Here Beginneth a New Thing. Starring The Soupcans.

For the longest time I thought I should only write positive things about music here. I considered it a strength – “keep it positive”. Why sling mud? I didn’t lie – I just didn’t review things I didn’t like.

I have been in some serious therapy for a couple of years and have been reconsidering my motives for a lot of things. Was I just being positive because I want everybody to like me? If so, that’s awful. In reality I can be quite mean.

This self-imposed rule also carried a strange side-effect, when it came to reviewing things by people I like personally: I couldn’t say anything about their work if I didn’t love it. This is apparently worse than saying unpleasant things. I think I may have lost a friend at one point for not being able to say anything at all about a terrible, terrible record he’d made
(so it’s half his fault). And never mind that the rule was a major hindrance to keeping this blog up during periods of boredom, sadness or simple unnexcitability on my part (see the year after Derek died, for an example).

So fuck it. Here beginneth a new thing.

Starting with this record by the Soupcans, called Erotic Nightmare. The drummer in the band is a pal of mine, and I checked with him before writing this: I find Erotic Nightmare unlistenable.

I tried, and I can’t do it: it hurts my ears. I like punk rock. And I like challenging music. I like it that there are records that hurt my ears. As long as I can’t see right through a piece of art, I can appreciate it.

But I can’t get into this record. Every frequency and sound quality that tends to annoy me (super trebley sharpness wrecks records for me) seems to have been especially accentuated. I hate the style of singing, and think lo-fi works best for lo-key music. I’m listening to it as I write this, and I have to keep turning it down.

I can hear that the songs are interesting and funky underneath the noise-assault – I especially like (in a turned-down and probably single-listen way) Apocalyptic Cinder Garage. But it hurts my ears.

I can’t pretend to evaluate its worth, however: the fans of the scene should be the only ones considered able to evaluate the Soupcans against whatever their mission is. They’ve got some coherence, and an obviously considered point, and some shocking energy (these guys are old, as old as me). Whatever this music is, it’s punker than I am, which makes me feel good: that was the point of punk anyway. If lame old guys like me dig it, it’s not punk, probably.

Check out the whole album (and another free EP called Free Garbage) on the Soupcans’ bandcamp page.

Apocalyptic Cinder Garage


POSTSCRIPT, July 1st 2011: The Soupcans are playing in front of Miss Cora’s in Kensington Market (Toronto) every Sunday in the summer at about 3 pm. The Misses and I went to check it out, and they sound great live. Straight up punk. Levels all reasonable. And if the guitarist/singer (fun to watch already) has a rough day, ye may see blood. Or Iggy Pop.


1 Response to “Here Beginneth a New Thing. Starring The Soupcans.”

  1. 1 m March 28, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Awesome review. I like the album cover.

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