VARIOUS ARTISTS: Toronto’s Burning: LP

Apr 27, 2009

As both snapshots in time and documenting a particular period, Toronto’s Burning is the perfect follow-up to the previously released Toronto City Omnibus that the same label put out a few years ago. It’s a grouping of current bands from Toronto, Canada, that are not Fucked Up or Career Suicide. Included are a wide variety of punk and metal influenced bands. Black Spokes start things off with a real bang with their angry-edged punk. Madmen give one track of tribal-like drumming and a dirge of dirty noise that sounds circa ‘79. Living Darkness pull out the Kylesa meets D-Beat card that darkens the mood for their time slot. U.T.I. have a vocalist that shrills so high that it seems it can break glass. The band backs it up with some rawly recorded mid-tempo to fast punk. Urban Blight ends things by blasting through two short and fast numbers that felt like two quick kicks in the nads. The Reprobates start off the flipside with their personal flavor of raw-sounding punk that sounds like it easily could have been on Mystic Records. The Dangerloves slow and soften the moment with some female-led indie pop. Rammer—some on the East Coast might remember as the backing band for Toxic Holocaust for one tour—bring back the energy with some fuckin’ metal. Hazardous Waste, who I thought would be thrash metal, surprises me with their Career Suicide-like punk. School Jerks finished off the whole shebang sounding to me like Nervous Breakdown-era Black Flag.

 –don (Schizophrenic)