Monday, August 13, 2012

Outdoor Miners - Disgust (Review) + BONUS: Sans AIDS

Outdoor Miners were(?) a noise rock band from Edmonton. In 2009, they released Twelve Hundred Dollars, a fuzzed out, three-song single that largely drew influence from 90's college rock bands like Dinosaur Jr and Yo La Tengo. On this, their follow-up release entitled Disgust, Outdoor Miners managed to up the production value a bit without softening the attack.

The set opens with "Disgust", a short track that faithfully hearkens back to classic Dinosaur Jr. material. This isn't your smoothed-out, Galaxie 500-type of classic indie rock; This thing is rough and chunky all around. It's ultra refreshing in modern context, where a large portion of the hip, buzz-worthy bands are playing lazy dream pop and so-called "chillwave".

Next up, "Bent Brain" is an all out brawl, complete with what could very well be the most accurate Black Francis impersonation since the Pixies. There's no subtlety; It's just a good, old-fashioned kick in the taint.

Member Peter Sagar takes the reins on the final track, "Friends With Money", the sobering response to "Bent Brain". To simplify his role in the band, Peter Sagar is basically to Outdoor Miners what Lou Barlow is to Dinosaur Jr.. His only major songwriting contribution to this release is far more introspective than the two tracks preceding it. Also, not unlike Barlow, Sagar has his own excellent side-project, the enigmatic Sans AIDS (more on that later).

There's not a whole lot of cohesiveness to these songs, but the quality is consistently good. I've only been able to find two, three-track singles by this band, and I'm uncertain if they're even together anymore. If they're not, then at the very least, they left on a good note.

"Disgust" can be downloaded for free from the band's bandcamp page (see above), and "Twelve Hundred Dollars" can still be found for cheap on itunes.

Verdict: 77%

BONUS: Sans AIDS A.K.A. Home Shake

Sans Aids - Loaners EP

I've decided to supplement this review with a more in depth look at Sans AIDS.

First off, Sans AIDS is great. Merely a two piece band comprised of a guitar and drums, it's a total showcase of Sagar's unique songwriting abilities. Songs are stripped-down and charmingly sloppy.  The Loaners EP (pictured) is kind of a classic in my opinion. It hasn't left my rotation since I first heard it in January, 2011. It's disheveled, lo-fi rock at its finest.

The reason I don't dedicate a whole review to this release is because this band's Bandcamp page has completely vanished, making it extremely difficult to find the music. It wouldn't be right of me to make a huge deal about this EP if there's no way to listen to it. There are cassettes floating around Canada, but that doesn't really help the majority of people.

 I've done some research, but my questions about this band remain unanswered. I was able to find out that they changed their name to "Home Shake", but I found even less information with that name. Maybe someday I'll find out why this band just completely disappeared.

In the meantime, here's the laughably obnoxious Sans AIDS radio spot, featuring music from Loaners:

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