Hey friends! I’m back with another edition of Tunes From the Crypt!
Today is a special one for me, as I am going to celebrate with you my favourite Canadian bands as this feature will be released right around Canada Day – July 1st. (KR: I’m a day late, sorry Steve)
I wear my Canadian Pride every day. I have a Canadian flag tattoo on my left calf as well as a British Columbia flag on my right calf. I may now reside in Alberta, but I was born and raised in BC and still love that province and all it has to offer.
Canada has a long, vast collection of talented musicians. For this feature, I’ll just touch on a few that I really enjoy.
When I first got into music I was introduced to more straight forward ‘rock’ artists.
One of the first rock artists I loved and had a few CD’s was Tom Cochrane. In Canada, his song with his first band Red Rider, “Big League” is a staple in and around hockey. From minor league games to the NHL, “Big League” is frequently played. Telling the tale of a small town boy who has aspirations to make it to the NHL or the “Big League,” the dream is cut short when the boy is killed by a truck travelling in the wrong lane. This song became a sort of anthem in 2018 when a horrific accident occurred and 16 players and personnel were killed when a semi-truck struck the Humboldt Bronco’s team bus.
From there Tom went solo and his release “Mad, Mad World” in 1991 launched the hit song “Life is a Highway.”
My favourite song from that album though was “Sinking Like a Sunset.”
Of course naturally, discovering Tom Cochrane allowed me to also discover Bryan Adams.
Bryan Adams had a number of top ten hits and was a staple of rock radio and Much Music up here for many years.
I still remember my buddy Simon doing an air guitar performance to Bryan Adams at a local talent show one year.
The one song most people have heard from Bryan Adams would be “Summer of ‘69”
His other song I remember playing a bunch back when I was younger was “Cuts Like a Knife.”
By this point, I’d begun to listen to and enjoy more popular or ‘harder’ rock. Much Music at this time played a heavy rotation of music videos and band interviews and the station introduced me to a number of fantastic bands.
Our Lady Peace has been a Canadian staple since their first album ‘Naveed’ back in 1994. This album spawned two of their biggest hits; ‘Starseed’ and ‘Naveed.’
As they grew and matured as a band I really dug their more introspective stuff. Probably my favourite Our Lady Peace song is ‘All You Did Was Save My Life.’
Of course Our Lady Peace was frequently paired with another band that came out and was crushing it; The Tea Party.
The Tea Party’s album “Transmission” felt like a sonic atom bomb when it was released. It was more industrial at the time but still rocked it.
I saw The Tea Party live years ago and they were fantastic.
My favourite The Tea Party song though is probably Stargazer from one of their most recent albums.
One band I really dug but didn’t get a lot of exposure was Age of Electric. They had a song that was played on repeat for a while called ‘Remote Control.’
One thing I always thought was neat was that the band was formed by Todd Kerns. Todd has since gone onto to be the bass player and backup singer for Slash.
Of course, from there I became a fan of three other bands at the time. These three seemed to tour with each other frequently and their music videos were always packed together.
The first band was I Mother Earth. I never got to see them originally but was finally able to see them a couple of years ago.
Their most recognizable song is ‘One More Astronaut.’
They ended up parting ways with Edwin as their lead singer and bought on board, Brian Byrne. I was a big fan of their music with Brian. They’ve since gotten back together with Edwin and have said new music will be coming.
Summertime In The Void
The second band frequently showcased with IME was Finger Eleven. I’ve featured them before in a Tunes From the Crypt, when they were known as Rainbow Butt Monkeys. When they changed their name and adjusted their sound they really took off.
They’ve continued to put out similarly styled music for a while now, even making some more ‘poppy/dance-y’ music.
The last of the three bands frequently packaged together was Econoline Crush. Econoline Crush was much more industrial than all the other bands.
Sparkle & Shine
You Don’t Know What It’s Like
Years after enjoying Econoline Crush a co-worker of mine who we called D-Money (real name Dustin) started to date a girl. He said her dad used to be a singer or something. Turned out her dad was the singer of Econoline Crush! I’m still sad I never got to meet him!
From these bands a great foundation was set, but then along came another fantastic band; Big Wreck. Big Wreck was a throwback band, more rock than metal. Formed in Boston, Ian Thornley (the singer) is Canadian and as such the band while being both Canadian and American have been whole-heartedly adopted as Canadian.
They came along with two massive songs and have since continued to churn out stunning albums.
Blown Wide Open
The next bands I’ll touch on before sharing some Heavy Metal based bands are The Trews and Big Sugar. These bands are interconnected as Gordie Johnson, the singer/songwriter of Big Sugar produced the early The Trews albums.
Big Sugar as a band are significantly more blues-based than the other bands on here.
If I Had My Way
Diggin’ A Hole
The Trews meanwhile are a rock band that features some eastern Canadian flare.
Not Ready to Go
Tired of Waiting
Lastly – in the rock world, I’ll share two of my favourite Canadian bands. Arcade Fire appeared to arrive and storm out of nowhere, but they were a constant touring band up here for many years.
Creature Comfort (KR: Tune!)
This second song I’m sharing from them is my fav AF song, but I chose to add a bit of music royalty by featuring their live performance of Wake Up with David Bowie.
And lastly – Sam Roberts. Sam Roberts or Sam Roberts band has been a staple in my music world since first hearing their song Brother Down. I finally got a chance to see them two summers ago and it was amazing. If I could I would see The Trews and Sam Roberts every single day.
Of course, I ended up falling in love with heavier music and Canada has a significant amount of heavy metal bands. Maybe it’s the cold or the frozen tundra we live on, but our heavy music frequently features themes around Mother Nature.
Of course one of the biggest and most well-known Canadian Heavy Metal Bands is Strapping Young Lad.
Hailing from the lower mainland the group were always hanging around The Commodore Ballroom and The Croatian Cultural Centre back in the day when those were the two main spots for metal shows to occur.
In the Rainy Season (Live at Download) This is perhaps one of the best songs written to be performed live. In this specific video, when the breakdown gets set up at 3:20 and then kicks in – if you are not ready to punch a hole through some drywall you might need to clean your ears out.
In The Rainy Season (Live At Download)
Seriously, Devin Townsend is an outstanding frontman and I miss this band.
Live they always kill it. So you know what – here’s another live video. This song slays.
The New Black (Live At Download)
To finish off my Canadian music celebration – I’ll share a few from an outstanding Quebec band – Kataklysm.
I’ve seen them live a few times now and they are outstanding.
The Road to Devastation
The Vultures are Watching
In closing – thanks to you all for checking this out. Thanks for sharing the Canadian musical trip with me here! You’ll undoubtedly have bands on your list that you believe I’ve missed. Various reasons why some don’t feature here, but for now – I’ll leave it!
Cheers and see you next month!
Steve Stred is an up-and-coming Dark, Bleak Horror author.
Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.
On June 1st, 2019 his second full-length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here
Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?
Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.
Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?
But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.
While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.
The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.
The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.
Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.
YOU TAKE FROM ME
I TAKE FROM YOU
Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.
But what if it’s not…
What if there is something out there?
The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”
With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.
Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.
Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…