Yes, I was the masterer on the album, and yes I am good friends with all the guys, and have even played in bands with two of its members, and am thusly biased. I was born biased, raised biased, and I’ll stay biased until I’m long long dead and eaten by wolves. None of this changes the fact that Reptilian Lipstick is the most ass-kickingest, crotchgrabbingly, bad-ass album you’ll listen to this year. This album will hand you questionable substances, wait for the right moment to touch you inappropriately, and leave you feeling both violated and liberated. This album will change your blood type. This album will force you to destroy everything you own just for the pleasure of smashing it against your face in time with the howling. This album will change your religion, not only that but it will forcibly cancel out the baptism of anybody within earshot.
Maybe I exaggerate, but it’s really good.
This album was supposed to come out sometime in August but many misdealings, miscommunications and just plain fuck-ups with the manufacturers delayed the release of the album more than four months. So it was with great anticipation and total exasperated impatience that I arrived at the CD release show at CBTG’s last week. Finally the damn thing was finished and I could hold the end product in my hand. It was a beautiful moment, but there was something weird in the air that night… I’ll get to that later. First I’m going to do the opposite of what I usually do and take a look at the videos of opening acts first.
The other reason I was excited about the show was that I would get to see a band I hadn’t seen for a long while: The Chatty Cathys.
Started by guitarist/singer Adam Greene, The Chatty Cathys (who’s name is a Steve Colbert reference, if anybody is curious) are a rowdy trio of hard rocking moral reprobates playing aggressive and ossified guitar chaos with a bluesy edge. Greene’s stage banter can get notoriously confrontational, which I’ve witnessed get pretty out of hand on occassion, but the man has serious chops and writes tunes that can stick to you for a long time. He kept his mouth in check pretty well for this show and I took a couple of videos to add to my collection.
Also if you took The Chatty Cathys and rearranged them so the drummer and guitarists changed places you’d get The Drunks Rule This Place, who I talked about awhile ago here.
Here’s a song call “Gauche.” It’s apparently about AIDS relief in Africa?
I don’t know the name of this song but it’s pretty heavy:
Going completely out of order, Justin Guzzwell and The Crooks opened the night with his particular brand of compelling ivory pummeling. I think Justin is one of the most interesting and original new songwriters working the circuit last year, and he gets better each time I see him. I wrote about him and took a couple of videos back in the old blog a few months back (see it here if your curious).
This time I caught him and his band doing what is undoubtably his catchiest song, “Bossman”:
And then ummm… My camera batteries burned out?
No, that’s a lie. I can’t avoid it any longer! Sorry but I’m not going to show you any videos of Colonel Craze from their CD release show. Unfortunately for everyone, this was the shittiest Colonel Craze concert ever. And worse still this had nothing to do with the band. Well, maybe it had a bit to do with the band, but if anybody is going to take the brunt of the blame it’s going to go to the shitty, shitty audience that turned up to the event. And before you say “well what kind of crappy performer blames the audience for a bad set?” I would say to you that you are either blind and deaf or just haven’t gotten out of your house to see a show in at least 10 years.
I don’t know if any of you have noticed this recently, but people suck ass nowadays. And what I mean by that is people don’t know how to be an audience anymore, they have no sense of what is appropriate behavior when taking in a show. Usually when you hear that complaint it’s in reference to people being incapable of shutting up for a minute during quiet songs or people to stupid to turn off their cellphones when they’re at a play or movie, but in the case of Colonel Craze I’m actually inverting this sentiment. A lot of complete strangers showed up for the show and while every musician wants more new listeners, these people seemed to have wandered in from some Asperger’s clinic close by. Colonel Craze are a rock band. They play loud, punked-up, aggressive, rock and roll boogie music. The appropriate behavior is to dance, jump around, shout, cheer, drink and be generally rowdy and obnoxious, and that’s what people generally expect and look forward to when going out to a loud show. What is inappropriate behaviour is to stand motionless, aloof and uncheering right at the front of the stage throughout the entire set.
I don’t care how shitty the band is. I don’t care how much the song sucks. I don’t care if you got dragged there kicking and screaming by your boyfriend/girlfriend, I don’t care if the door person kicked you in the nuts on the way in, you better fucking clap between songs. This is just common fucking courteousy. Speaking from far too much experience, playing your heart out on stage and having it met with a room full of cold silence is up there with having your pet die in terms of shitty feelings.
So anyway, the room was pretty tightly packed for a snowy Friday night, but half this audience was intent on sucking all the joy out of the room by standing in silence and literally sneering at anybody attempting to dance in front of them. I mean, what the fuck is wrong with you people? If you’re not having a good time, go somewhere else! There are plenty of other bars on George Street. No one is forcing you to be here. And even if your significant other is forcing you to be here, why the hell are you standing like unmotivated zombies two feet away from the singer’s face? Go to the back of the room!
The Craze were pretty damn ossified (actually they were really, really tanked) but not so ossified that they couldn’t notice that half the front row consisted of these people. The awkward tension in the room was palpable, and the whole evening turned into a giant negative feedback loop of band and audience feeding off each other’s disgust.
I am exaggerating a lot in this rant, but none of the videos I took were fit for anyone to look at, so as a consolation I dug out an older Colonel Craze video I’ve had in my hard drive for a couple of months and uploaded it.
Here’s a feisty and inarticulate performance of “Pregnancy’s a Joke” and “Pressure Control” from Reptilian Lipstick:
The by’s are pretty much my favourite band going and they deserved a better CD release show then that, considering the amount of work they put into it. But anyway, having gotten that little rant off my chest and moving on with my life, I have to say I’m really excited about the future of the band. The album is getting a great response, and The Craze are really excited and happy with the way everything is going with it. Look out for their future shows and be sure to turn up if you plan on bloody dancing and screaming. Stay the fuck home otherwise.
The anti-rape cake from the show.