No Cause for Concern? Issue #9 | June 1984 | Page 7 | Vancouver scene report
Vancouver Scene Report
- by Chael Laycock
Well? Right now there are more hardcore type bands in Vancouver than ever before. Most of the new bands have just come into being over the last year. The fact that there are now regular places to play has helped the scene more than anything else. By far the best new place to play is Stalag 13, an underground all-ages club run in an old warehouse by Bob Montgomery, the brother of Chuck Biscuits. Other places to play include The Tamara Restaurant, The Waterfront Pub, the Smilin Buddha Cabaret (which has just been newly reopened after being gutted by fire) and a few other one-time club gigs and of course whatever halls that will rent out to us. Between the lot of them, there have been more gigs in the last year (5 or 6 months actually) that in the two previous years (or so it seems.)
As for bands in and around the Vancouver area, here are the names and a short rundown on the most visible ones. You all know D.O.A. so I won't go into detail about them.
Right now, Vancouver's most prominent hardcore outfit is HOUSE OF COMMONS who play an original-sounding version of semi-political hard rock, fast and aggressive with intricate riffs and lots of speed changes. House of Commons have been around for quite a while and have just moved to Vancouver from Victoria in the last year. They have played a lot of gigs and are partly responsible for the improvement in the Vancouver hardcore scene.
DEATH SENTENCE (not the be confused with Britain's "Death Sentence") from Burnaby, play roaring hardcore with a very powerful guitar grind sound. They really put themselves into the show but the drummer is the standout: he turns bright red and appears about to die at any moment. Good noise but not always a good p.a.
THE FITZ (not to be confused with Britain's The Fits) look and sound like a band that has just been plucked out of Britain and placed down in Vancouver. Their biggest influence is G.B.H. which is quite obvious to anyone who sees them play and like G.B.H. they don't move around at all, the music is very basic and it would seem to anyone that doesn't know them that they worry more about whether their spikes are going to fall over than whether they play well.
|(The Fitz: Brad on bass, Steve on vocals)|
||(The Fitz lead singer Steve.)|
UNKNOWN FIBERS put forth a fair account for themselves. They are rather amusing to watch seeing as the guitarist resembles "Meatloaf"
THE BILL OF RIGHTS are an intensely political band who successfully combine new music with crunching guitars and harsh gravely sung vocals. The only thing about this band that drags is that the drummer and bassist are not even close to being at the same level of skill as the guitarist and as such, he is often forced to play well below what he could be playing.
SISU are a pop punk outfit but they are undoubtably the wildest live band from Vancouver. Their live shows are action packed and frantic, even when the audience isn't. Unfortunately I believe this frenetic energy is drug induced and as such, sooner or later something is going to break down.
IMMORAL MINORITY are way cool, their riffs catch your attention and the band keeps your attention. All four band members trade vocals with the bassist and drummer bearing the brunt of it. A very positive band to say the least.
|(Immoral Minority - Dean on guitar, Brian on bass and vocals.)
APOSTASY are about the best band around when it comes to music. They sort of sound like fast Motorhead with incredibly deep and harsh vocals which put across very intelligent, positive political lyrics. A band truly to be contended with. Live they are not as energetic as they could be but they are still pretty hot (provided the bass player keeps his shirt on) (private joke). Other influences include Personality Crisis, Discharge and Melalica.
UNNATURAL SILENCE is my band and as such I won't give a review but I will say that we have changed two members and we have not broken up as it said in MMR. THere are a few more new bands starting up but I do not know when they are planning on playing or what their names are.
Best bet for new bands are ANTI CHRIST INC. which contains two ex-members of "The Rippers" from Winnipeg and one damn hot drummer from Nanaimo.
Unfortunately for some unexplained reason there is a very intense rivalry/hatred between Vancouver and Victoria, therefore it is not often that a band from Vancouver will play in Victoria and vice versa. Most punks from Vancouver know nothing about what is going on across the straights and unfortunately the majority couldn't care less.
If you are in Vancouver visiting and you would like to meet some punks, the best place to find them is on the Granville Mall standing at the benches out front of "Black Market". The kids there will tell you what's going on and where. To get to the Granville Street Mall just ask anyone, they will tell you. One more thing to note is that the mall is actually just a street where no cars are allowed so don't be looking for a big shopping centre.
(Photos by Dean Attridge)
[Chael Laycock passed away April 30, 2012. He was a great supporter of the scene and his contributions to NCFC were a welcome addition. There was a facebook memorial page made for him here.]