Steely metal guitar riffs with sweaty classic rock rhythms and a soaring powerhouse vocal, The Lad Classic’s Rectifier is a beast of an album. For newbies to the genre, this may convert you. The inclusion of several acoustic versions of selected hard hitting tracks is also a great gateway, and showcases the band’s individual strengths. Check them out at theladclassic.com!
On today’s episode we get into The Stereo Division and their latest release, Love is in Motion. It’s airy, watercolour, shoegaze heavy on synths and sex appeal. Check out their music video for Fire Brigade! Dylan digs into how they build a formula and find ways to play within it, and Jess reluctantly admits that a record with little focus on lyrics can wash over you in a great way (and this one did). Perfect pairing to a romantic night in, a quiet meditation or as the backdrop to summer evening by the water. Come see us July 19th at The Hideout for our AFL 2nd Anniversary Showcase and get in the loop!
An exciting first for the show, we have a new release from a great band we featured last year, it’s the return of Return for Refund, with Lift You Up. True to their hard rocking form, it’s cheeky, raw and as is often the case with second releases, it feels lived in and self-aware. But this record digs deeper into some heavy themes and Jesse’s theory about it being a concept album totally blows Dylan’s mind. Get in the loop, and get stoked for out 2nd anniversary showcase July 19th!
Video games, shoe-gaze, the IT Crowd, rap-rock… It’s all here. Nerds rejoice, because Stereoblastula is here with Save the Princess. If you’re not a gamer at all (like Jess) there is still an incredible story within this record, and if you happen to be more of a Dylan, expect some wonderful easter eggs. Come see our live showcase of punk, rock and general debauchery No Soul Safe April 8th at the Libertarian! Get in the loop!
One of Dylan’s personal faves, we tackled PUP’s second full release, The Dream is Over. These Toronto-based punk rockers are reinvigorating the genre, making a fan out of Jesse, and managing to pull themes of depression, death, angst and acceptance into a solid and varied record. With as many complex narratives as there are straightforward loud-fun-angry tracks, it’s a safe bet to say their dream is only beginning.
Jess is back to talk Windsor-based psychedelic rock-pop from The Brandy Alexanders. It’s steeped in the likes of Pink Floyd and middle-era Beatles, but with enough rhythmic interest and layered instrumentation to make their mark on the genre. Check them out here and stay tuned till the end of the episode for details on our next showcase night November 3rd at The Cameron House!
With Jess on vacation, Dylan and his mum Loretta want you to get your skateboarding gear, drink a few beers, find your friends, and hop into the world of PKEW PKEW PKEW and their anti-social party punk rock. There’s a lot more going on than you might think on a first listen, and the live show is to die for. So much to cover! So get in the loop!
Windsor-based metal prog rock with an intense apocalyptic maybe-not-so-distant future narrative. The most densely concise concept album we’ve done on AFL, it’s Siren Phase’s Origins EP. Dylan muses on the influences of H.R. Gieger in sci-fi, and Jess recounts her experience with The Purge franchise. Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, and stay tuned for news about A Very Open Mic Night!
After a stellar anniversary showcase, we’re back with a LOT of easy to love tunage! We tucked into Social Potion‘s first release, and is it ever a lovely take on adult alternative pop with a real Women & Songs meets Aimee Mann feel. Some things we get into: King Lear references, keeping yourself together after a breakup, pranking your drunk dad on Christmas to hit those high notes in Beatles Rock Band (Carmen can. Dylan’s dad, not so much), and what it’s like to meet your heroes. EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT ALERT so stay tuned till the end!
I know what you’re thinking. Jesse, isn’t this showcase for killer bands you’ve highlighted on the show? I have scoured every Feedback Loop episode and could recite them front and back in my sleep, but I’ve NEVER heard a review of Phill Hood and the Exclamation! You wily liar!
And you’re right. But you HAVE heard releases from every other band member in another form. PH&E!’s stellar bass player John William-Blakeley guest hosted our chat on two of his other projects and what it’s like to moonlight in real estate. Fiddler Jarred Albright is one half of the folk-romatics Rye & Fairytales. Drummer Charlie McKittrick’s (sadly defunct) TimeGiant was featured here. And doing double duty on June 30th is Jake Saenz also of Big Otter Creek. Phew!
So to gear up for this AFL all-star set, I got the scoop from the man himself on his upcoming record, working with his best friends, and what it’s like to produce your own album from the ground up.
Since putting the band together last year, they have been in and out of recording at Phill’s home studio, and working out the tracks at shows around Toronto. Their sound has been compared to other great Canadian Celtic-tinged rock acts, but with a bend towards late 90’s alternative. The debut album, Travel, focuses on Phill’s geographical changes as much as his personal ones. Born and raised in Newfoundland, moving to Toronto for university, traversing the U.S. as part of the Tartan Terrors (with Jake, too. Does that guy ever sleep?), it’s all in the mix. Think Spirit of the West featuring the Barenaked Ladies, getting a hit on Big Shiny Tunes 9.
Their second single, Nelly, was met with a huge response at a show in the spring. The clear influence of Jimmy Eat World and some high-octane emotional lyrics made for a powerful track. The band’s stage presence is also a shining example of what working with your friends can bring to a performance.
“It’s just fun. I look back and see JW and Charlie getting a groove together, and then Jake is right there with some crazy new guitar tone. He’s a gear head like me, so we really get some great stuff. And when it’s done, we stick around to check out the next band. Something people overlook, just stay and support each other if you can. “
On recording in his home studio, which has changed 3 times since the album began, Phill also had this to say:
“It’s freeing to have complete control. I can come home after a great set and ride that high, have the mics set up so I can lay down something whenever I want to. But it’s my first crack at producing such a large-scale record, [He produced a 4-track hip-hop EP last spring and the award-winning score for a children’s web series ] so there’s always new tricks to learn. YouTube tutorials really are a goldmine. That, and, just working at it until it has the feel you want.”
So when can we expect the record release? Phill, a savvy businessman but always an artist first, has decided the album wouldn’t be complete without a final track composed just weeks ago and inspired by a getaway to Northern Ontario. While it may delay the release of Travel, and his band mates have certainly teased him about getting it out there already, it’s certainly a fitting addition to a body of work already brimming with songs that capture what it means to explore and discover. Not just the scenery, but the self.
In the meantime, check out their first single, Obvious and don’t forget to swing by The Hideout June 30th to hear all their tunes live!