Latest Blog Posts
Wildwood Fire ReviewBy Ezekiel McAdams   &n

Get Connected

August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26
HOME / STORY

Nine Count

Charles Cassino
Published Thursday May 14, 06:35 pm
Saskatoon’s local scene keeps on kicking... well, you-know-what

Photo Credit: Myron Campbell

Until just a few years ago, Saskatoon’s music scene was pretty much a closed ecosystem: sure, there were tons of great bands, and every now and then one or two would pop into the wider world (The Northern Pikes or Wide Mouth Mason, for example), but mostly the rest of the world had no idea that Saskatonians even played music.

So it’s awesome to realize that what I’m about to say is becoming a habit that’s increasingly repeated each and every year: 2015 is already shaping up to be yet another banner year for local music fans.

Along with dominating the recently unveiled Western Canadian Music Awards, Saskatoon bands are pretty much a mainstay at various premier festivals including Sled Island, SXSW, CMW, and many more. Many of them are also touring across Canada, the U.S. and even Europe, and recording at awesome studios around the world, with uber-respected people at the sound board.

Along with plenty of new bands rocking the various stages throughout the city, there are plenty of scene vets who have gotten their collective butts in gear and recorded albums, including Adolyne, Ride Til Dawn and Slow Down, Molasses, among many others. Another great year for local music? Definitely!

We’ve only got so much space, so this list is going to be sadly incomplete when it comes to everyone that deserves to be on it, but here are nine (why nine, you ask? Why not?, we answer — round numbers ain’t rock ‘n’ roll!) bands among many to keep your eye on.

XEMBRYOS

Something of a scuzz-punk supergroup, if there ever were such a thing in Saskatoon, Xembryos are comprised of current/former members of bands such as Herd of Wasters and Shockflesh (and both of those bands also continue to exist and impress, by the way). But despite the razor-sharp punk riffs and the visceral stomping, the group also carries three distinct voices, which gives them a considerable edge when stacked up against the rest of the city's burgeoning punk scene.

FERN

Featuring songwriting that's lithe yet stark, folkster Fern has been gigging more around the province lately. With the recently released single "Combat", Fern continues to weave rich, lush songs with little more than an acoustic guitar and vocals that carry intense waves of melody.

THE AVULSIONS

Amidst the creeping crawl of hollowed-out jangle melodies, The Avulsions are a haunting trio that hint at elements of pop amidst single bent notes and tribal beats. Currently recording a new EP in advance of an upcoming tour that includes stops at several festivals such as Sled Island, MoSoFest and Grilledcheesapolooza, The Avulsions will likely be carrying their busy schedule well into the summer.

SUSAN

After playing a barrage of well-attended shows, local noise freaks Susan suddenly disappeared. A blip on Saskatoon's radar, or was it all just a chance occurrence of guitars colliding into delay pedals and cymbal washes? Hardly. The four-piece has re-banded and will be unleashing a new release, a split cassette with The Moas, later this year. Here's hoping they stick around.

JUMBO

Featuring a sound that bears many similarities to the girth of their namesake, Jumbo are a group of groove-addled rock freaks that play pounding, fun songs. This is music that stomps along with a nice shimmy or two thrown in for good measure, and Jumbo will be unveiling a new EP in the near future.

THE BUZZARDLINE

A scraping of blues riffs piled on top of a garage guitar squall, The Buzzardline recently unveiled a studio video that hinted at a well-defined sound despite only having played live a handful of times. Featuring the drumming of total pro Hal Shrenck, The Buzzardline seem destined to make some mammoth sounds during their debut year.

ACRONYMS

Another group compiled of members from already established bands, Acronyms have come a very long way since forming only a short time ago. They’ve toured throughout Canada, and the group's debut EP has caught a lot of ears across the country. Along with a strong live show, the four-piece have developed a strong, lush sound rooted in chiming indie rock guitars and intense vocals.

PARAB POET

A collection of feel-good rhymes and raps, Parab Poet has been making a big impression on Saskatoon. They’ve performed at a variety of stages and events thus far (one notable appearance being at last year’s Food Truck Festival). This year, Mr. Poet and his crew will be performing at the main stage of the Jazz Festival — a damn quick rise for a new band, but one they totally deserve.

PANDAS IN JAPAN

We've told you about this young garage/psych three-piece before, but ever since their demise and eventual rebirth, Pandas in Japan has once again hit a very strong stride. Amidst the swirling guitar-noise chaos, the group manages to unearth strange moments of melodic interludes in between pounding deluges of gut rock. With their recently recorded new album, the group will hopefully be able to hold on to their unique sound a little longer this time, while burning just as bright as they did in the past.

Back to TopShare/Bookmark