The Punk Tank: Intro / an Exclusive Listen to New Animal Crimes
Atlantic Canada has always been richly populated with small, but prolific pockets of punk rock scenes, all sorts of gatherings of kids with various needs and means of making their own noise.
Whether it’s strictly out of boredom – a driven need to create one’s own entertainment in an outskirt to a small town submerged in boring party culture; or an effort equally paired as a form of expression. There have always been communities and cultures which built their unique character by utilizing idleness, and embracing the elements that could easily be branded as setbacks.
Growing up somewhere like St. John’s (NL) you began to see why Newfoundland’s punk scene had always benefitted, as much as it may have suffered, from it’s geographical disconnect from the rest of Canada.
Of course this gap has been bridged further with help of the internet, and the “magic” of social media. Though for a long time the cultic communities in each town were run by kids on message boards who photocopied handbills for shows in tennis clubs, locker rooms, basements and hallways. There were rarely touring bands, and sometimes no PA system; but there would always be a brand new local act consisting of a rearranged lineup of three other bands, with vocals through a blown-out bass amp that sounded just fucking fine to us.
The size of the young crowds, and the availability of venues in the all ages scene has definitely seen its ups and downs through the years.
But fuck waxing nostalgic. There’s nothing more annoying than the intoxicated ex-showgoer who desperately wants to paint the glory days with a much glossier brush then it ever requires or deserves. These are the same folks who want to pretend that shit stopped once they gave up paying attention, or paying their five bucks cover.
Maybe you’re right, people – you picked up some new hobbies, made some new friends and your local punk scene died. Maybe we’ll hold you responsible, start an angry band about it and singlehandedly inspire a rejuvenated movement around that frustration.
Maybe you singlehandedly killed punk, and inspired it’s resurrection out of resentment for your apathy and conformity.
See? Punk’s a cycle.
Start living in the now, man.
As long as there’s two people making some sort of joyous loud and weird noises, and a third person buying the tape or the zine, you’ve got yourself punk scene.
The Punk Tank has no interest in telling you what to like.
And we sure as hell wont be using any rating systems. Punks hate systems.
The Punk Tank is here to bring you a sampling of these weird noises made in our small towns – to spread the inaudible word, and supply you with the lyric sheet to decipher it yourself (DIY).
In this issue we present an exclusive listen to a new track by Animal Crimes – a somewhat new Newfoundland band that embodies an unhinged and frenzied breed of hardcore punk.
With a roster of familiar faces to St. John’s bands past and present, Animal Crimes captures the isolation-inspired elements that have always made Newfoundland’s punk cut in it’s unique ways. They use this implement to carve out their own sui generis notches of splintering hardcore.
Animal Crimes came about last year with the immediate intention of piecing together a lineup to complete the material of their debut tape. They did so with the help of cellphone riff recordings, and jam tapes traded amongst members.
Animal Crimes concoct disoriented and head-first blasts with the barreling chug of 80’s H/C. The pierce of static and shimmering echo veils the pummelling riffs with hints of Nick Blinko-esque mystery and gloom. The vocal accompaniment is maniacal and menacing, and comes spouting in a frantic wave.
These sounds comprise of four people: three Jon’s (Bass, Guitar, Drums) and a Kyle (vocals).
These four are Animal Crimes.
We offer you the exclusive listen of a new Animal Crimes song entitled V.O.D or Visions of The Dead.
We spoke with Jon 1 (Bass) and Jon 2 (Guitar) about the arrangement of the band, as well as their past and future releases.
Rumor is you guys were going to be called “The Jons” before Kyle joined the mix and threw off the name uniformity. Any truth to this?
Jon 1: nah, that was our working title, but we did kinda all separately decide that “crime dog” would be a sick name. I still think that was the better name..
Jon 2: ya Jon 3 was really into scruff mcgruff but he’s a fucking cop so we couldn’t call it that. ACAB.
Was the first tape written musically before Kyle joined the mix?
Jon 1: We didn’t really jam with Kyle very much before we recorded the first tape. We would kinda just record our jams with a tape deck and give them to Kyle and he’d write lyrics for them. It’s a pretty sick system, he’s a busy guy.
Jon 2: yeah I had to track him down in Ireland to get him to join the band. We had like 3 songs written that we used to entice him basically. We’d just record it on a boombox and give Kyle the tape. I guess we still do that sometimes.
Do you think the songwriting process has changed for this second tape with a full realized lineup to fall back on?
Jon 1: I’m really a pawn in the writing process. Jono comes to jams with a bunch of weird videos on his shitty phone of him playing acoustic guitar in his kitchen, and somewhere along the way we turn those weird videos into songs. The process hasn’t changed much, honestly, Jono still comes with his acoustic phone riffs, jonny plays punishing drums over it and I’m kinda just there.
Jon 2: well a lot of the time it’s an unplugged electric guitar recorded on my shitty phone. I forget the riffs otherwise. Jon 1 writes sick blitz bass lines though, he didn’t mention that. Then when the song is written we give kyle the tape of our shitty recording and go play shows.
Jon 1: Then kyle writes sick songs about his dreams and shit, it’s nuts.
Tell us about the new release – when and how was it made, and when and how will it become available?
Jon 1: We wrote the new tape as soon as the first one was done and recorded it early this year. Local powerhouse Micah brown recorded us in his basement which was sick, he’s got some wild shit on the go down there.
Jon 2: Yeah he has this Celtic flag down there that Kyle was real stoked on, and some recording stuff too. Micah does a killer job and does all the stupid stuff that we ask him to despite the fact that he knows better, and then Luke Mumford in Halifax masters it and polishes the whole thing off. It’ll be out on a cassette sometime real soon, once we figure out a few minor details. Oh, it’ll be on bandcamp too if you’re some kind of punk without a tape deck.
You can check out Animal Crimes at the Punk Tank Showcase as part of the Secret East Double Feature this coming Saturday. It takes place at Distortion in St. John’s at 9:30PM.