A copy of this 12" was purchased at a weird punk show.
At the recent Pop Montreal festival a whole series was devoted to what's being called "weird punk," a strongly-grounded DIY movement coming out of Van City which happens to have a somewhat ridiculous moniker.
Pretty much everything you need to know about the weird punk movement can be in Josiah Hughes' slightly too in-depth piece for Exclaim last month.
However, since some of the bands showcased in Montreal are now making their way back home along our vast country, I decided to check one out for myself.
The Shearing Pinx, who are credited, alongside the Mutators, as one of the bands at the forefront of this scene, were headlining a four-band bill at the Boat. After sitting through a needlessly overloud set by local noise, jazz, 80s Brit combo Brides, the lights in the venue suddenly came on.
It turns out the Pinx played earlier in the night because guitar player Nic Hughes was feeling sick (was wondering why I got a $2 discount on the cover). So I bought their split 12", Breath Of You Came Through (Ugly Pop), with the Mutators and went home still in wonder about what weird punk is really all about.
Weird punk appears to be getting many comparisons to the Smell, the hardcore indie venue in Los Angeles were bands like No Age held court. Vancouver's equivalent is called the Emergency Room and there's a compilation documenting the bands part of the ER's scene. You can snag that slab at local punk shop Hits and Missus.
Judging by the record I purchased at the show, weird punk isn't so much defined by its music as it by other elements.
Unless you consider lo-fi, harsh recordings of experimental noise punk something completely new there's isn't anything revolutionary happening here. Of course you can't judge a whole scene by one record, but from what I can determine it's the collective energy and excitement of its participants that propels this movement.
The bands aren't particularly mind-blowing, and they probably want it that way, but they seem to be on the same page artistically and when you have that kind of synergy and devotion to your scene great things can happen. But can they bring it live? I guess I'll have to try again to find out.