Big Sounds From a Small City: The Music of Mount Pearl Punk
Punk rock is a term that has grown and evolved in our musical vernacular for almost five decades. The once niche genre has progressively become a categorical umbrella with a spectrum of style and sound that is almost as broad as rock music itself. In the true nature of defying norms, pushing boundaries, and challenging listeners, punk music continues to find ways to reinvent and reimagine itself as an art form. Today’s punk contains a multitude of subgenres, and has even stretched beyond the confines of music to become a mosaic of media and culture that takes on many different forms, for many different people.
The seismic impact that punk rock has had on the world of music isn’t limited to a specific sound. The glue that holds the eclectic genre of punk together is the do-it-yourself mentality and against-the-grain attitude that has empowered generations of young people to create art and culture, no matter how small their community may be. There is no better example of these accomplishments than the unexpected output of over 40 punk rock bands to come from the small city of Mount Pearl throughout the last 40 years.
For many of those who are already familiar with the annals of loud music that has rattled from Newfoundland & Labrador’s second-largest city, Mount Pearl punk may mostly be remembered as a collection of fond memories and live show experiences. Though these recollections are undeniably important, the essence of Mount Pearl punk isn’t exclusive to those who were lucky enough to be there. For all the short-lived local punk bands that existed, there is also a body of work that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Punks from Mount Pearl have spent multiple decades writing, recording, hand-making and distributing their own original music by their own bands. In many cases, this music was released on their own independent record labels, and most importantly, on their own terms. While some of the songs and recordings made by these bands have lived on in local and international punk rock music collections, some of what was created has been at risk of becoming lost on stretched tapes, scratched CDs, and broken internet links. In the spirit of all the hard work put forth by a history of people who made punk rock happen in the city of Mount Pearl, we firmly believe it is worth an equal effort to try and archive the art that was crafted. As we continue our attempt to collect a complete discography of local releases for our Punk Rock Pearl project, we’ve put together some highlights and soundbytes from the many subgenres and eras of Mount Pearl punk music.
As we started to dig into the local punk rock roots in Newfoundland & Labrador, we quickly discovered that there is a Mount Pearl connection that runs back to the very beginning…