If you thought we didn’t like writing about Canadian punks, then there’s a good chance you’ve never read this here blog. Canada’s ever-growing punk landscape has become a hotbed for varying guttural acts and the sludgy cult leaders (not actually) in Toronto, Ontario’s post-punk, grimed-out outfit HSY (“Hussy”) beg for your ears’ attention. This four-headed beast has a few splits under their belt, as well as a self-titled 7-inch and their spankin’ new, debut full length, Bask, out September 11 on Buzz Records, is completely out of control.
If messy, distorted, sludged-up punk tingles those flaps of tissue on the side of your head, then listen listen here… right now. The twelve track muck-plunging mania is just as scuzzy as the best MELVINS records and the pairing of raw lyricism and thick, driven chords brew a loud, dark, and twisted solitude. The group’s been tearing away at Toronto’s underground since 2011 and the amalgamation of releases haven’t quite developed a maturity as much as a culmination of a distinct sound. The record sees HSY maturing into their full potential while grappling with higher concepts, both musically and lyrically. With gritted out progressions getting more and more abrasive and hurried as the album inches forward, you’re ultimately left with a disheveled-yet-cohesive mess on the floor. It’s a dark anxiety that pushes a healthy, cathartic response.
Besk’s seamless blend of hardcore, noise, metal, industrial and post-punk elements wrap inside a parasitic underbelly. Despite a very noisy, and sometimes busy mix, vox/guitarists Anna’s and Jude’s (both mononymous) voice ring through like a clouded atmosphere hellbent on narrating your latest nightmare. Jagged melodies turned into abrasive story-telling jab your gut. Fans of Nashville punk four-piece NOTS (also EB faves) take note as Anna’s vocals match pretty similarly in tonality and aggression to the trio’s double x vox. HSY recently opened with the sludge forefathers OLD MAN GLOOM in Toronto along with MARE on their recent tour, and you should kick yourself in the head with a boot if you missed out on that, Toronto readers (one love, though, for reals). Although GLOOM’s recent tour did stop here at everyone’s objectively favorite punk rock bar (see Chicago Reader and Buzzfeed if you think we’re wrong), HSY weren’t apart of the night’s beastly bill. Having last visited our beer soaked floor in November of last year, the four piece HSY keep on keepin’ on and we’re thankful as hell for this solid release.
Words by Alex Conover