So It Goes by Hollerado

So It Goes comes to us off of Hollerado’s 2013 album White Paint. Continuing the upbeat, uptempo rock style from their debut Record In A Bag, the Ottawa-based group have come out strong on their second full length offering. The track’s punchy, driving rhythm pushes a youthful energy that has come to be expected from Hollerado, and is executed in their signature, super-positive way.

Keeping the groove tight, the group have also demonstrated that they are no slackers when it comes to writing and performing their songs. Lead singer Menno Versteeg also demonstrates his songwriting chops, allegedly writing this song about how his grandfather’s life was saved from an organ donation after another elderly man had passed away. The song’s underlying motif is one of pondering the complex interconnectedness of life and how his grandfather’s life was dependent on someone’s else’s grandfather’s death. An interesting concept for an otherwise catchy, upbeat rock song.

Never Again by the Bloody Five

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This hard rock track is off of The Bloody Five’s debut album Unreleased 2012, released in august of last year. This track, which was featured in Rock Band 3, is a hard hitting behemoth of a song that is right at home in the alternative rock genre. By far my favourite track off of the album, the four-piece Toronto-based group pull out all the stops here. With a crunchy opening riff akin to Billy Talent, the song goes straight for the jugular from the get-go. The abrasive noises made by guitarist Tomi Fear and drummer Robby Sedran are kept in check by the soothing overdubbed vocals of lead singer KD. Having met these guys in person, I can say with confidence that they are not only some of the most honest musicians I’ve come across, but are very driven. This group has a lot of potential.

Space Between by Samara York

Space Between comes to us from Toronto based singer-songwriter Samara York. This slow tempo ballad demonstrates York’s original songwriting, and is assisted by the professionalism demonstrated by her accompanying band. The atmosphere here is a drawn out anger, delivered in a gentle, lower energy manner that gives credence to the themes of the song. The lyrics themselves are introspective and give the listener the impression that they are derived from real lived experiences; a testament to York’s writing capability. The vocals themselves are powerful, and this song in particular demonstrates York’s excellent control over her vocal range. This up-and-comer has an album coming out online soon, and if it is as polished as even this live performance, it will be well worth a listen.

Fire’s Highway by Japandroids

Taken from their critically acclaimed album Celebration Rock that came out this time last year, Fire’s Highway is an excellent example of what Japandroids are capable of. Namely, an incredible amount of energy provided by a deceptively simple, punchy guitar and drums sound. Having released two full length studio albums, this duo from Vancouver, Canada demonstrate yet again that they have no shortage of creative energy or artistic enthusiasm. This song evokes imagery best associated with reckless teenage years,driven largely by the heavily distorted guitar. Although on the surface, this song appears to be nothing more than simple pop-punk, closer listening demonstrates the intricacies of Brian King`s guitar work, with subtle, and effective, changes in strumming style that accentuate the lyrical content. Japandroids are one of the most original acts to come out of Canada in the last little while, I look forward to their future offerings.

‘Til You Got Yours by Jane’s Party

I’ve had the fortune of seeing this group live in concert, and I must say it was worth every penny. This is Jane’s Party, a four-piece indie rock group from Toronto, Ontario. ‘Til you got yours is the newest single off of the band’s first full length album Hot Noise, which was released this week online at their website and will be available in a physical format on June 1st. Jane’s Party demonstrates their solid musicianship in this song, with a balanced sound that doesn’t favour one instrument over the others, and crystal clear vocal harmonies that accentuate the lyrics well. In addition, the group elegantly blends vintage and contemporary sound textures, mixing classic organ and bass tones with more modern guitar and vocal melodies. Jane`s Party are a must have for any self-proclaimed fan of mid-tempo rock music.