Mr. Cancelled’s “Every Town has its Dolls is” the most excellently humble post-punk ever with a post-rock star attitude

 

Mr. Cancelled has finally released their long awaited nearly 30 minute long ep and we can’t stop listening to it.  This lo-fi, indie rock, post punk masterpiece has melodies that are meticulously crafted and divinely inspired that soar above the mundane indie landfill surrounding them at every corner of mediocre indie rock… yet the band is as humble as the lo-fi packaging of a paper sleeve and a couple of printed decals on a CD-R reveals…

a2968322946_16(cover art by Shane Sanchez)

Made up of local legendary scenesters (all involved with the 0009935449_10Collective in major or minor ways) the band has many more claims to royalty than just being one of the best local rock bands around. A pop punk trio in the traditional sense, with Chris Brown on the bass cranked high setting the entire atmosphere for the songs, drummer Jon Cantiello (also of national superstars hailing from Glens Falls Candy Ambulance) a phenomenal driving force with kung fu precision and timing, and a bunch of swearing distorted noise coming out of Ziroli’s guitar as he seamlessly goes back and forth between rhythm, lead, solo, and just plain noisewash.  Not to mention the production work by local legend Paul Coleman of Haley Moley and Sinkcharmer which is crunchy, clear, and sharp at all points it needs to be to highlight every particular aspect of the band as it shines.

The major highlights of the album are the vocals and melodies, both mostly the province of self confessed ‘old post-punk guy’ Gary Ziroli’.   And indeed the band moves from pop punk to ‘Old Guy Post Punk’ seamlessly (like their fellow local bands and scenesters that are ominpresent here at Times Boredom because we’re in half of them like Dryer, Che Guevara T-Shirt, and Hill Haints), still making excellent original rock music in a traditional indie rock vein even though its major progenitor may be getting elderly and losing hair, which just makes it all the sweeter, more worldly, and more accepting that it’ll never be appreciated by as many people at the level it really deserves to be.  You could certainly say ‘Old Guy Post Punk’ is more of an attitude than a sound, but, you know, you’d be wrong.  It’s both.   And I’ve already discussed it enough for you to get bored with it most likely (if not write to timesboredom@gmail.com and I’ll write a whole article about it!).

Every song is a three (or almost three) minute masterpiece of verse, bridge, and chorus (or some variant thereof) proving once again that the art of punk rock songwriting will never die and is taken very seriously by them that hold fast to it.  It’s clear that every catchy melody and riff came to lead singer Ziroli in the middle of the night when the Spirit moved him to create something that sounded entirely original yet incredibly familiar in a comforting way to anyone that’s a fan of punk or post-punk.

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And the final real star here is the goddamned humility! Whoever’s writing the melodies is a true blue, hardworking artist that only cares about the results, and not whether any audience hears it, appreciates it, or even gives a shit. These songs are works of art for the art of songwriting, perfectly fine tuned and crafted down to every syllable sung, every bass melody underneath, every… snare… hit (inside joke).

‘Nowhere Again’ begins the record with a Sebadoh like melody that tells you exactly where this record is telling you it’s going to go, hahahah (fake laugh) ‘I’m going nowhere again’, and then it takes off and shoots to one of the catchiest melodies you’ll ever hear.  Oh yeah, it’s going nowhere alright!

‘Failure Street’ similarly brings you in with a catchy bassline and a subtle melody that gives way to an exploding chorus of high melody vocals about failing, while doing exactly the opposite.

‘Half Dead or Worse’ (ostensibly inspired by Glens Falls legendary folk songwriter/performer William Hale) is classic three-four cord pop punk with pop melodies that go back to super catchy nascent fifties rock songs and don’t let up until the 2 minutes end and you just want to hear it again.

But before you rewind, you’re on to ‘You Can Go’; another undeniably will get stuck in your head melody that owes as much to Sebadoh as it does to the Kinks (though Gary may very well deny he listens to either one).

‘Jesus Disturbed’, the standout track of the album will definitely get stuck in your head.  A perfectly crafted pop song full of hooks reminiscent of the dirgy but poppy Nirvana hits.

‘Every Town has its Dolls’ a song that sounds like a Mudhoney track sardonically inciting you to commit suicide because you’re gonna die anyway so you might as well choose the way you die.  And it ends in the most perfectly humble way, with a fuckup left in where Gary shouts ‘FUCK!  God damn it!’ as though he played the wrong cord or lost his voice.

Finally, ‘Show You’ (continuing with our grunge rock comparison theme, warranted or just for laughs), is like a Soundgarden song gone wrong that you can’t stop laughing at as you try to sing.  Classic mock in the vein of every indie rock band that wants you to know that they don’t take any of it very seriously, especially not the gods of rock nor themselves.

Just wondrous fun from a band that wants you to think they don’t take themselves very seriously; but while they’re heavy (and funny) on the self-deprecation, it’s clear that every note on this album is exactly where they want it to be and worked out that it should go.  All the melodies are memorable and catchy, but just enough, without any showboating at all, that you can call it… Mr. Cancelled.

 

We didn’t have time to interview THE MACHINE THAT WOULDN’T DIE before their tour, so we made one up

We were looking to interview Troy Agitprop costumed DIY punks The Machine that Wouldn’t Die before their tour this weekend of the Capital Region, but we couldn’t get in contact with them in time and we also didn’t try cause we’re really lazy. Plus we thought it would be way funnier if we just pretended to be them and skipped all the inevitable exposition.

tmtwdTB: So, Scott standing in for the the Machine that Wouldn’t Die, what would you say your music is?

SK (for TMTWD): College.

TB: Interesting interesting. A lot has been made of the costumes you wear on stage. Did you make them yourselves?

SK (for TMTWD): Theater arts.

TB: Well if you think that will change politics, at least at the local level, of course no one could be against that.

SK (for TMTWD): DIY Punk rock.

TB: I’m sorry; I didn’t get that?

SK (for TMTWD): College.

TB: I see. Don’t you think that’s unusual for a band your age?

SK (for TMTWD): Theater arts.

TB: A lot has been made of your so called ‘dissertation’ on the use of machinery to describe the takeover of the very fabric of reality by the technology we use and have used in the past that continues to generate different realities for different people, yet still somehow form a cohesive zeitgeist.

SK (for TMTWD): Do you have a question?

TB: Haha you got me there. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

SK (for TMTWD): College.

tmtwd2Well there you have it. If you’re not blown away by their agitprop performance art or their music, their intellectual agenda has to at least make you think hard and deep. They’re playing tonight at the Arts Center of the Capital Region with Saratoga Hawaiian vampires Dryer (some of whom work at a college) and Grimey Landfill Sludge band Che Guevara T-Shirt. They continue their tour tomorrow at Pauly’s Hotel in Albany with out of town yet locally loved performance art duo Home Body (also from college) and Troy synth rock mainstays Haley Moley (some of whom work at a college). Both shows are being put on by the inimitable 0009935449_10Collective. Both shows are welcome to people that are in college, have been to college, or haven’t been to college. They will be enjoyable to all that people that enjoy being entertained.

Girth control is the funniest band ever

FUCKING EVER. NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN THIS FUNNY!  FUCKING SRSLY!

Ok well maybe in the heyday of funny fun punk rock like the Descendants when they were on SST but BEFORE FAT WRECK-CHORDS! BEFORE FAT WRECK-CHORDS! That shit took it TOO FAR and it just wasn’t funny after a while and then it’s in the Base-Ket-Ball movie with the South Park guys and stripping cheerleaders and probably Blink 182 is involved and HOW THE FUCK DID WE GET HERE? Ok well some of that was funny and yeah that movie was fuckin funny but in general it’s just that, well, is it art?

GIRTH CONTROL HAS THE ANSWER:

WE’RE NOT IN IT FOR THE ART!

WE’RE IN IT FOR THE FUN!

WE’RE IN IT TO GET DRUNK!

AND SING SONGS SHORT AND FAST AND DUMB!

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Albany hasn’t had a really genuinely funny punk rock/ska band around here in some time, and Girth Control is filling the hole so much (SO FUCKING MUCH WITH SO MUCH FUCKING GIRTH!) that legendary scenesters like Sarah Winner and Ralph Renna (who they wrote a song about to thank) have taken notice and are behind them hundred percent brah!

SO GO SEE THEM TONIGHT AT THE LOW BEAT AND LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF! OR WE WILL FUCKING KILL YOUR CATS WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE READING THIS BECAUSE WE CAN SEE YOUR IP IF YOU DONT GO TO THE SHOW WE WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND KILL YOUR CATS FOR NOT SEEING THE FUNNIEST BAND EVER AND THEN YOU MOTHERFUCKERS BETTER WATCH OUT WE MEAN IT!! SRSLY!!!

Ok if you go to their bandcamp page and download their newest funniest fuckin record ever Shorter Faster Dumber we’ll let you slide this time but we better see YOUR FUCKIN PICTURE UP THERE SUPPORTIN THEM IT’S ONLY LIKE $5 YOU CHEAP BASTARDS OR YOUR CAT’S DEAD YOU FUCKIN HEAR ME?  NOT NOT DEAD DEAD NOT DEAD FUCKING! DEAD! CAT! IN! BOX!

Quantum phyics proof dooders.  Funniest band ever.

Haley Moley fat shamed me!

After enjoying Haley Moley’s set at Superdark Thursday (see video below), I was so impressed that I just had to buy a t-shirt!

Haley Moley performing their song ‘Parallel Executions’

However, when I approached lead singer/synth player Jennifer Maher Coleman to inquire whether they had a size triple XL shirt for a portly gentlemen such as myself, she indicated that they didn’t have anything that big. And if that wasn’t bad enough, guitar player and backing vocalist (also of super solo project Sinkcharmer) Paul Coleman indicated that a large would definitely fit me, since it fit him.  As if I could somehow squeeze into the gear that these active rockstars seen above were dancing around in while playing their instruments!

Feeling bloated and alone, I walked to another merch table at the show to ask if I could purchase a triple XL Super Dark shirt, but was met with the a similar response.

Listen up you fat shaming rockstars and skinny scenesters, just because you’re in great shape and are fit from rocking and dancing on stage doesn’t mean that all of your fans are!

But it’s not all bad news.  Super dark took pity on me and gave me a copy of the new Mr. Cancelled record, one size fits all!  And it’s awesome!  The music makes me feel better.

So if you see yr fat pal Mr. Koenig at the next Super Dark show, tell him to put down the pizza and beer, and buy him a Haley Moley or Mr. Cancelled album instead (and get yourself one while you’re at it).  Someday with the right support and the super awesome local music to dance to I just know I’ll be able to fit into one of the available t-shirt sizes!

Spookfish live Superdark Review

Spookfish performed as part of the Super Dark Monday show at Desperate Annie’s in Saratoga Springs on February 11.

It was described in the flyer simply as “electronics from NYC.” I didnt know if I should expect ambient space noise, techno-pop, or something in between.

Surprisingly, he alternated between live-mixing using a 4-track recorder and a keyboard, and playing an acoustic guitar.

The electronic movements created an amorphous space, enveloping the crowd. Switching back to guitar re-shaped and punctuated the hollowed space with clear, assymetrical themes.
Rather than layering these different sounds, he allowed each to speak for itself; the effect was a hypnotic call-and-response of stability and loss.

I let each form draw me further out until I was no longer standing in the middle of a pub. I was alone in an abandoned farmhouse, turning slowly in a musicbox dusty with lifetimes of hauntings. It was warm and peaceful in that little musicbox; not a bad place to spend a Monday evening.

–budderandjilly

We’re afraid to write an article about Maggot Brain

In our experience serious hardcore and metal bands don’t appreciate our weird brand of love indicated by mockery and stupid inside jokes.

The last time we tried to write about a straightforward hardcore/metal band, we received such backlash we had to remove it from the site. Comments such as ‘not funny’ and ‘the worst’ were thrown around on Facebook. We cried. All the tears.

mbMaggot Brain in their early days looking like they’re ready to kick our asses!

So despite the fact that we fucking love Maggot Brain’s 2012 opus Stop and Breathe and all the ep’s/splits we’ve been able to get our hands on and drool at the opportunity to experience their brutally intoxicating live shows, we’re just too afraid to write something we think is funny that we must refrain from even attempting to do so.

There are plenty of other similar bands out there like Dirt Church, Wet Specimens, Your Brain on Drugs, etc. that we’ve love to do an article on but, to be honest, we’re scared!

It’s a sad day when fake news sites are too afraid to pseudo-mock those they love. But when Maggot Brain finally releases their new album we’ve been anticipating for some time now, we’ll be happy whether they like this random nod or call us ‘the worst’. Either way, we’ll just have to keep our admiration to ourselves…

Wait, did I fuck that up again? Oh well. Here comes the fallout.

10 Worst Local Bands of 2018!

So for this year’s Worst Local Bands issue, we decided to stop being so autocratic and instead asked a bunch of hand picked scenesters to give us a list of their favorites from 2018. Out of over 50 people asked, 19 responses were received. Following which an unnecessarily complicated algorithm was devised with scoring procedures based upon the input of the lists received and the results came out terrible (actually we just counted the number of mentions of each band). And yeah now that we’ve got our new paid site and are changing things up we should embed music in all the mini blurbs but we’re still just figuring out wtf CSS is and wtf a href means… We promise not to do this again until next year when we’ve gotten better at everything.

10. Sinkcharmer
facebook_1539358397032He’s been taking his darkwave bass and synth shows to the masses with a frequency that beats Kenneth to death this year! And we all love him and wish that he’d let us be in his band. But he’s a shy, awkward guy that gets up on stage and performs nearly every week. Also probably the artist that got the most Times Boredom articles written making fun of him this year. What a sport!

9. Pony in the Pancakeponyinthepancake

Okay so when you ask a bunch of people that aren’t you for their favorites you come with some unexpected results. We don’t really know ‘PIP’ as we’re told they’re abbreviated, but a lot of our readers apparently really like them!  We think, but aren’t even sure, that the picture above is of them.   This writer doesn’t know much about them other than the fact that they’ve been tearing up Albany stages for as long as I can remember never slowing down never letting up and now, praise be to Koenig, they’ve finally made the most important list in the Capital District of well loved/hated local musicians!  Congrats!  And apologies!

8. William Hale/William Hate/The Wait

putden20William Hale, aka Lucas Van Scoy, has been playing around the northeast, forming and reforming backing bands, changing his image and his name around, and rocking it out since the days of the Benson Collective.  Recently he’s come to the attention and admiration of a large sample of the Superdark/Times Boredom crowd.  Taking famous Glens Falls and Saratoga scenesters along for the ride, his overwhelming songwriting talents and impressive performances have been astounding audiences in the past year like never before with his hi-fi lo-fi brand of folk rock/freak folk/ whatever the fuck they’re calling it this decade calling to mind the legend of singer-songwriters like Zach Condon of Beirut.  We look forward to further incarnations of this local prolific giant such as new band The Wait (not to be confused with terrible old local band The Wait that broke up over a decade ago)!

7. Mr. Cancelled

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Mr. Cancelled is the nom de guerre of Gary Ziroli, a man that’s been poundin the lo-fi acoustic and electric guitar for awhile now, taking cues from lo-fi bigwigs like the Mountain Goats and Sebadoh (but the good early shit with like Loewenstein and Gaffney ah whatever if you don’t know what inside baseball play in the ’92 series we’re referencing you never will). And yeah we probably shouldve put a picture of his current band that includes local heavyweights like Chris Brown and Jon Cantiello, but we loved the photo above as we love many of the artsy photos he’s constantly posting on instagram — go follow him.  NOW!  But enough about local politics, point is Mr. Cancelled’s now got a badass band making the rounds and kicking our asses all over the Capital District at every SuperDark show he can play!  And 2018 will hopefully just be a pivoting point for this songwriter/showman/photographer… RENAISSANCE MAN.

6. NXNES

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We’ve seen and enjoyed the phenomenal NXNES (aka Jo-Jo Rose, pictured above semi-anonymously for interesting artistic reasons explained here) many times and have thoroughly enjoyed their (his?) idiosyncratically eclectic mix of Hip-hop, R&B, and indie. Even though they’re from western Mass, they’re playing the Capital District so often it’s like it doesn’t matter where they’re from. We want them here. Again and again and again. Come back soon!

5. Sky Furrows

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Ok so you know how we said we got unexpected results from the algorithm? We’ve never seen this band, but apparently they’re a fucking powerhouse of psychedelic noise jams fronted by a poetess that owns whatever club they’re playing according to the scenesters surveyed.  Thanks survey, you clued us in to another local phenomenon we were completely unaware of! And it was and still is difficult to find info on who they are, where they come from, when they’re coming back… hey Sky Furrows if you see this, get in contact with us and we’ll get you all over the internet!  Sorry, did we break a 6th wall there or something?

4. Eternal Crimes

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Eternal Crimes has received our ire many a time, from jokes about their involvement in Super Dark (drummer Shane Sanchez and bass player John Gill are major players in that collective or whatever the Empire can be called at this point), about bass player John Gill’s model good looks, the time he called me ‘Steve’ instead of ‘Scott’, Nico Jordan’s unique vocals that often sound like an evil goblin singing from the Necronomicon, etc. Boasting not only Super Dark but credentials of being a supergroup made up of members from Black Ships, Severe Severe, every project Shane’s ever started or been in (and there are too many to keep track of), it’s no wonder our readers all love and sing the praises of this powerhouse trio that’s been at and rocked pretty much every cool show that happened in 2018!

3. Blood Blood Blood

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New to the survey but certainly not to us is Shane Sanchez’ pivotal lo-fi darkwave electronic noise vehicle Blood Blood Blood that’s brought him front and center at many of his own curated shows. We’re guessing that he just plays whenever he can’t find an opener, sometimes alone, sometimes with other Super Dark Collective all stars, usually in disguises and performing personas.  Is that even them above? Honestly, we’re glad everytime he can’t find an opener, because we love this act!

2. Che Guevara T-shirt

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Not these fuckin guys again. I swear someone rigged this survey. There’s no way that this band, consistently dubbed the ‘most underrated band in the’ (fill in the blank), genuinely got second place in this survey. We cry foul! Though they certainly did put out what was definitively their best record in 2018, Seven Out Pay the Don’ts, largely as a result of the brilliant engineering of Justin Pizzoferrato of Sonelab Studios (PLUG!) (who also worked on the new Bendt record which we’re eager to hear), the increasingly interesting and idiosyncratic percussion work of John Olander (who you probably know as the redhead that does the sound at half the shows you go to), and the melodious haunting guitar of Matt Heuston.  Also that they recently added scene beloved local bass player (a longtime member of the band at #1 see below) Katlyn Celentano to the lineup.  But the fact that whenever they play live they look so bored and sleepy and (esp. front man k. Sonin formerly of like, a million Albany bands from twenty years ago that drew 5 ppl tops to any show they played other than Complicated Shirt who was fucking AWESOME) CRANKY that the crowd always has to try to cheer them up makes us think, no.  This didn’t happen legitimately. Ah hell we done interduced them enough.  Cheats!  Shenanigans!  Rigged!

1. Hill Haints

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Number 1 two years in a row! There’s no denying by anyone that’s ever seen them that this band fucking rules. They never stop playing, never stop having fun, and you’ll see their members in the crowd or maybe even onstage at everything local music thing that matters (including new side project White Devil and the 666 fronted by HH’s own E.S. Cormac and the other incestuous groups all members are in and out of — ok we didn’t mean that to sound so gross but we’re glad that it came out that way.  Maybe it’ll go back in easier). Not to mention the fact that they released their Tour de Force EP Carcinogen this year (expertly reviewed by brilliant review site Post-Magazine Rock here), taking local radio, bandcamp and facebook downloads by storm. Cormac, Hanson, Celentano, and Piper are a relentless touring band that gets better everytime they play and appears to write and improve every one of their tunes while onstage!

We had to throw in at least one dig in this otherwise shit sandwich of winning the worst award for local music in the Capital District known as the Times Boredom Worst Local Band of 2018 list which is more likely to destroy your band’s fame and popularity than enhance it… And man do they ever fucking deserve it!  Everybody else that’s reading this, go see Hill Haints and take notes! Step up your game! Make your shit ecclectic as all get out (but of course referential to the Giants of our industry such as the most obvious comparison of the Stooges but honestly every great indie and noise rock band to hit the stage this century), have fun, make noise, rock out, and win the most coveted awards in the industry!

Oh and btw we’ll be sending the actual gold statue in the mail since the one we gave y’all at the awards show was actually made of plastic (looked better on camera that way). Well done!