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Awright, here's one for alla da punks,Well, not jus' da punks junky – don' worry, I ain't gonna spike my hair on ya or nuttin' – but dis week's SWAG Report owes a lot ta dat sound an' spiky personality, dat's fer shoor. Right off da top, I gotcha some real gold! I nabbed the firs' tune from da new OFF! reckid what comes out in May. Dis time, the guys inna band know what ther doin' is gonna work,...

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Friday, 30 March 2012
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As tends to be the case around every big holiday, the countdown to Record Store Day 2012 has officially begun. Since its foundation in 2007 (and maybe longer), the third Saturday of April has been marked by the  music fans of all stripes but especially those who favor vinyl recordings above all else flock to their much-loved independent record stores to see what special new releases conceived specifically for the day line the shelves. The first group of new releases...

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Thursday, 29 March 2012
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Can you listen to a familiar artist without evoking their previous work in your mind? Even if it is an artist you have not listened to in quite a while? Or maybe especially if it is an artist you have not heard in a while? These two recent releases forced me to confront this question. The Cranberries and Sinead O’Connor have new CDs out. For the Cranberries, it is their first release since 2001; for O’Connor, it has been five...

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Wednesday, 28 March 2012
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I have often professed my love of cover songs. There are various reasons for this. One is what they reveal about an artist’s influences and tastes but another, more important reason may seem like a contradiction: I love cover songs because I love originality. "How does that work?" I hear you asking. I appreciate the challenge of taking someone’s song and owning it yourself; making it sound new. An artist’s ability to do this is a strong indication of how...

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211
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Wednesday, 28 March 2012
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As Hunter Thompson once said, at a certain point in one's career, it's imperative to have fun with what you're doing and occasionally shake things up if you want to keep doing it. As one listens to Scrappy Happiness, it would be easy to assume that Joel Plaskett took that idea to heart; originally parceled out one track a week for ten weeks, Scrappy Happiness can be very, very challenging but still manages to hold together as a strong, singular...

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Tuesday, 27 March 2012
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Everyone has an opinion of anger. Mahatma Gandhi called anger “the enemy of understanding” while Albert Einstein opined that “anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.” Go back a little further in time, and Roman statesman Marcus Porcius Cato claimed that “an angry man opens his mouth and closes his mind.” All of those observations are sound appraisals made by learned men, but Every Time I Die has successfully managed to merge them all on their new album, Ex...

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Tuesday, 27 March 2012
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While it's true that some bands arrive before audiences fully developed and ready to win them over, others show up bands aren't bad but need a bit of extra time to grow into their sound. Vancouver's Real McKenzies fall into the latter category – for the last twenty years, the McKenzies have just been “really good” filler on Celt-punk mix tapes – but there's no doubt that the band has well and truly grown up, matured and come into their...

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424
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Sunday, 25 March 2012
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Something in me really wants to like Total Chaos' new album but, at the same time, I also want to hate it bitterly (often for the exact same reasons) as I listen to it. On one hand, the thirteen-year old punk in me wants to love the hell out of the music but, on the other hand, the thirty-three-year old punk in me wants to curse and renounce the album for being a played-out parody of played-out punk values. So...

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Sunday, 25 March 2012
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In the six years since Cancer Bats first started making records, a few phrases have been used to qualify the band's music so often that they've nearly become cliche. Each time the Bats have released an album, for example, sentiments and praise like “Canadian post-hardcore behemoths,” “Cancer Bats did it again (sometimes punctuated with an exclamation mark),” “brutal” and “awesome” have accompanied discussions of the music in print and, while it has been deserved, it has become repetitive;...

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250
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Friday, 23 March 2012
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Oh boy Junky, Aw, dis week's jus' a little charmed fo'ya innit, ya vein-spikin' reprobates? It doesn't happen often thatcha get a tune thit plays ta yer proclivities but, dis week, we got somethin' special: a new Garbage tune thit I swiped from ther firs' album in nine years, an' it's called "Blood For Poppies" Blood fer poppies?! That's all aboutcha junky! It wis made fer you, anni's screamin' out ta be included innis column, so here it is; a...

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Wednesday, 21 March 2012