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Ed Sum

Ed Sum

Website URL: http://otakunoculture.com/about/ E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Stream new track "The Sign of a Sealed Fate" and pre-order the album, here:



From Vancouver, Canada, comes Dead Quiet. The third full-length album, Truth and Ruin, shows the band at its peak, delivering its arena-ready, proto-metal bacchanal with power and flair. Dead Quiet's dramatic, organ-heavy songs are saturated with respect for the hard rock and heavy metal titans of the late '70s and early '80s – there are traces of blazing Deep Purple jams and hellbent Judas Priest bangers – but the band rocks with a prowess all its own. Dead Quiet respects its elders while fully owning its own craft. It is a fine balance, which brings to mind Ghost, among others.

Vocalist Kevin Keegan, formerly of Metal Blade band Barn Burner, has range and charisma in spades – in 2018, Metal Hammer declared that he might be "the next great stoner rock visionary." In league with Keegan are guitarist Brock MacInnes, also of Anciients, newest member Mike Rosen on keyboards, and the rhythm section of bassist Mike Grossnickle and drummer Jason Dana.

Of new album Truth and Ruin, frontman Keegan states: "We just wanted to make a record that was relentless. On Grand Rites we took our time and meandered quite a bit but with Truth and Ruin it was more about 'point and shoot,' always keeping us and the listener on their toes. I love a good hook. I like the idea of a song that rips but also gets stuck in your head like a good pop song."

Of the album's lyrics, Keegan says: "I had a really rough year and the inspiration came from there. I was in a really unhealthy relationship, I had some friends pass away, and I experienced some real trauma in my line of work as a frontline worker dealing with the fentanyl epidemic. Brock, Dana, and I all work in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver as mental health, overdose prevention, and harm reduction workers."

Truth and Ruin was engineered and mixed by Jesse Gander (Japandroids, White Lung) at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, BC. It was mastered by Alan Douches (Mastodon, Chelsea Wolfe) at West West Side Music in Hudson Valley, NY.

Since its formation in Vancouver in 2014, Dead Quiet has toured with the likes of John Garcia (Kyuss) and Cancer Bats, and played festivals like Desertfest and Into the Void.

Recommended if you like: Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Queens of the Stone Age, Graveyard, Witchcraft, Ghost.



1) Atoned Deaf

2) Forever Unsung

3) Of Sound and Fury

4) Truth and Ruin

5) Partial Darkness

6) The Sign of a Sealed Fate

7) Cold Grey Death

Bootblocks' Thin Skies Flies in Oct 9th!

Wednesday, 08 July 2020 00:14 Published in Underground News

Stream new track "Traveling Light" and pre-order the album!

Following a handful of formative sessions with prolific drummer/producer Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Sonic Youth), the Brooklyn-based Bootblacks released its first EP, Narrowed, in the fall of 2012. Debut full-length Veins came next in 2016 and was backed by extensive touring. 2017's Fragments found the band expanding to a bigger, more atmospheric and synth-heavy sound; the album landed on many year-end lists and helped earn slots on festivals such as Cold Waves, Terminus, Absolution, Wave Gotik Treffen, and Murder of Crows.

Thin Skies, Bootblacks' first album for Artoffact Records, zooms forward where Fragments left off. The nine songs combine a driving, dancefloor pulse with soulful, melodic post-punk, yielding results that are positively anthemic.

Produced by Jason Corbett of Artoffact labelmates ACTORS, Thin Skies evokes scenes of dark days and reckless nights in the urban jungle – a marriage of post-punk emotion and clubland sweat. Frontman Panther Almqvist's brooding voice captivates as it veers from detached cool to deep vulnerability. Guitarist Alli Gorman's hard jangle "channels the trademark delay techniques of [U2's] The Edge," in the words of Post-Punk.com. Keyboardist Barrett Hiatt's arpeggiated synths are the life force pushing the songs relentlessly forward, as Larry Gorman bashes a mix of acoustic and electronic drums with power and perfection. Backing vocals come courtesy of Shannon Hemmett (ACTORS) and Kennedy Ashlyn (SRSQ, Them Are Us Too).

Bootblacks' hometown of New York City is integral to Thin Skies' sound. The band's name itself is said to be derived from novelist William Burroughs’ description of the dark underbelly of glitzy NYC. Almqvist states: "It's an energetic city and people have all the reasons in the world not to give you the time of day. I think our music has been shaped by that in many ways."

The loneliness of city life pervades the album's music and lyrics. "Most of the lyrics on the album are about loneliness," says Almqvist. "Looking back on the lyric writing process there seems to be some connective feeling of isolation and distance present in all of the songs... I'm always hoping that a listener personalizes the song, that's why the songs never have a narrative but try to embody a feeling."

As well as playing shows at every significant venue in NYC, sharing stages with the likes of Clan of Xymox, Light Asylum, HEALTH, and VOWWS, along the way, Bootblacks has toured North America and Europe, most recently being handpicked by Modern English as direct support for a 2020 North American tour (currently postponed).



1) Traveling Light (feat. Shannon Hemmett of ACTORS)

2) The Jealous Star

3) Thin Skies

4) Hidden Things

5) Parallel

6) Nostalgia Void

7) Brouhaha

8) New Lines (feat. Kennedy Ashlyn of SRSQ)

9) Inextinguishable



Panther Almqvist - vocals

Alli Gorman - guitar

Barrett Hiatt - synth

Larry Gorman - drums


World Broadcast Premiere
Documentary Channel
June 28, 2020
9:00pm ET/PT 

Cutting the cheese means more than simply causing climate change in Albert Nerenberg (Stupidity, Escape to Canada, Let's All Hate Toronto, Laughology) andNik Sheehan's (No Sad Songs) documentary Who Farted? These two directors get to the meat of why it's important to understand what this complex compound of chemicals (which includes methane and sulphur) can do to the environment and what its role is in entertainment and also in saving the planet. Yes, it's possible to destroy the world because of a bunch of creatures big and small passing gas.

The absurd is hilariously examined and the highlight is with theWorld Fart Championships held in Utajärvi, Finland to which Nerenberg was invited to participate–or not. Dare he get personal? 

The societal impact is perhaps the most important. It's easy to hold it in when you know a fart is ready to erupt. Just how a person politely excuses themselves varies, and I found segment perhaps the most engaging since people of all ages and cultural identities are asked this question. Their varied responses are very telling. Plus, no corner is unturned and even Satan plays a role in this discourse. Saying too much is a spoiler.

Without the flora around the Earth to process the gas–a point not heavily examined in this documentary–I'm sure it's easy to assume the planet Earth is less likely to become another Venus and more like Uranus in due time. It's not always that bed of roses we smell in the end.

Oakland post-punks Ötzi have teamed up with Paste Magazine to premiere the official music video for their song "Hold Still." This song appears on the band's new album, Storm, which is now out on Artoffact Records.

The video can be streamed at https://www.pastemagazine.com/music/-tzi/otzi-hold-still-premiere/

Of the song, Ötzi drummer/vocalist Gina Marie states, “We’re so overwhelmed by the awful things happening in the world, that sometimes it’s hard to see the good that exists right in front of us. The song was written to express love and appreciation for that one person who gets you through the day.” 

Ötzi bassist/vocalist Akiko Sampson adds, “We shot the video right before the pandemic outbreak, and goofing off at the boardwalk for this video was one of the last things we did as a band. Now it feels like a reminder to not take for granted all the times that we can be together.”

On Storm, Ötzi pierces the heart with their dark and passionate style of post-punk. Brooding and aggressive sounds intertwine, via dual vocals, flanged-out guitar, austere bass and tense drumming. Anthemic hooks, worthy of '80s new wave radio hits, are delivered by way of stripped-down production, the rawness of which makes the songs penetrate even deeper. 

While nodding to the howls of Siouxsie and the Banshees, the anarcho-punk of Crass, and the laments of early The Cure, Ötzi lives very much in the present, if not the future. 

“The darkness of our sound doesn’t come from existential dread or moroseness, it’s a reflection of the lives we’ve lived as femmes in an often hostile world," says Sampson. "We express all this mourning and anger through our music, so playing is always cathartic for us. But afterwards, what we’re left with is a sense of hope and a vision for what can be. So in this album, we wanted to incorporate all of those dimensions. Because that’s what 'Storm' is about – huge, violent life changes that leave you transformed forever.”

Since their formation in 2014, Ötzi has toured the world with the likes of The Chameleons, Deerhoof, Modern English, and She Past Away. 

This album can be bought online at https://orcd.co/OtziStorm

The Cake Sale in the Sin Bin is a sports rock compilation of four of British Columbia’s punk rock bands coming together to celebrate just that. There’s nothing better than rocking out to these tunes while playing soccer or b-ball. Well, whatever your favourite sport is–in this album’s case Roller Derby–I’m sure we can appropriate the tunes for use for other games.

Over at our self-isolating personal offices, we can’t really socially distance playing hockey. Our illustrious editor-in-chief Ira Hunter loves this sport, but until all is considered safe, we’ll be putting this album to the test elsewhere. Hockey has its specific songs, like Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400, but how can we not want to head bang to The Poor Choices, The Tower of Dudes, The Daisy Stranglers and The Hex?

Yes, Roller Derby is a unique world. The music we hear brings out the animal, not the man-imal in us.  With different play styles ranging from good ol’ garage to accordion to “trunk” and death, it’s tough to say which one of the four songs offered stands out. It’s not fair as each band offered a tune each. They all celebrate the Skate-O-Rama theme (respectively) “Roller Girl,” “Derby Darling,” “Don’t Hate,” and “Upsey-Crazy.”

If I had to choose, I’m leading on the Tower of Dudes lest they topple. Okay, terrible joke–but The Hex can certainly smash it and their song closes off this maxi-mini single release well.

To find this album, please visit (in Victoria) Ditch Records, Vinyl Envy and Cavity Curiosity Shop. In Nanaimo, please hit up Fascinating Rhythm!


Stream "Years of Lead" and pre-order/pre-save/pre-add new album Nostalgia, here:

• Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/album/3RG1WtQB47ttIZc0ncNZaT

• Apple: https://music.apple.com/us/album/nostalgia/1493451569?ls=1

• Bandcamp: https://spectresvancouver.bandcamp.com/album/nostalgia

Founded in Vancouver in 2005 by vocalist Brian Gustavson, SPECTRES is commonly cited as one of the bands responsible for kicking off the renewed interest in the post-punk sound in Canada. Inspired initially by the original UK anarcho-punk bands of the late '70s and early '80s, SPECTRES mixes the ethics of that scene (Crass, The Mob, et al.) with the stylings of post-punk and an incredible knack for writing catchy songs. As a review on CVLT Nation put it, the band is "firmly rooted in punk, but it weaves dreamy melodies into the angst and frustration."

SPECTRES will release new album Nostalgia on March 13th. It is their first album of new material for Artoffact Records, a label whose roster contains, among other things, an array of crucial bands from across the post-punk spectrum – from Icelandic witches Kælan Mikla, to Lithuanian "sad-dance" experimentalists Solo Ansamblis, to SPECTRES and their hometown Vancouver labelmates ACTORS.

Nostalgia was produced by ACTORS frontman Jason Corbett at Jacknife Sound in Vancouver. It follows three independent albums (all reissued by Artoffact Records in 2019).


SPECTRES will embark on a US West Coast tour in March:

Feb 28 - Vancouver, BC @ ARC

Mar 6 - Portland, OR @ Blackwater Bar

Mar 7 - Oakland, CA @ First Church of the Buzzard

Mar 8 - Los Angeles, CA @ Part Time Punks

Mar 10 - San Diego, CA @ The Whistle Stop

Mar 11 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Rec Room

Mar 12 - San Francisco, CA @ The Eagle

Mar 13 - Chico, CA @ Naked Lounge

Mar 14 - Portland, OR @ Lovecraft

CLOUD RAT: European Tour Announcement

Friday, 10 January 2020 18:45 Published in Underground News

Following the release of Pollinator last fall on Toronto-based Artoffact Records, Michigan grindcore mainstays Cloud Rat announces today a European tour kicking off in Belgium on April 16th. Slovenian sludge-doom act Leechfeast will support. The tour dates are below.

Pollinator has received many year-end accolades in recent weeks, including 2019 best-of list appearances from PitchforkThe Quietus, and Treble Zine, amongst several others. The band also topped off an amazing decade of music by playing the Metal Injection 15th anniversary party in December.

Cloud Rat's appearances at Roadburn Festival will be a special stop on their return to Europe. The festival is co-curated by Emma Ruth Rundle, who asked Cloud Rat to play two shows: an intense main set of grindcore, hardcore punk, and the metal the band is known for; and a special second set, Do Not Let Me Off the Cliff, hi-lighting the band's experimental-electronic side.

Cloud Rat’s evolution from a weird political grindcore band into a more unquantifiable (though still political) extreme music band came to a head in 2019 when the Michigan trio released Pollinator, their many-headed fourth LP.

2020 Europe tour 

16 April 2020 Belgium Leffinge "De Zwerver *
17-18 April 2020 Netherlands Tilburg "roadburn festival
19 April 2020 Germany Berlin "ZUKUNFT am Ostkreuz *
20 April 2020 Germany Leipzig "Zoro *
21 April 2020 Czech Republic Prague "Underdogs *
22 April 2020 Austria Wien "Arena *
23 April 2020 Slovakia Bratislava "Kulturák klub *
24 April 2020 Hungary Budapest "Aurora *
25 April 2020 Austria Linz "Kapu *
27 April 2020 Netherlands Arnhem "Willemeen *
28 April 2020 Belgium Bruxelles "Magasin 4 *
29 April 2020 England London "Black Heart *
30 April 2020 England Sheffield "Network 2 * 

1 May 2020 England Newport "LePub *
2 May 2020 Iceland Reykjavík "Gaukurinn


* with Leechfeast



Madison Marshall - vocals

Rorik Brooks - guitar, keyboards, samples

Brandon Hill - drums


Photo credit: Jason Tipton

"Seven Heads" appears on Cloud Rat's upcoming, fourth full-length album Pollinatordue out September 13th on Artoffact Records.

Order or listen to this album at:


"Seven Heads" rips through speakers with a mix of death metal and grindcore, while haunting synths swell deep underneath. Cloud Rat guitarist Rorik Brooks describes the song as "somewhere between Coffins, Morbid Angel, Discordance Axis, and Deftones," also acknowledging sci-fi masters Ray Bradbury and David Cronenberg as lyrical inspirations. Like many of Pollinator's songs, "Seven Heads" addresses the potential lethality of the internet. Brooks says, "[Vocalist] Madison Marshall was thinking of the Cronenberg film, The Brood, and took that kind of surreal body-horror vibe and married it to modern delusional terror, i.e. social media, where every day our brains are pollinated constantly by different emotions, ideologies and identity delusions."

Over the past ten years, Cloud Rat has established itself as one of the most compelling bands in the underground – releasing four full-length albums, eleven EPs and splits, a live album, and various other comps, the prolific Michigan trio has made a name for itself via sheer emotion and musical freedom. Emerging from the space where hardcore punk spirals into grindcore, Cloud Rat incorporates musical influences from across the map – black metal, death metal, noise, folk, and beyond – all while retaining its realness and urgency.

Brooks states, "Pollinator is our most complete and accomplished work yet. It is the quintessence of everything we've tried to say and do before, and it's kind of fitting that we are coming up on a decade of being a band together."


Punk in Drublic responses from KJ/Chixdiggit!

Thursday, 20 June 2019 17:02 Published in Underground News

By Ira Hunter

Greetings from Canada, eh! Who are we talking to and what are you most famous of infamous for? 

This is KJ from Chixdiggit. I'm famous for being in the not-famous band Chixdiggit.

What first got you into Punk Rock? 

My big sister went to Europe in 1978 and my punk cousin gave her all her old punk records. My cousin was getting into reggae so she didn't want them anymore. They came home with my sister and they blew my mind when I heard them.

Brief origin of your band?

1990 Wanted to be in a band. Made up a name and corresponding t-shirts and pretended we were a band. Friends pressured us to show them this band we were in. Played first show, got another show, got a booking agent shortly after and signed to Sub Pop in 1995. Signed with Honest Don's/Fat in 1997 and have been there since.

Describe your sound for people who have been living in igloos.

People living in all kinds of homes listen to our music, which is three-to-four chord poppy, distorted, punk-style rock 'n roll.

Blood on Black Wax: Horror Soundtracks on Vinyl is available to order on Amazon USA

A look back at nearly all the music from the greatest horror cinema classics will be released on May 13th, 2019! No, we are not talking about a rerelease of all these tunes, but instead, we will get an opening of a time capsule which looks at the unique history and artwork of these works. Blood on Black Wax: Horror Soundtracks on Vinyl will get multiple releases too. The core product, a hardbound, full-color, 240-page book spotlights the intricate (and often rare) artwork on the LP sleeves, as well as album reviews, release details, and wild backstories.

Jeff Szpirglas is the guy with the long last name who reviews albums and old movies for Rue Morgue Magazine, and the list does not end there. He's written many books for young readers and is a second-grade full-time teacher. This vocation puts him in an interesting position should he decide to demonstrate his love for horror to impressionable minds. Aaron Lupton os the music editor for the said magazine and is a passionate and nerdy collector of horror soundtrack LPs. He also is the co-host of From My Parents Basement podcast with Eric Gaudet and Gary Pullin.

In what prompted the decision to create this book was when Szpirglas approached Aaron about putting together a special edition digest issue of the magazine focusing specifically on horror soundtracks. At the time, Rue Morgue had been releasing special editions on subjects ranging from horror collectables to Canadian horror, and he felt that a soundtrack book was a no-brainer. In his own words, "So much of what makes these films effective often comes from sound and music working in conjunction with the images and the rhythms of editing."

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