Posts Tagged ‘Explode When They Bloom’

Last night, Cellos made its live debut on a Windsor stage. It was their first performance as a band and despite a few stage jitters, they pulled it off magnificently.

Despite it being their live debut, the members of Cellos are far from being novices. In fact, the trio may be three of the best representations of their respective instruments in the city. Guitarist (and vocalist) Kyle Marchand is better known as the driving chunk behind Orphan Choir as well as the experimental soundscape engineer in What Seas, What Shores (he also had a short stint in the melodically golden Yellow Wood). Bassist Joe Rabie’s thundering grooves have build the skeleton for many projects, including the prog rock dirge of Surdaster, the instrumental frantics of Red Rows and the experimental blind field trips of Star Trek: The Band. And the sheer muppetry genius of David Allan on drums has all been evident to anyone who has seen the octopus-on-cocaine tentacles fly in other projects like Explode When They Bloom, Poughboy and Which Witch. It only makes sense that these three play together – they’ve been in such diverse projects individually, that it would take a project of this nature for each of them to truly shine and show what they are ultimately capable of pulling off.

Their set last night – opening the highly anticipated return of KEN mode to Windsor – was brief but succinct. The second song, tentatively titled “Notes from Underground”, was a clincher – when the power riff groove locked in, the crowd was hooked. For a band playing their debut, they had a crowd in their hands, attentive and hungry, eyes agape and ears thirsting. Their set was like a rock opera conveying how an underwater minefield going off must sound to the fishes around it – as heart racingly exciting as it is terrifying.

Marchand’s voice is reminiscent of Gibby Haynes via early Butthole Surfers records (a la Locust Abortion Technician) with a tinge of Bleach-era Nirvana (the band actually closed their set with a Nirvana cover, “I Hate Myself and I Want To Die”). If I was to play Pitchfork and mash analogies, I’d say it was like Gibby Haynes singing in a band with Paul D’Amour (Tool) on bass, a pre-Badmotorfinger Kim Thayill (Soundgarden) on guitar and Keith Moon on drums, with a set arranged by Mr. Bungle orĀ Mars Volta, but even that isn’t entirely accurate. In fact, if I was a psychologist, I’d say they sound like the soundtrack for the exact moment when the voices in someone’s head suddenly instructs them to kill for the first time. It’s a rush of anticipation, anxiety, excitement and lunacy all at once.

But perhaps the real majesty of witnessing Cellos’ debut performance last night was something another witness said to me: “It’s so exciting to see a band’s first performance. I mean, I’ve seen them play in other bands before, but them together, is something new. Seeing something brand new is just so exciting.” These guys have done this before. In different bands, a hundred if not a thousand times before. But seeing them play something new and something fresh for the first time, is something magical. The material is fresh in the audiences ears, not tainted by the memories of shows past by, not blurred by the fact that they’re there to “watch a friend’s band play”, they were there to experience something new by musicians they’d grown to trust.

And judging by the response, Cellos has a bright future ahead of them.

You can catch Cellos next performance opening the show at Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West) when Calgary’s This City Defects comes to town on Monday April 11th (Red Rows is also opening).


Well it’s that time of month again – although the shortness of February caught us a bit off guard so we’re a couple days off.

Here’s your link to February’s FREE Windsor Music Sampler. Just click on the February release (or if you missed December or January’s, they’re still available for FREE download as well). February’s compilation started off a bit slow, but it turned into our biggest compilation yet, clocking in at 16 tracks!

We’re pleased to announce that some different genres are slowly creeping in, from melodic rock (Acousticfire) to ska (Brass Knuckles and The Nefidovs) as well as our first sampling of Windsor hip-hop arrives with a track from Academy’s Kayyce Closed.

Some of the veterans of the scene (Pat Robitaille, Hammerdown, Explode When They Bloom, The Hung Jury, The Golden Eagles) are also represented, while new blood like Shortcut to Last, Devilz By Definition and The Hypnotics are also on the bill. Some overlooked acts from the past couple years (but who are still performing) are represented as well, with the indie DIY punk ethic of Rose City (featuring Locusts Have No Ki ng, ASK and Years of Ernest member Joey “The Wise Guy” DesRoches) and the electronic blues funk of Gregg Koval‘s track (Koval gained notoriety as part of the ’90s outfit Powdered Toastmen).

Our first sample of cross border unity also appears featuring the Detroit hardcore band The Armed, which features Windsor guitarist Christopher Elkjar (who also performs in Cloverjoy and has accompanied (wh)y.m.e.(??) at some live performances).

We’ve got a great electronic piece from Kero to close the set out for you. This guy is one of Windsor’s most influential musicians of the past decade (Beck and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke are admitted fans) and it’s a real treat to have him on the sampler.

In a band and your submission didn’t make the cut? Fear not. Simply means we ended up with more than we could handle this month. It’ll appear as soon as we can allot it!

Want to submit a track for an upcoming sampler? Send your hi-quality mp3 or .wav file, along with all production credits, to

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When Windsor punk legends Sewing With Nancie disbanded in 2003, a collective “Why?” seemed to raise from the streets of Windsor. For a decade, SWN was a surefire thing. They were one of the first (if not the first) punk band in Windsor to tap into the SoCal punk sound in the early ’90s (before it was watered down by mainstream alternative radio into the Simple Plans of the world). But SWN backbone – vocalist/guitarist Adam White and guitairst James ‘Cubby’ Nelan – refused to give up the dream and pushed on, relocating to Hamilton and renaming their project The Reason. The rest is history.

Following their debut EP, Problems Associated With Running, they were scooped up by Smallman Records and immediately began work on their follow up release, 2004’s Ravenna, which drew critical acclaim across the country and saw them joining bills with the likes of Alexisonfire, No Use For A Name, Strung Out and Murphy’s Law, playing such prestigious festivals as CMW and playing big bills such as Edgefest and Wakefest.

Juno winning producer Gavin Brown (Billy Talent) approached them about working on their next record, which became 2007’s Things Couldn’t Be Better (which also scored Sara Quinn from Tegan and Sara to provide vocals on the track “We’re So Beyond This”).

But after a decade perfecting their punk pop sound in SWN and then progressing to a more edgier post-punk sound in the Reason’s initial few releases, White and Nelan decided it was time to change sound once again. Perhaps inspired by working with a new producer in Steven Haigler (Pixies, Clutch) and a few personnel changes, The Reason developed a more classic rock feel with the release of last year’s FOOLS. That’s not to say they’ve suddenly become a band not worth paying attention to – they’ve just taken what they’ve learned over the past few years and polished it into a smoother diamond.

Still touring for that release, The Reason return to their old Windsor stomping grounds, playing a show at The Blind Dog (761 Ouellette Ave.) next Thursday February 24th and advance tickets are only $10 (available at Dr. Disc downtown or on-line at or you can wait and hope it doesn’t sell out and pay $15 at the door.

They’re bringing along their tour mates, Cobourg’s Gentlemen Husbands, as well as two strong openers in piano pop sensations StereoGoesStellar and the electric thunder of Explode When They Bloom.

Here’s a little SWN treat…

The Reason with special guests Gentlemen Husbands, StereoGoesStellar and Explode When They Bloom, The Blind Dog (761 Ouellette Ave.), Thursday February 24th, 19+, $10 Advance/$15 Door

As if Friday wasn’t a stacked line-up already, what with Michou‘s long awaited homecoming happening at Phog and the metal majesty of London’s Battlesoul hitting the Coach, The FM Lounge is putting on their own stacked line-up featuring four solid established local acts.

Built around the premise of a “Birthday Rager” (several members of the bands share birthdays over the past few days), these four bands have united to throw each other one big birthday bash and in the mean time, put on one hell of a rock and roll show for anyone who cares to join the debauchery that will undoubtedly occur with the Old Fish Market’s walls.

Red Rows is an instrumental three piece who had a lot of momentum last year (culminating in a slot at last year’s Phog Phest) but who have been quiet of late – not so much because they’ve slowed down any, but the members’ other projects (Surdaster and Alex Carruthers & The Rhythm Brothers) have been picking up steam of their own. It’ll be nice to be reminded again of what the buzz from 2010 was about.

Surdaster has come a long way in the past two years. A line-up re-shuffling has re-energized these guys into one of the scene’s new warriors, a 7-headed hydra of prog rock meets stoner metal that will take you on epic journeys of musical side streets or straight up rock your face with a power chord chunker (such as their raucous live favourite “Mad Dog”). They’ve really learned to work (and work with) the crowd this past year and their live draw is evidence of that. They’re coming off a strong opening set for Elliott Brood at The Capitol Theatre last weekend, so they’ve done their rock and roll stretches.

Explode When They Bloom are like the ninjas of the local scene. You don’t hear about them for weeks or months, no sightings, and then BAM – a rock and roll shuriken hits you in the back of your skull. Due to various work commitments, the members of EWTB aren’t seen that often outside of their own gigs. So sometimes people tend to forget about them until they see their name on a showbill or stumble into one of their shows. But the reaction is always the same. Blown away. Ferocious live, their rock and roll vibe is something heavier than the mainstream alt. rock, and smarter too. These guys are players, no doubt about it – they’re talent is apparent early on into any set. Still playing in support of last year’s stellar release, The Ugly, it’s always a pleasure when EWTB are out and about.

Tyburn Tree, the closers for the festivities, are one of the metal scene’s most underrated denizens. A few years back they released a sludge metal album, Parliament of Trees, that should have garnered them more attention (they appear on this month’s FREE Music Sampler). They’ve combined solid songwriting with tight performance to create a sound that is both reminiscent of some of the genres heavyweights while still retaining a soul of its own. They’ve always gotten on great bills and always seem to be considered great additions to shows, but sometimes it seems like people haven’t given them the credit they should. Which is simply that Tyburn Tree may be one of the most dedicated and talented metal bands in Windsor at the moment. Look for 2011 to be a strong year for these guys – and they deserve it.

Tyburn Tree, Explode When They Bloom, Surdaster and Red Rows, The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, beside Pogo’s), Friday February 4th, Doors at 9pm, 19+, $5 at the door