Tag Archives: punk

Church – Either Or (Album Review)

Toronto's Church

Natives to Southern Ontario, Church released their first full-length album Either Or late last year. The album bounces back and forth between genres, tapping into early punk rock, modern indie, and everything in between.

The first half of the album lulls the listener into a state of punk serenity. The raw recording almost sounds like a live recording captured in a bar, producing a cool and unique sound similar to underground bands from the punk revolution. Not surprisingly, the band claims the album was recorded in a garage and a bathroom. They didn’t focus on perfecting their recordings, and that’s all part of their charm. As such, Either Or is the perfect kind of album to see live.

The combination of female vocalist Marta Cikojevic and male vocalist Ryan Brownrigg rocks the album back and forth, with the desperation in Cikojevic’s voice contrasting with the powerful but steady voice of Brownrigg. Through this, they achieve a perfect emotional balance in their vocals.

The first highlight of the album is “Brittle and Bare”. In it, the purity of Cikojevic’s voice is on display, with a rhythm section that gives the listener the urge to pull out their lighter and wave it in the air. With some of the strongest lyrics of the album, this song shows the softer side of Church, and makes the listener fall in love with the band:

And then comes “Pissed Jeans”. This song spins the album 180° in a switch to powerful punk rock that demonstrates why Church isn’t just another generic Toronto indie band. The pounding drums in “Pissed Jeans” hit the listener at full force, while the howling vocals from Cikojevic echo amongst the instruments. The fast-paced, high energy song is less than two minutes long, but it’s one hell of a ride:

Although their first album (as a complete group) is only eight songs, Either Or demonstrates how Church can weave their music through several genres, giving their music its own unique feeling of punk rock audacity and soothing harmony.

-Micheal Vipond
Katuwapitiya.com Contributor

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Propagandhi – Failed States (Album Review)

Propagandhi's Failed States

Three years removed from their last release, Canada’s finest punks Propagandhi have returned with a record that picks up where 2009’s Supporting Caste left off. Riding a wave of renewed energy, their sixth full length release and Epitaph debut, Failed States is sure to please any thrash punk/ metal listeners.

Light years from their early Fat Wreck releases, Failed States is the band’s latest effort which balances the elements between their early melodic punk rock roots and a darker, much heavier sound influenced by Canadian thrash bands like Sacrifice and Razor. It’s a mixture of the heavy metal/ thrash punk found on Supporting Caste and classic mind bending guitar riffs, like from previous releases Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes and Potemkin City Limits. A notable example of this fusion is “Rattan Cane” which sees the band going from a slow down-tuned breakdown riff into a quick tempo and chaotic thrash punk tune.

The topics discussed on Failed States fall in line with Propagandhi’s history of discussing political issues. Still focused on topics like the environment, capitalism, human rights violations, sexism, and racism; Failed States finds itself tackling new darker themes as well, like drug addiction and sex workers in the band’s home city of Winnipeg.

The album is more distinguished from its counterparts because it’s much more than a straight up thrash/ metal/ punk record. This is the sound of a band coming into their own and progressing as a relatively new line-up (given the bands 20 plus year history). Failed States is the sound of Propagandhi arranging the elements that we have come to know them by in a new and distinct way; which is why it is already an instant Propagandhi classic.

Must Hear: Rattan Cane, Failed States, The Days You Hate Yourself (Bonus Track, listen below!)

-Jeffrey Mota
Katuwapitiya.com Contributor

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