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In the last twenty years, there has been no shortage of bands who have tried to find a soothing and serene balance between melody and dissonant texture but, other than Sonic Youth (who has the best track record to date, but even that isn't flawless), few have actually managed to pull it off. 'Few' is more than 'none' though, which means that Parlovr has joined a very select group with the release of their self-titled debut. And what a debut...

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Tuesday, 13 April 2010
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Alright, however it came to pass that light-weight metal somehow got called hardcore may be a mystery for the ages. Hardcore has been many things but, outside of Black Flag's misguided dalliances in the twilight of their career, the music could never be confused with metal. Perhaps perhaps the confusion that build up a couple of years ago was simply a case of semantics failing; as bands like My Chemical Romance got more confident and started to tighten up, they...

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Monday, 12 April 2010
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It's always a tremendous event to watch a band grow beyond their beginnings. Sometimes that growth is artistic and more fascinating is when the band grows literally, but in the case of Great Lake Swimmers, it just happens to be both. Wainfleet, Ontario-born singer/songwriter Tony Dekker first founded what would eventually become his Canadian folk rock institution in 2003 and did it the way in which it suited him best: he started alone on the circuit – playing his songs...

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Monday, 12 April 2010
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As much as everyone loves to say that they saw it coming after an event has happened, some of the best punk records ever released have seemed to come out of nowhere and smash unsuspecting listeners over the head. That isn't to say that bands like NoFX, Green Day, Rise Against and Rancid never left any impression on fans that they could be capable of making albums like Punk In Drublic, Dookie, Siren Song Of The Counter Culture and …And...

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Sunday, 11 April 2010
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In the six years since MGMT crashed through onto the modern rock landscape, it's incredible how long and strong the band's staying power has been. In an industrial climate where Andy Warhol's foretold fifteen minutes of fame has been pared down to about three and a half, MGMT has done the unthinkable: they've stayed diverse enough and interesting enough that they've captured and held the attention of fans, and even succored them into waiting excitedly for the next release. Seldom...

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Saturday, 10 April 2010
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It's funny just how provincial and arrogant North Americans can be when it comes to music. Much of the rest of the world seems to be much more open-minded when it comes to accepting music that didn't necessarily come out of their proverbial back yard. While Canadians have always been very receptive to music from the States, the UK and Europe, even they tend to miss a lot of what's happening abroad and breaking into the continent as a whole...

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Saturday, 10 April 2010
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Some sounds are just instantly recognizable. Particularly in pop music, bands rely on those sorts of recognizable, signature sounds to mark or establish themselves; for instance, as soon as a listener hears the monster drums and solid working-class guitars that characterize the licks of “Rock n' Roll,” they know it's Led Zeppelin – know it's Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones playing – and so know what they're getting into. This same phenomenon holds up with Jimi Hendrix' guitar, the...

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Friday, 09 April 2010
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Heed this warning! This article is not impartial. It’s biased. You see, I wouldn’t say, "I’m a Damon Albarn fan"; I’d say, "I’m a sucker for him." Any review of mine covering the new Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, will probably just come off as an ode to the former Blur front man. That said, I reached out to the public and got some of the best thoughts I could find on Twitter. It was a collaborative effort on opinion forming,...

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Wednesday, 07 April 2010
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It was bound to happen eventually. Over the last decade or so, each of the finest purveyors of laid back, easy-to-like vaguely folk-ish Top 40 fare (like Dave Matthews, Donovan Frankenreiter and Jack Johnson – there are more) has done at least a short stretch absorbing and then reproducing their own brand of reggae, and now Xavier Rudd has joined the club. For Koonyum Sun, Rudd has liquidated his beginnings as an uptown folkie, enlisted a crack backing band of...

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Monday, 05 April 2010
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Another surprise visit from Don Loder. This instalment of your regularly-issued SWAG Report is a bit different – not all of the songs I'm totin' are brand spankin' new. “Why Don?” You're askin', “Why are you unloading a couple of older tunes on us? We might have 'em already. Are you losing your touch at lifting stuff?” Nah, you watch your mouths, you little rodents! Perish the thought! That's never a problem but something interesting is comin' up: In the...

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Monday, 05 April 2010