Dusty (Party Hat)
Against a canvas that’s part rural America and part drunk Tom Waits in the junkyard, Kick Evrything singer Casey Wei clocks in with a performance that’s dripping with equal amounts of sex and boredom.
Drink Up Buttercup
Seasickness Pills (Yep Roc)
Cribbing equally from Interpol, the Beach Boys, and the Dirty Bear Collective, Drink Up Buttercup comes up with something that gives you a good idea of what Carlos Dengler would look like as a ’60s Brooklyn beardo.
Drink It Dry (Matador)
Damn rights we’ll drink it dry—the entire two-four of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Then we’ll stagger down to some shitty dive bar in the hope that Wild America will be on the jukebox, sandwiched right between Hí¼sker Dí¼ and the Replacements.
Starts out like a field recording starring the Sacred Harp Singers at Liberty Church and ends up channelling the mighty Okkervil River on two barbiturates and a half a bottle of Jim Beam.
The Testimony of Patience Kershaw (Rough Trade)
Close your eyes and you’re in a village in Northumberland, England, nursing a pint at the Black Bull Inn. In other words, think the Pogues with 99 percent less alcohol, 99 percent more cellos, and a singer—angel-voiced Rachel Unthank—with actual teeth.
The Pack A.D.
B.C. Is on Fire (Mint)
B.C. isn’t the only thing on fire on this tribal thumper. It’s a toss-up as to what sounds more mesmerizing: Becky Black’s drowned-in-reverb vocals or her hypnotically shimmering guitar work.
City of Fire
Holy fucking sheepshit. Take the churning aggro-metal of Pantera and add a smear of Dirt-era Alice in Chains and you have pure rivethead heaven. Best of all, it’s totally homegrown—look out, Lotusland, there’s a new heavyweight in town.
Through the Spaces
The guitars are like hot-coiled snakes, the drum patterns seem totally random, and the vocals are almost as unintelligible as Thom Yorke at his most out-there, but damned if this isn’t the most captivating oddity to come out of Vancouver this year.
A glitzy posthouse banger exquisitely crafted for Euro-discos modelled after the sets from Solid Gold. The guys all have mullets, the chicks look like the ’80s never left, and coke is the magic word in the bathroom stalls.
Over a riff that sounds like the Clash on a funk bender, Devonte Hynes details a could-be love affair likely to turn into one that never was if the two travellers concerned can’t learn to "stop being cool".
You’ve Been Slain (MoSS Appeal Music)
His 15 minutes now solidly in the rear-view mirror, former Eminem protégé Obie Trice gives up on playing Mr. Nice Guy, going instead for mega-menacing on an ode to violence that would scare the Geto Boys.