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Fest Year

1:55 is a weekly newsletter for Patreon Gatekeepers.

October truly is the spookiest month, and there’s one final scare to come before we can go back to never using the term “orgcore” again. Keep your eyes on Discord, as we’re going to be making some changes to the structure of the pod and the covers section in the new year (which we’ll also talk about here) when we transition into being an all-org podcast (this is not true we’re never talking about these bands again it’s too much). 

Let’s go.

Abbesse “Bloom”

Sam: Fest month has really done a number on my psyche (did I watch several Junior Battles live videos last night? Who is to say?) but an upside has been revisiting some of my favourite bands that just kind of dropped out of regular rotation, like Fifth Hour Hero. “My Sympathies” is, in my humble but highly educated opinion, an all-time underrated banger of the scene, and the fact that they were from Montreal and on No Idea was always intensely sick. In fact, the email that started Junior Battles was me asking Aaron to start a “​​bullshit-free pseudo-punk band (think Fifth Hour Hero).” Post-Heriocs sam should this say Post-Heroics?, singer and guitarist Genevieve Tremblay started Rome Romeo, a band I reviewed for Exclaim back in the day, but I realized I had no idea (wiiiiink) what she was up to now. Turns out, it’s this! I always love Fest punks coming a little late to stuff that was cool in indie rock circles like five years ago (I am pointing vigorously at myself here), and there’s no avoiding how highly Interpol-ish this is, but the chorus is still sick and I will still listen to it a lot.

Josiah: Whether you’re a grunty Fester or a finger-pointing amazingcorer, it seems all paths lead to Joy Division. And in the realm of Joy Division ripoffs, this Festy one sounds pretty damn good. And I’ll tell you why (hint: it’s the same reason Fest music is bad): restraint. There’s a deadened quality to this that makes it nice walking-around music. It’s more The Organ and less the org.

Voices in Vain "Weight of the Hammer"

Sam: A full album in four minutes! You’ve got the acoustic opening which resolves really smartly at the end, giving the whole track a genuinely compelling arc that a more prog-minded band would have stretched out to eight-plus minutes. But we get blast beats, breakdowns, a smidgen of sludge and that Metallica-ass bookend that makes me feel like I finished reading a book while moshing. 

Josiah: Don’t read this til you hear the pod this week. This is the kinda band I thought Iron Chic was. Music for and by people who exist in a micronation community that consists entirely of bartenders and tattoo artists, their sole topic of conversation and moral belief that no one tips enough, or that someone is a good tipper. It’s a tips-discussion based economy. I just clicked through and looked at this band and they seem like they might be more into camping. But my ears don’t lie.
Young Thug “More Than Anything” (ft. Nate Ruess, Jeff Bhasker and Gunna)

Josiah: I always just assumed that I was being an arrogant piece of shit when I prided myself on the fact that my friends make the best music. But whether it’s the WPP or B-Lines or JONNY, I’ve always felt this weird nagging feeling that those around me are simply the best. That’s why I said “my favourite genre is my friend’s bands.” Well, rather than be killed by my own hubris, I instead got to watch my lil DM buddy prince Nate Ruess absolutely crush an SNL appearance with Young Thug. The song is from Young Thug’s album Punk, which Nate was working on at the exact same time that he was obsessed with Free Punk Lyrics and working on his own. My friends are so cool.

Sam: Nate was always more into Globe Hell than 155 by watching SNL this weekend I really thought… I did not put enough effort into making Nate like me. 
Wood and Water Dir. by Jonas Bak

Josiah: I love recommending snooty high-brow culture to Sam and the Sams of the world because I know they’ll never end up watching them, but then someone who once went to Fest will make a Fest version of it in 10 years and they’ll finally catch up. Wood and Water, which I saw at the Festival Nouveau Cinema last weekend, is possibly one of the best films I’ve ever seen in a cinema. There are about two paragraphs of dialogue in the whole thing. Otherwise, it’s shot after shot of jaw-dropping 16mm footage that contrasts Germany’s Black Forest with protestors in Hong Kong. But aside from the subtext, it’s almost entirely apolitical, instead an intimate portrait of familial alienation soundtracked by Brian Eno. I actually can’t believe how good it is. Should you make the right decision for once in your life, you can watch it here for $10 until the end of the month. 

Sam: I want so badly to be someone who doesn’t think the best theatrical experiences of their life are just seeing Troll 2 with the cast in attendance or whatever, but fuck it. I’m me, baby. Josiah’s description reminds me of trying to watch Leviathan because the poster was so sick and I was like “I can definitely watch 90 minutes of a ship.” I made it 15 minutes into a chain dangling and noped out. The same directors made that movie Caniba, and once again I thought “here I go, becoming artistic through violence” but honestly I’d rather just watch Cannibal Holocaust. Let me know when there’s a Fest version. 
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