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New Music Now

The New Wax Show airs each Tuesday @ 3pm on CHRY 105.5 FM. Listen live at chry.fm

Toronto’s punk scene dates back to the 1970s, but lately bands from the city have received a lot of attention at the international level. Armed with dedicated labels and supportive venues, not to mention an overabundance of talent, Toronto punk is ready to conquer the world. New Wax Reporter Portia Siegel takes a look at the three of the scene’s leading lights.

Listen/Download the feature here.

The New Wax Show airs each Tuesday @ 3pm on CHRY 105.5 FM. Listen live at chry.fm.

New Wax reporter Ian Gormely sits down with Trevor Larocque of Paper Bag Records. Part one of the two part series looks at the influential local label’s 10-year history ahead of a trio of anniversary shows at the Great Hall over September, 27th, 28th, and 29th. The shows featured fourteen bands from their current roster including, Young Galaxy, Austra, Woodhands, the Acorn and a You Say Party! reunion.

Download Part 1 here.

New Wax reporter Ian Gormely’s continues his conversation with Paper Bag Records’ co-founder Trevor Larocque in part two of the series.  Paper Bag started life with a local, Toronto focus, but after losing bands like Broken Social Scene and Stars, started casting its gaze towards the rest of the country. Larocque explains this genesis and lays out plans for the future ahead of the label’s three night, tenth anniversary  celebration this weekend.

Download Part 2 here.

Fact: heavy styles of rock music are male dominated genres. Well, move over men because Christina Kasper of Ottawa based sleaze rock band Doll is challenging this norm.

Their follow up to 2009’s Inside the Dollhouse, the Ragdoll Diaries has a sound that fits somewhere between punk and metal. The music is loud, the vocals aggressive and the guitar is distorted – like really distorted.

This time around the lyrics carry a stronger message delivering a call to all, to stand and believe in yourself, to take action and to never be silent. There’s even a cover of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.” Who says girls can’t rock? – Michaela Halbert 
Download the album review here.

Since forming in 2006 this Toronto punk band have travelled a rocky road in the lead up to releasing their debut full-lenght.

The Artist Life have struggled to keep a consistent line-up, but they released the successful EP after signing with Underground Operations in 2008. Impossible is poppier than their traditional sound but songs like “Working Class Revolt” and “Steel City” still sonically resemble favourites like “Lets Start a Riot” and “Sleep so Sound.”

Fast, catchy songs with lyrics that deal with themes ranging from damning the man to girl troubles make this an all-around great record. – Michaela Halbert

Download album review here.

Local crew Hooded Fang certainly don’t waste any time. Their debut full length, Album, just dropped late last year and now their sophomore release, Tosta Mista, is burning up the local independent charts.

The product of a three-week writing binge from lead-singer Daniel Lee, the album stands in contrast to the soft melodies and smooth harmonies of Album. Tosta Mista sounds more like a beach party with songs like “ESP” reminiscent of 60s surf music with an added modern twist.

Clearly not a group to rest on their laurels, expect big things from this fast-rising septet. – Nicole Rubacha

Download the album review here

Formed in 2010, Siskiyou includes two members from the acclaimed folk-rock band Great Lake Swimmers.

On their sophomore album we still get a strong rootsy flavour from the banjo and steel guitar. But this record refuses to conform to the expectations of a “folk-rock” audience. Keep Away the Dead is marked by sparse lyrics and stronger atmospheric elements, such as long sustained notes and wide-stretching instrumental phrases—aspects which really separate them from Great Lake Swimmers’ material.

This song cycle on death is like autumn leaves falling on the sidewalk. – Sija Tsai



Download the album review here.

Based out of Montreal, Quebec, Colin Stetson’s recent musical endeavour New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is a true work of art. A saxophonist and clarinettist, Stetson has worked with the likes of Arcade Fire and Tom Waits. He is the definition of an artist with his dynamic and technical music.

This second release is mesmerizing, haunting and painful, yet beautiful and soothing. The album is hard to label with a genre as Stetson has come up with a genuinely original and unique album. New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys exploring mental realms that put listeners in a calming trance.

Download the album review here.

Eschewing musical trends, Toronto crew Teenage Kicks play go for the throat rock and roll on their debut EP.

Following their stellar Shook Our Bones seven-inch, Rational Anthems offers five Springsteenian cuts that stick in your head for days, like the soundtrack to the most defining moments of your life. Singer Peter Van Helvoort’s beer soaked vocals convey all the pain and frustration that a dead-end jobs creates, distilling little moments into three and a half minute screeds for the working man.

Recorded and produced by the band themselves, Rational Anthems is bursting at the seams with real rock and roll. – Nicole Rubacha

Download album review here.

Enfield, Nova-Scotia MC Luke Boyd, better known as Classified, successfully tells his story on his fourteenth album, Handshakes and Middle Fingers.

He uses the record to share his style, opinions, and way of life. His music has the ability to connect with listeners and their average stories. The track “Maybe It’s Just Me” suggests that Boyd classifies himself as a true original, and the staggering success he’s achieved from his little corner of the country is truly inspirational. – Justin Cundari

Download the album review here.

Brooklyn’s the Drums have quickly gained the attention around the indie circuit for their minimalistic style. Their second album, Portamento, maintains the catchy vocal hooks and bare bones instrumentals they established on their self titled debut, but it ultimately misses what made that record so great.

The album starts off strong and improves on the weaker parts of their debut, adding more overall low end and dispensing with singer Jonathan Pierce’s whiney vocals, but they lose the sonic diversity that separates one song from the next.

The Drums’ first album did a good job of making each song sound unique and memorable. Unfortunately this is not the case with Portamento. – Victor Zohni

Download the album review here.