The shortest month of the year has drawn to a close, but 28 days left a lot of room for great new releases, as well as some great shows. Look back on February with us below!
Albums of the Month:
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness - Zombies on Broadway
At first it was Something Corporate, then Jack’s Mannequin, and now: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness. McMahon released his second album under his new In The Wilderness moniker on February 10th. Zombies on Broadway is a catchy pop follow up to 2014’s self-titled debut Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. It’s no wonder that McMahon has so many different monikers because all of his projects are vastly different from each other, but all tied together by McMahon’s unique artistry and voice, which separates Zombies on Broadway from being just another pop record.
Mother Mother - No Culture
Canadian indie-pop band Mother Mother released their sixth studio album this month. No Culture is a follow up to 2014’s Very Good Bad Thing. While sticking to what works - electronic rock tones and contrasted vocals from lead singer Ryan Guldemond, Molly Guldemond and Jasmin Parkin - No Culture is a sophisticated and more interesting release than past albums.
Single of the Month:
All Time Low - "Dirty Laundry"
All Time Low made a mysterious return to music this month. The Baltimore quartet dropped “Dirty Laundry,” the lead single off of their forthcoming studio album, Last Young Renegade, as well as announcing that they’ve moved on from Hopeless Records and signed to Fueled by Ramen. This track is the first new material we’ve heard from the band since 2015’s Future Hearts. “Dirty Laundry,” is taking the band in a noticeably different direction - where they’ve honestly been heading for quite some time. The single is quite mellow and relaxed, until the final chorus, which is has a classic and commanding All Time Low sound to it.
Concerts of the Month:
Early in the month, Canadian rockers Arkells brought their tour with Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls through Calgary. Playing their biggest headline show in Calgary to date, it was a night to remember for both the band, as well as the audience. The Hamilton quintet ripped through a set of new and old, with tracks from their latest release, Morning Report, adding flare to the set. The band ended the show with “Leather Jacket,” and not a single mouth in the BMO Centre was pursed shut. After they said goodnight to Calgary, the band headed to the King Eddie, which is now apart of Studio Bell, and played an intimate acoustic set alongside Frank Turner for some lucky fans. On a cold January night, there was no better place to be than among fans and friends who are genuinely talented and love what they do. It was like being around a campfire on the last night of summer camp - you desperately don’t want to go home, and you try and breathe in every last second, but you can’t help but smile as you think to yourself, “Damn, what a good summer.”
Touring on their fifth album, Afraid of Heights, Canadian punk veterans Billy Talent stormed through Calgary on February 18th. From the moment that the opening riff of “Devil in a Midnight Mass” was played, fans both new and old went crazy. The band played a 25 song set of classics, as well as new material, and no matter what song, the band played with a refreshed energy as if it was the first time they had played these songs in front of an audience. The band used a break between songs to address current political issues in a tasteful way: telling their fans that it doesn’t matter about their sexual orientation, gender identity, or skin colour, and that everyone is welcome at a Billy Talent show. For bands today, politics is the elephant in the room, and while some will be critical of musicians “pushing an agenda,” how are they too blind to see that freedom of expression is essentially the basis of music. Artists today have a platform, and when they use it tastefully and effectively, it is extremely admirable. There’s nothing more punk than being yourself, and accepting others for who they are as well. If you disagree with that, then maybe a punk show isn’t the right place for you and your bigotry.
Pierce The Veil - Rest In Space Tour
San Diego’s Pierce The Veil brought their Rest in Space Tour to Calgary on February 22nd. MacEwan Hall was packed with adoring fans, both young and older. The band had an intricate stage setup, emerging from crashed spaceships, and opened the show with “Dive In” before ripping into fan-favourite “Caraphernelia.” The set was dominantly new material from the bands latest release, Misadventures, however, a stripped down version of “Stay Away From My Friends,” and scene kid classics like “Bulletproof Love,” were considerately chosen to enhance the set even more. While the set was notably shorter than most, the energy and presence that Pierce The Veil bring to their live show makes up entirely. Bassist Jaime Preciado is a true entertainer and never stands still for more than a second, and lead singer Vic Fuentes knows how to capture a crowd, and make a huge venue still seem intimate.
Anticipated March releases: Ed Sheeran, Depeche Mode, Creeper, British Sea Power, Sorority Noise
Anticipated March concerts: Mother Mother