A long time ago, in a skate park far far away, there was a band named Blurt. They were fun, energetic punk rock that had soundtracked more house parties than Pearl Jam “Ten” did in the early 90’s. The undisputed kings of the all-ages shows, they brought a more mature craftsmanship to a genre known more for its menace and lack of musicality. The Blurt song “Kingston Forever” is still a classic Windsor punk song.
But for whatever reason – be it timing, or perhaps a desire for something slightly different – Blurt never fully exploded in Windsor’s larger musical spectrum, despite countless out of town shows and a legion of underage die-hard fans. Finally, the band – consisting of Jesse Fellows on vocals and guitar, Joey Acott on bass and Anthony Maniscalco on drums – dissolved.
Fellows and Acott remained musically active together and the itch to write and perform shone through again and they recruited drummer Mat Stewart and create a new beast. The magnificent Shared Arms.
With a new name, their direction and attitude grew. No longer the skate punk of their youth, the songwriting matured closer to Mike Ness of Social Distortion in melody, but still retaining the piss and vinegar that dripped from their brows from their gestation years in Blurt. Like a punk Phoenix from its own ashes, they rose with a punk rock wrecking ball that is as polished as it is dangerous. If Orphan Choir was the punk scene’s Beatles, Shared Arms would have to be its Rolling Stones (Shared Arms are actually share the same label as Orphan Choir, Tragicomedy Records, run by Orphan Choir’s Jim Meloche and Shared Arms’ Acott).
Still playing in support of last year’s Ill Sessions, Shared Arms has been gaining the praise of the national music media as well, with a glowing review for their latest record by Exclaim! Magazine, Canada’s premiere independent music magazine. Reviewer Aaron Zorgel called the release “a collection of extremely impressive, diverse, interesting and inventive punk songs” and that the band “are one of the best active punk bands in Canada”. Zorgel went on to conclude that Shared Arms “are skate punk revival that will show even the most jaded ’90s punk fans that this music still has a place in the Canadian punk scene.”
Here’s a fan video taken from the last time they played Phog. A packed house.
Well, Shared Arms returns to Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West) this Sunday night for what seems to be yet another great Sunday showcase at Phog Lounge (with recent success with Rah Rah and the upcoming Rural Alberta Advantage). For those of us who have Mondays off, it’s nice to have a great option for live music on a Sunday night.
As you can see by the video, their shows get full. And this Sunday’s special early show (it’s all-ages, so it has to be over by 11pm) will be starting at 9pm (doors are around 8pm) with a $5 cover.
Shared Arms with special guests Everyone Everywhere and The All Night, Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West), Sunday March 20th, all-ages, 8pm (show starts at 9pm sharp, over at 11pm), $5 at the door