This past December the 7th at Montreal’s DIY center of the universe, Turbo Haus, was a little more than just another night of listening to bands and brooding in a corner like Simon Cowell with Chewbacca’s dick up his arse. This was a night of fond memories and days of old. Maybe I’m being a little gushy and nostalgic, or maybe you should just stop talking to yourself and read my review of Ritual like a good little non-gender-specific being (like how I’m being sensitive and shit?)
Before I get into how the night actually went, I just wanna point out that something incredibly strange happened- something so out of this world that you might actually cease to exist if you try to comprehend it’s nature. I showed up to a show on fucking time. Now hold on to your mental capacities, I still have a show to talk about. Montreal newcomers Theresa got onstage as I entered the premises (again: ON TIME!) These dudes swing a very high school, bubble gum punk-infused hardcore style, slightly akin to that of No Bragging Rights, only not quite as groovy and refined. As I mentioned, these guys are newcomers from what I’ve been informed, so that being kept in mind, it’s a hell of a lot better than when I started out with my last band (I, however, don’t actually matter). Theresa definitely has the beginnings of an understanding of liveliness on stage, but some love for song structure, musicianship, and a little work on that pitchy clean singing is needed in their formula before this act can start to get some serious listens.
Up next was another home town love, NoDirectionHome. These happy hardcore homies didn’t need your spacebar when Bucketlist first got to reviewing them, and they sure as hell don’t need your spacebar now. As both myself and other loving members of the List have given these cats a listen already, I decided to try something I little different, because I’m fucking artsy like that sometimes (not really). I did my best to not actually watch these dudes, but instead to listen. The guitars gave a whole lot of love to that clean channel; the drums needed a defibrillator to give them a little more life; and although if any one of the vocal “melodies” were on their own for any given song and not together it may have made a little more sense, the back and forth tended to take away from the true nature of the song. Maybe chaos is the point; maybe I should shut the fuck up; or maybe Luke Skywalker becomes God in the next Star Wars film, which I’m obviously too excited for. What I can tell in reality is that these guys still love their craft and I can never take that away from them, so just keep fucking shit up.
The dust settled and the tour package began. ’68 is an indescribable two-man musical mountain of “what-the-fuck-are-you-doing-to-my-face.” There is no describing ‘68, there’s only feeling it. ‘68 is the strongest audibly-injected acid trip in existence, only heavier and groovier. Josh Scogin (formerly of The Cariot and Norma Jean) stands at the helm screaming his guts out at you in the name of what I can only imagine is…maybe jazz? Sometimes he doesn’t really stand though, sometimes he hangs off the rafters, or does other weird shit. I could describe this all day and night but at the end of it all, you need to see this band or your life will never truly feel complete. Even if you tune out the music for some god awful blasphemous reason, listening to Scogin’s banter about how they’re actually Metallica, from Metallicaville, America, Planet Earth, is enough to make whatever money you worked your useless ass off for worth it. See. This. Fucking. Band.
I’m going to give you a history lesson. I saw a band back in 2009 that changed me. It changed my taste in music, it changed how I listened to music, how I watched bands, and even how I wrote music myself. That band was called Dead and Divine, and in 2012 that band broke up. I followed and opened for this band as much as I could, so naturally when it disbanded, I followed and opened up for anything even related to it, partly because I’m a big fucking fan boy, and partly because I wanted it to keep shaping me the way it did for the first time way back when. D&D’s frontman Matt Tobin went on to start a little project called Ritual, and that, boys and girls, is the fucking point of all my bullshit. Ritual got up and announced that Matty boy had unfortunately not been well enough to perform that evening, because being a singer is fucking difficult and painful at times. I made a point of not listening to the new self-titled record until this point because I wanted to let it take me over again. This of course, made me an idiot. All the gushy bullshit aside, even without their voice, Ritual is a fucking ripping band. Bassist Matthew Rigg took the microphone as best he could while absolutely annihilating your existence with what I can only describe as the dirtiest bass tone I’ve ever heard. If you were a Dead and Divine fan like myself, you need to give these cats a shot, and you need to stop letting them play to half empty rooms. It’s louder, it’s dirtier, it’s angstier, and if Matty Tobin can shake off the fact that he’s got a completely blown-out voice to come up and sing at least one tune for us, then it’s worth you giving this band your love. By the way, the album is a fucking rager, and you may or may not read alllllllll about it when I get my shit together and maybe submit a review on time. Baby steps, Babydoll.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Stacy Basque
*edited by Kate Erickson