various records


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Luck of the draw picks these two recent submissions from Halifax’s Various Records off the pile (this along with the Grump single seen above), and both are terrific. Surveillance is a product of three folks bent on subverting a noisy, punky pop presence with a brutalist charm offensive, whether they’re chasing Cub with pick slides (“Death”), doing away with the drums altogether and spacing out on the short, tuneful “Bud,” or riding huge waves of fuzz on their namesake B-side. Like Grump, I’m detecting serious gen-X/Y damage here, most evidently on “Surveillance,” channeling all the heavy roar of Sugar/Bailter Space/Party of Helicopters style guitars on a riff that drives itself diagonally into the dirt. Immense jammage, and over all too soon. Why can’t your band be more like this? 330 copies (Dougl Mosurock)

Our take: Debut vinyl from this Canadian band with a couple of cassette releases under their belt. The sound here is thick, raw, but song-oriented fuzz pop in the Dinosaur Jr mold. It seems like every scene has a band or two like this and some are better than others... Surveillance are one of the really, really good ones, their sound bolstered by strong pop songwriting, two extremely capable lead vocalists, and a sound that is dense yet raw. Imitation shoegaze is a genre that pretty much makes me want to wretch, but this ain't it... it's punk with a fuzz pedal on 10 and a pocket full of hooks. Get into it.