Under the Snow: Canadian Music Expose #1

Canada is far from represented by Justin Bieber, Celine Dion or Nickelback. Hell, we have far more offer than even just Rush, the Barenaked Ladies or the Tragically Hip.

Hip-hop, country, metal, jazz, folk, punk, alternative and more is out there.

It is the purpose of this series to provide you with knowledge of many more of these bands that have slid under the radar, hell, some even will be relatively well-known in Canada, with even an international following. I’m not limiting myself to the ultra-obscure, merely to what is good.

This is the alt-rock/punk segment so I will be sharing about a half-dozen bands with you over the series; Included will be Nomeansno, the Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, the smalls, the Villains, the Tea Party and the Barstool Prophets.

So, to open it up, let’s start with the legendary post-punkers/alt-rockers, Nomeansno.

The above video is taken from the bands seminal album, Wrong. Considered one of the most important post-punk albums by many, Wrong is a fascinating fusion of metal, punk, progressive rock and jazz; From start to finish the album is unpredictable and yet thoroughly engaging and foot-tapping awesome. The vocals often bother people with picky tastes, or who cannot appreciate something different. Sucks to be those people.

Formed in 1979, Nomeansno have been cited as seminal influences on the Post-punk, alt-rock scene, as well as on a local and global scale. Hard-touring, music-making maniancs, Nomeansno have delivered 12 full-length albums, ruoghly the same number of EP’s a bunch of live recordings and have worked with greats such as Jello Biafra (the brilliant The Sky is Falling and I Want My Mommy album).

No two albums are alike and the bands discography is always a journey of musical experimentation and tongue-in-cheek commentary (or just flat out accusatory lyrics), one that can be re-experienced over and over, without losing it’s genius.

Their discography is as follows:
1982 – Mama (reissued in 2004 with extra tracks)
1986 – Sex Mad
1988 – Small Parts Isolated and Destroyed
1989 – Wrong (reissued in 2005 with extra tracks)
1991 – The Sky Is Falling and I Want My Mommy (with Jello Biafra)
1991 – 0 + 2 = 1
1993 – Why Do They Call Me Mr. Happy?
1994 – Mr. Right & Mr. Wrong : One Down & Two to Go
1995 – The Worldhood of the World (As Such)
1998 – Dance of the Headless Bourgeoisie (reissued in 2005 with extra tracks)
2000 – One
2006 – All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt

There is no album in the list i would say is weak, but there are a few stand-outs.

The Sky is Falling and I Want My Mommy, has the incomparable Jello Biafra joining the band for an album long commentary, riddled with misanthropic humour, brilliant insights and crescendos of musical composing. For those familiar with Jello/Dead Kennedy’s. but new to Nomeansno, this is the ideal starting place.
Dance of the Headless Bourgeosie is fantastic, carnivalesque in its darkness, and retains all of the bands scathingly demented lyrical content. Musically, it retains a strong old-school punk feel, buoyed by the bands blatant disregard for musical constraints, and their bubbling energy.

There is a lot of material I could dig into, and I certainly could expound on the bands greatness time and time again, but if you are reading this blog, then you likely know where to get the albums. If not, poke me.


About Messianic Rebel
Crazier than expected...

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