Saturday, April 9, 2011

show photos & review - april 8th almon shed show

last night rosie & I walked up to almon street to see a show in a shed. the only time I had been to this house, as I rarely venture north of north street, was probably exactly a year ago when rape revenge came. unfortunately, arriving at 8:00 pm we were too late & had missed the entire show, so planning on checking this one out, I knew to be on time.
in the backyard were a couple dozen kids all drinking oland's, mostly people I didn't know, but still recognized nonetheless.
it was a misleadingly cold day, & with the sun setting around 8:00 pm it started to get a bit cold.
finally, like someone carrying a keg into a frat party, a bass amp arrived, starting the show after a bit of waiting.
crayon culture from charlottetown/halifax encouraged everyone to come into the tiny shed, probably used by past tenants for parking cars, & warm up.
they looked really modest. every member seemed like the weird geeky kids I would've been friends with in math class in high school.
their sound reminded me of a band called the box social, one of the first local bands I ever saw growing up in southern ontario. clean, high pitched melodic vocals, & a fast simple driving rhythm full of plenty of snare roll fills. I don't usually notice "tone" but the bassist in this band with his mustache & baseball cap had one of the best sounding bass tones I've ever heard. maybe the levels weren't perfect because it really overpowered the guitar, but for me it worked.
if they hadn't played first I'm pretty sure everyone would have been dancing their layers off. a couple of their friends stood up front & sang along smiling which made me stoked to see.
in between sets I walked awkwardly through the house full of people I only half knew at best & found a warm place to stand in the corner till the next band started.

oceans apart played about fifteen minutes after crayon culture & at this point the electricity powering the amps & single light in the dark shed started to flicker a bit.

I'm not really sure what their genre would be because I'm admittedly ignorant to it, somewhere between metalcore & screamo, but basically to me they sounded like what happened when all the pop punk bands "grew up" & changed their names to "caulfield" & "november's curse" & other bullshit pretentious garbage names during the mid 2000's.
the difference with oceans apart though is they seemed really stoked & comfortable playing music that wasn't really cool anymore, especially to a crowd of crusty looking punks, smoking cigarettes & weed during their set.
they somehow included the melody to pete seeger's "little boxes" toward the end of one their songs which was pretty cool too.
like crayon culture what I saw in them was a group of music geeks who didn't have any pretensions & just wanted to share what they had worked on together.
aside from the bassist who looked like he was doing his taxes (their music was really friggin' technical to be fair) they were pretty energetic kids to watch.

one of the reasons I came to this show is because my friend jawsh seemed really excited about about a local band named castle wolfenstein. they were originally booked to play a show that I was at a few weeks ago, but for reasons that I'm unsure of, couldn't make it. this show was advertised as their last for a few months so it seemed like my only chance to check them out in the foreseeable future.
I don't know if people were intentionally saving their energy by standing around during the first two bands, but almost immediately as castle wolfenstein started their first song folks went off, hard. during their first two songs, the heads of marshall stacks were being nearly knocked over, with the guitarists being forced backwards into their amps by the crowd. I decided to get out from behind the bass amp, & closer to the crowd, & with that, the bassist, occasionally taking puffs of a cigarette that his friend held up to his mouth in the chaos of the crowd, moved back & hid away in my now empty spot.

the lead singer looked not unlike dennis lyxzen in his late 90's refused era, & spontaneously thrashed around the crowd looking he was about to throw his fists half the time. most everyone in the shed, probably about thirty people crammed in together, were dancing, or just being pulled into it all, swaying violently from one corner of the wooden structure to the other. if there were tools hanging up on the walls at the time they would have fallen off & cracked people in the heads.
at some point in the set the lead singer in his bright, clean yellow shirt hung off one of the support beams that the light was attached to, wrapping his legs around the shoulders & neck of someone in front of him. glasses were getting lost, feet stomped on, bottles occasionally broken & kicked to the side & the whole time I just watched in awe as everyone's faces that looked more furious than anything eruputed into smiles as each song abruptly ended.
toward the end of their set the power went out, while all amps & vocals went quiet, people cheered as the drummer kept going, & a huge beam from a flashlight moved among the crowd showing their faces. without stopping, suddenly the amps came back on with the lights & you could see the band again, surrounded by a few dozen people in every possible spot breathing in the dusty & smokey air. the garage door at the back of the shed opened as more people tried to fit, & with that, the noise poured freely out into the street behind the house.
cold air came in just as quickly as the police. thankfully the set was over & most people bailed relatively quickly. no one got charged, & no tickets were given out.
rosie & I left promptly out the back just as the cops came in the shed, shining their own flashlights & walked home.

photos - rosie toes
words - ryley


  1. sweet review, and awesome pictures! that show was really fun. cheers.

  2. Appreciate the shed show reviews. We are definitely very out of place in Halifax but we love what we play.

    Peace and Love.
    Chris and OA.