Distortion’s #FBF: Genetic Angry Live in 2008
Since we’ve had access to the decade deep audio archive of Distortion in St. John’s, we’ve sought to deliver a diverse selection of previously unheard live recordings from some of the most vibrant bands to pass through the bar. Until now, all of the songs and sets we’ve shared have been exclusive and unreleased; and although this week’s selection has been previously available on bandcamp, it is too damn important not to be reshared.
Scrolling through the immense volume of bands on the hard drive of Distortion‘s owner and sound tech Glen Tizzard has been an overwhelming and exciting process rich with nostalgia. If you’ve spent even a modest amount of time around the St. John’s independent music scene in the last ten years, chances are you’ve witnessed a band, set, or song at a bar on “The Deck” (Holdsworth Court) that had some sort of lasting effect on your consumption of live music.
This week we wanted to step in and get unavoidably personal as we feature one of our favourite memories from the early days of punk gigs at Distortion. On August 12, 2008, Genetic Angry paid a much anticipated visit from Truro, NS to St. John’s, NL. Genetic Angry‘s tapes, and more prominently in 2008 – their MySpace page – had been heavily circulated in the St. John’s punk scene. Not only was their sound a punk nerd’s wet dream of latter era Black Flag, sludgey tinges of stoner rock, and a healthy and eclectic dose of 80’s hardcore; but the mere existence of a new favourite band that was a boat ride away from Newfoundland felt particularly exciting. In a small Nova Scotian town with a unique budding punk scene, Genetic Angry came from a place that we could relate to in St. John’s. As national punk outsiders in tiny town Canada, forging a connection with our neighbours in Truro was inevitable. Though it was hard to see at that time just how long and how far the kinship would go.
Genetic Angry performed their songs in an appropriately unglued and introverted manner. Sometimes the stabbing frustration in GA’s sound felt like each individual member was fighting themselves, their instruments, or themselves with their instruments. But underneath the serrated surface, Genetic Angry still emitted some classic punk undertones that were unassumingly anthemic with refrains disguised as piercing hooks. Watching them live satisfied every affection I had for their recorded material. As a performance, Genetic Angry sometimes felt like a rattling build up to implosion, as if the band might internally collapse into a glorious pit of feedback at any moment.
Bands like Genetic Angry are largely responsible for the continuous close relationship between a particular demographic of Newfoundland and Nova Scotian punk and indie scenes. This set from August 2008 is a fantastic moving capsule from a near 8 year old comity. In a lot of ways, this is a connection that embodies the Secret East ethos of creating a network within the Atlantic Canadian underground.
Members of Genetic Angry have also played, or continue to play as a part of L/P, Jerk Damaged, Pig, LM, Grump, and many, many more. Guitarist Luke Mumford can also be found on the production credits on a wide array of Nova Scotian releases
We highly encourage you to familiarize yourselves with Genetic Angry’s discography here.
We’ll be back next week with another archival selection. In the meantime, don’t forget to check in with Glen Tizzard and Distortion at DistortionBar.com for upcoming gigs and events, as well as more hidden gems from the Distortion library.