knew that you could combine clarinet and electronica so well?

A Silver Mt. Zion — Kollaps Tradixionales
(Probably one of the coolest songs once it gets going. Really watch at the 3:06 mark)
Montreal: you slay me. That city has produced more music that I am obsessed with than anywhere else. I probably should have put “Godspeed You, Black Emperor!” instead of this band. What I find so amazing about this album is that it maintains being equal parts punk and folk.

Stars — Set Yourself On Fire
I hate this band. They put on one of the worst live shows I have ever seen. I say that, but I have never heard such an evocative set of lyrics matched with beautiful music before I heard this album No matter how I try, I cannot top it. Everything in me just has to love an album that open with “when there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.”

Stills — Logic Will Break Your Heart


Full of atmosphere, brilliant lyrics, beautiful tones. There are few albums that I will ever describe as essential for any reason, but I honestly feel like this album is essential for anyone looking for an ironically-dark journey into a depressing-but-funny world. As simple as they are, the drums on this album are what kill me. There is nothing overly interesting about them on the entire recording, but they are mixed to a cathedral level of amazing that is amazing and amazing amazing amazing.

Ikara Cult — Basic Instructions
It took me WAY too long to remember how to spell this band’s name without looking it up.
This song defines punk to me: it’s so fast! I have been trying for years to move my arms as fast as this drummer. I have never succeeded. I’m not here to talk about the drums, this time. It amazes/hurts me how few people know this band. This was the first song I heard by them, and still remains my favourite by this group. The only song that got close to making me change my mind was OneNote, which is similar in how quick it is (and also remains a more-traditional punk sound).

Really, this band is what drove me to make this list. Like I said, I honestly do find it astounding how few people know of this British troupe. If I have sold you on them, get the EPs first. The album is good, but is missing the intensity that comes with the EPs.

A week later, and I have thought of 302130583405914 more bands to share. If there is interest, I will do another list of greats that you need to check out.

Classic Album Review :: Sloan — Navy Blues

I feel like I need to remind society, as a whole, about this fantastic Canadian gem. Navy Blues was Sloans fourth album and, in my mind anyway, their most amazing release to date.

The year was 1998. The landscape in the music world was dark and brooding. Refused was asking to get the airwaves back, and Matthew Good Band was slaying society by reminding ourselves how bleak and pointless everything was. It actually remains one of, if not my personal favourite periods in music. Korn was still worthy of respect, Meshuggah was being ridiculous, and The Dillinger Escape Plan followed up to a very technical introduction with one of the most complicated (sonically) albums ever released.

Through all the brooding, doom, and technical insanity, Sloan released a throwback.. Navy Blues is The Beatles in the nineties, but with more coherent lyrics. I will not sugar-coat it: this is a pop album. It stays on my radar by having some of the most interesting and simple drumming I have ever heard.

Between tight harmonies, catchy hooks, and a driving beat, this album continues to bring nothing shy of a smile to my face.

Maybe it is because it is cute and simple that I love it so much. When you have such a fantastic year of really complicated albums coming out, the pop throwback not only stands alone but is more appreciated for not pretending it’s something it’s not.

I won’t bullshit music fans: listen to the album, but realize that it’s not for everyone. Stated again: it is a pop album. It is great to listen to when cruising in a car on a summer day with windows down.

My recommendation is watch the horribly arrogant and hilarious music video I have provided.

Incase you haven’t noticed: I really don’t know what to write about. I felt like bringing this album to light because I feel like it is forgotten in the shuffle. I used to write a fuck-tonne of reviews and highlights like this (only more arrogant) a few years ago. Leave a like if you think I should do more. It’s fun!
Also, I do Canadian Independent Punk reviews over on Mind The Music T.O. most Mondays.

I will have something next week that isn’t just a review. I wanted to do this (it’s been in my head a while).


& You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead — ST
(Not their best, but it does mark the beginning of something great)
Board of Canada — Music Has the Right To Children
(Ambience arguably at its best)
Bran Van 3000 — Glee
(Canadian dance weirdness)

I cannot continue this list. I have 33 different albums that I would have to talk about.
You get the idea.


Hahaha yeah. I am posting about being at post 100 on post 100. I have never made it to a goal in my life. My book was not even 100 pages long.

I have gotten no feedback on what to do for this occasion.

I was just involved in an interview that, if all goes well, will be accessible by the time this posts. It will, for sure, be on a Rogers channel very soon. As soon as I know when, I will make sure to let you know when and where.

It should involve me reading the beginning of my book (probably too fast) and things like that always make me nervous. I played drums, I wrote a book, and I was never one for speaking: whether public or otherwise.

Regardless of my hang-ups and self-discrimination; I am excited for it to happen and even more so for you all to watch it.

Goals and Goals and Goals and…

I should probably talk about school.

I got accepted to Mohawk College back in March. I did not tell them about my disability before my acceptance because I was afraid to get accepted for unfair reasons. I will need to stay in residence for at least my first year, due to not being physically fit. It really does work out pretty well: Hamilton is just a bit too far to commute to if I could.

I am going to be enrolled in the Urban Development course. My end goal is to work on accessibility in as much of Ontario as possible. I have come across some horrible situations of “accessible” over the last two years, so I want to voice my opinions, and correct what I can.

Even if I am no longer in the wheelchair, I want to advocate for that community.

My biggest fear? To not be well enough to continue. I believe I will be, however. I have made it though everything else so far. I have one more major surgery that I am really far from excited for, but it’s all just recovery after that.


I just recived the Joubin/Selig Scholarship and I am beside myself with excitement. I would like to thank everyone who has pushed me towards this event. I will not let you down.