Classic Album Review :: The Beastie Boys — Ill Communication

I love this album, but it is so hard to write about.

As a punk album, it is a fantastic mix of everything possible in the genre. Especially the old hardcore scene from Chicago and New York that was breaking up around the time of the albums release back in ’94. The do not do the scream/squeal that so many bands from that scene did. Instead, the vocalist on those tracks tends to just yell into the mic as hard as he can. The lyrics are non-sense, the tracks are hard hitting, and strangely well composed.


It is, by far, my favourite song on the album. Smooth, brilliantly orchestrated, calmly delivered, and contains the most interesting loops found in hip-hop at the time. Featuring Q-Tip throughout the entire track. Feels very different from modern mainstream hip-hop where the guest has a verse. It was clear he was in the studio when this track was cut.

And then, you have the almost-funk interludes. The three members of the band were actually brilliant musicians who just happened to find an audience in hip-hop.

Everyone rants and raves about Paul’s Boutique or Hot Sauce Committee as being their most brilliant album, but I will contend that this is gravely underrated. It holds my credit as being one of the greatest albums of the ’90s, and arguably one of the greatest the Beasties ever released.

As previously mentioned, Get It Together is my favourite song on the album. To ignore the rest, however, is a mild travesty. Get your hands on this gem and love every track.

Found Footage

Filmed by
Allastair Keddy

The bass player in this footage came over today. I have seen him once since I got out of hospital, and that was two years ago. It was nice to see him. He filled me in that this exists. Minus the sound quality, it is actually decent footage of this show.

The premiss was that we had to cover a band that influence us. I was never a huge Underoath fan, especially no the album these songs are from, but I was concede the fact that they were a huge musical influence on what we did.

The last song was original.

I hope you enjoy!

Halloween: why it matters

I’m going to start this article by saying that “A Nightmare Before Christmas” is overrated. I think the movie itself is perfectly fine, but I can barely calculate how many of my peers seem to think that it is the perfect example of a Halloween movie. IT’S A CHRISTMAS MOVIE.


I am not vocal enough about holidays. I worked retail for far too long and now I hate most, if not all, important days of the year. I do have a soft-spot for Halloween, however. Even if, by definition, it is not a holiday.

I consider it a far better marker for the season. To me, a perfect fall day is met with pumpkins and candle light. To slot those into one day seems petty, but I fully understand why it happens.

To have pumpkin shit available all year would cheapen the experience. The charm of late-October being inundated by Jack-O-Lanterns is quite novel. As far as the rest of the “Spooky” stuff, I never understood why it was given its own day. Skeletons and spiders and demons are a daily occurrence in the metal/punk scene, and to designate a day where it becomes “mainstream” seems counter-counterculture.

With the prior rant out of the way, I want to state that I have nothing against Halloween. I think that it’s perfectly fine and, fine. I don’t understand the fan-fare, but whatever.

Classic Album Review :: Circa Survive — Juturna

I find this album very hard to write about simply because I think that it is very close to perfect. It contains the very definition of musical genius while still remaining absolutely beautiful. Somehow, it defies stereotypical constraints of music cliché’s while staying completely attainable and comfortable.

Listening again to write this review, there is no recognizable hook minus flourishes on guitar. The melody is carried by the intense and soulful vocals, and the driving bass carrying any semblance of continuity. Even the drums, while they do carry a constant beat that does tend to repeat from time to time, define syncopation as they flit from time signature to time signature with a deft hand.

Let’s go back to the vocals for a moment. Anthony Green has a range matched by few. His voice is high. I am challenged to find many with his range. Somehow, it strays from being squeaky or overbearing. “The Glorious Nosebleed“, which is also my favourite song on the album, showcases his possible range beautifully. Though he never gets very low, the jumps in what he can hit are incredible. Especially from the 2:00 mark to the end.

Really, this album and the one subsequent (On Letting Go) I declare as my personal picks. Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s just the absolute shock that a band like this existed when they did, I will always love them.


Have You Not HEARD? Metal Edition

I pretty much started writing this as soon as the last was posted. I am no fool: I know metal is not everyones cup-of-tea, but it contains some of the best musicianship you will ever hear. Some of these albums have warped my mind for years, and those I just found “recently” will warp my mind for many to come.

I will warn you: some of these albums are very-much not metal. The main intent of this list is to point to albums that, I think, should be acknowledge by the community.

Invent, Animate :: Everchanger
An example of one I found recently, this band blows my mind every time I listen to them. Aggressive, beautiful, fast and complicated. If you do not have this album, rectify that instantly. NOTE TO DRUMMERS: The fuck…? People can do that?
The link in the band name is the first track on the album Everchanger called Sol. It is a song that gets in my head, and stays there for days.

Structures :: All of the Above [EP]
You may notice a trend in the metal albums I recommend: they all have ridiculous drumming and general song structure. This EP is no different. I will confess, I have not listened to their full length that came out a few years ago. The vocals are a bit trying, but any musician can appreciate what they do on this.

Straight Reads the Line :: The Author
What does this album do differently than most? It has amazing lyrics and incredible dynamics. I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with these boys many times, I must say they NEVER disappoint.

Sleigh Bells :: Treats
I can almost hear the cries of disbelief. Yes, I put a pop band on this list, but SERIOUSLY: listen to this album. It is the guitar player from Poison the Well and is so barely pop. The only thing that keeps it in that category is the use of a drum machine and the style of vocals.

Melt-Banana :: Bambi’s Dillema
The best way to describe this album is “What?” quickly followed by smashing someone’s head into a concrete wall. This album is the definition of ridiculous.

Hail The Sun :: Wake
Shown to me by the beautiful Stephen Correa, this album hurts me in all the right ways. Think Circa Survive, but more complicated. Seriously, the drums on this album are damned near impossible to follow, yet make perfect sense.
BONUS POINTS! The drummer is the lead singer! You can find some live videos online.

Buried Inside :: Chronoclast: Selected Essays On Times Reckoning and Auto-Cannabalism
Seriously, with a name that unnecessary, you know the album will be amazing.
This album is unfair with how fast it is at points. From Canada, this band broke up in 2010. I cannot decide if it is too bad they broke up because they could have done amazing things for metal or fantastic because now this album will not be corrupted. With that said, I do have their other two albums. They are good, but not this good. Seriously: how do people’s minds work this fast?

Counterparts :: Prophets
I can hear eyes rolling from friends of mine. I played with this band several times back around the release of this album in 2010. It’s fast, angry, and beautiful. I personally loved the guys in this band, and felt that they always put on a fantastic live show. This band contained, at one time, one of my favourite drummers in the punk/metal/hardcore scene in Ontario.

The Contortionist :: Language
Funny story: I discovered this band about two years before writing this. I had only heard this album up until a month ago. I only like their sound on this album. That is NOT to say that I don’t hear the talent on their prior recordings, but I am a huge fan of the band Tool: this album shares a lot with Tool’s Lateralus album, which was my favourite album up until a couple of years ago. Combine that with my inability to comprehend some of the writing behind the progressions and you have a recipe for me to love every minute of this album.

The End :: Within Dividia
I harp to my friends about this album all of the time. Not prior to this recording, nor after, have I found something more complicated. More visceral. More amazing.
Definitely for fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan, but much less punk. The drummer is nothing shy of a beast. I got the pleasure of seeing this band on a tour for the album after this one, which was much different, but the event was more like a religious experience as opposed to a concert.

Well, that was fun! My attention has been less on metal as of late, so nothing here is very new. I hope you found something new that you love.


I have always enjoyed Punk (the subculture) through the lens of an outsider. I barely listened to conventional punk music, I had a mohawk out of convenience more than a statement, and I have always carried my political views close to my heart but out of the ears of others.

Why do I mention political views? The punk scene has a large history of standing up to social issues and government rules.

The mohawk was fantastic, but I never wanted attention for it. I never wear the damned thing up, choosing to go with more of a combover look. The best part is that I can do it myself opting out of going to a salon or to a professional. My fiancé hates it. I tend to get hair all over the bathroom and I never seem to clean it well enough, if I do at all. The ‘hawk was paired with the 15 piercings I had at one time. I did all of this, but I recoiled in fear every time someone drew attention to it. I felt like a poser: I did not think of the statements that were attached to what I was doing but given the chance, I would do it all again.

I say “conventional punk music”, but I use the term lightly. Some would argue that there is a specific sound/mood to what punk should be. That (somewhat ironically) goes in the face of what punk is and stands for.

Looking at what punk used to be, it was a generation of people who couldn’t play their instruments protesting in broken song against the established mainstays of the music industry. It picked up momentum in the ’70s and ’80s, and broke into several sub-genres. In the ’70s, you had bands like The Clash and Exrospecs thrashing their instruments, and their voices. The ’80s saw the rise of Deathrock, Goth, and New Wave. All very different, all having a mainstream band for introductions for the masses.

Pop-punk in the early ’90s brought bands like Green Day, Offspring and Blink 182 into a revival of the punk feel. The message was kind of gone, but the formula of the writing was refined. The underground landscape changed and became both more complicated and more mainstream as time went on. With bands like Propagandhi and Choke carrying the Canadian scene, while NOFX concocted their own sound.

The 2000’s were both interesting and depressing. The Emo sound started to reign king and Pop-punk became more Pop than Punk. Not to be outdone by their more commercial counterparts, Skate Punk poked its head up around this time being fuelled by the video game market. ‘Screamo’ started to become more mainstream, as well: even though it really got it’s huge push by “The Shape Of Punk To Come” by Refused in 1999 and bands like Quicksand in the early ’90s.

This is roughly where I came in. I was never a huge punk fan until about 2007, and my “poison” was the atmosphere of Emo with the edge of Screamo. Bands like Farewell to Freeway and Caulfield in the underground paved the way for my love of Alexisonfire and The Reason (who was my first show around the release of Ravenna).

The explosion of acoustic instruments being used and abused in modern punk excites me to no end. There is also no-end to the labels that have been applied. One thing remains constant, however: punk is a protest with no clear goal. Some are ‘punk’ to rebel against social, political, and institution views. Others are just rebelling the state of music in todays mainstream. Regardless, the one thing I have learned from punk is love each other and respect each other.

Fashion. I fucking hate that people hold it in such regard. Is there a Punk fashion? I guess, but it really just comes down to “wear what you want” most of the time.

I should probably state that I have no research put into this. That is probably clear.

I put the question of “..what does punk mean to you?” to FaceBook out of curiosity what people would say. If you follow me, I recommend reading what others have put. A couple of people just listed bands, which is always awesome, but Linda M. put a fantastic personal account of the classic Punk Scene and how everything used to be.

Also, Kyle W. put a fantastic definition up as well. Read those.

Actually, if either one of them are okay, I would like to post the comments on here in either a comment or as an edit. Let me know.


I have been getting back into music the way I used to. Finding new music that expands my horizons, researching things that do not really matter, and writing a copious amount for those who care to listen/read.

I have been working for the last year and a half with Mind the Music TO writing reviews and editing HTML. It has been very cathartic and entertaining. If you like my writing at all, you should look into my reviews. I try to post something once a week on Monday’s, but I have had a bit of a snag recently.

Regardless, enjoy! Hopefully really interesting news will appear here soon.


I just jumped onboard something awesome.

My friend Katie started writing a blog on a different website (with terrible html syntax), so I offered to do what I could to help her progression. Her vision for the new site has been fantastic so far and I am excited to keep it going and keep it clean.

She goes to a lot of concerts, so she started reviewing them. That, in combination with her fantastic photos, is the bulk of the articles. She plans to continue to expand and evolve what she is doing to encompass reviews in the very near future.

I urge you to give it a look, especially if you are either in or into punk music. Not that it will always be punk, but it has been so far.