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Call The Office- London- 03.15.19

In contrast to the hyped up and glamorous  Juno music awards in London this weekend, the real burgeoning Canadian music scene was to be found last night at Call The Office. This legendary London hot spot for up and coming, underground rock legends is an essential stop on the map of great Canadian music venues. With a collection of framed pictures plastering the walls of impressive, big name music stars who made appearances there, and with an equally impressive selection of pin ball machines, Call The Office’s place in history is felt from the moment you enter inside. 

To open the stage last night was Eve’s Bush. Singer/songwriter Jade Bennett  is certainly not the first person you would expect on stage at a rock venue, but her soul bearing set of classic song covers, complete with her delicate ukulele handiwork and angelic vocals brought the audience out of the freezing cold March weather and into the warmth of her music. 

Next up was five-piece London based outfit, State Of Mind. An eclectic barrage of musical virtuoso’s, the group played an explosive metal infused hard rock set. It was as if the members were engaged in a “try and top this” call and response match, with the guitar duo trading licks and solos with each other, while the seemingly small and unimposing female drummer, delivered brutal drum fills and breakdowns that could have been the soundtrack for a viking army going to war. Between the blood thirsty rhythm section, the face melting guitar duo and the moody, doom prophesying vocalist/front-woman, the band could have been mistaken for a super group of heavy-metal legends. 
Nameless Friends came on next. Aside from having a killer name and band logo, the band more than lived up to their image. Their set delivered a fun, groovy mix of power pop ballads, that were both catchy, but angst-y.  The band managed to get the crowd dancing, but at the same time, the depth of their songwriting had the ability to inspire moments of introspection and reflection for the more subdued listeners. Nameless Friends can be found next opening up for Glass Cactus at the London Rec room April 5th.

To end the streak of talented, female-fronted bands, Terminal Joy came on next. Matt just came off of a week of laying in bed with a chest infection, so he was coughing up phlegm on the audience members, while Josh let out a cheesy pizza fart just minutes before going on that followed him from the back of the hall all the way to the stage and destroyed everyone in his path. El Avo meanwhile, was wearing mud caked boots that reeked of horse shit, but otherwise delivered a pretty decent attack of bass grooves that had Matt smashing his head on the cymbals. Josh, the newbie of the band, found his place at this show, keeping the band seemingly together with his tight drumming, Matt sucked as usual, letting his illness show all too much with his tired, sloppy, phlegmatic stage presence. Surely, everyone was happy when they finished their set. The highlight was during ‘Assault’ when Matts guitar cable came out and Josh made up for it by turning his furious drum playing to an 11 and Ave went into a bass playing mania.

Lastly, Hyness the headliners graced the stage. garage/punk/ poppy/fuzzy/dirty, Hyness makes it really difficult for anyone to contain them into a single genre. Highlighted with their sweet vocal harmonisation, while, backed with a pop/rock groovy rhythm section and fused together with colourful guitar effects, the band really is a complete package. The set was highlighted by their performance of their hit single “Choke” which features the sweet vocal duo singing with angelic voices about ‘sunshine’ over top a positively gritty instrument section replete with a guitar solo with a deliciously dirty fuzz tone. The song sounds like a 90’s teen movie turned nightmare. The audience is left unsure if they are walking off into the sunset to make love to their sweetheart, or to smash a brick through a window and cry into a pizza
If your’e ever in London, do yourself a favour and go to Call The Office,  it’s there you’ll get a taste of real Canadian music, not at the Junos.

If your’e in Toronto, come see Terminal Joy at Soundtrack Of The City music festival April 4th at Bovine Sex Club.

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Cherry Cola’s- 03.06.19

03.06.18

The Toronto music scene may at times seem like it is flatlining, but it does still have a pulse. The entire city’s music scene is being kept alive by only a few individuals, and one of them, is Matt Groopie. As a booker/ promoter for venues across The GTA Matt dedicates himself to maintaining a strong, tight knit community of musicians, and one that fosters mutual respect among the musicians. One of the venues Matt books for is Cherry Colas cabaret and lounge where Even on a Wednesday night,  you’ll see a score of bands who are working their asses off to put on a show. Last night at Cherry Colas the lush, velvety, David Lynch-ian nightmare bar was the host to of one of those nights. Thanks to sound tech, Cory Shields, everything was set up for these fresh young bands to sound top notch, and the show was poised to be an all around success, until Terminal Joy showed up, that is.

Having just packed up the car, Terminal Joy was about ready to hit the road. Josh had finished is neat glass of whisky, Matt had devoured a watermelon and two whole papayas with a spoon, and El Avo had his cowboy hat on and a pickle jarful of miso soup In a shopping bag. Suddenly, the bag began to sag. “ I think the soup jar leaked into the bag” said El Avo. Oh well. Terminal Joy hit the road and made it to the bar to play their set, spewing out songs like a leaking bag of soup. Comprised of a new line up and performing new songs, Terminal Joy delivered a shaky performance that was as lacking in cohesion as it was nebulously spasmodic. The highlight may have been them performing their new song “Slug” which came out seemingly not half bad sounding.

Next up was Twofourtwo. They treated the audience to a barrage of dark, dancy covers spanning the rooms collective imagination of the early millennium hits. From Weezer, to The Killers. to Muse, they were certainly crowd pleasing. The entire room was up on their feet and singing along. A nice shift in energy from the band before them. Also,  their bass sound was rigged so nicely it was as if it was being played by a giant

Following Twofourtwo was Gauer. Gauer, who have recently released an album titled “starting to break” had a more subdued, melancholic sound, that bridged the gap from 70’s new wave to the modern era bands like The Strokes. Their spacey guitar sounds complimented  their low-key, rhythmic grooves in a refreshingly original way. One highlight was their cover of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds “Red Right Hand”; an unusual choice, but executed with the grit the song deserves.

Last up were the 86ers. The night seemed to be winding down until they made it to the stage and busted out into frantic rockabilly blues. With a stand-up bass player and a  hip- gyrating guitarist/vocalist, the band was entertaining and energetic enough to keep the room awake and bouncing up and down at 12 30 on a school night. Their ruggedness and authenticity would have one believing they had entered a time capsule to an era of old school rock and roll, straight down to the slicked back hair of the lead singer, who probably would look really good on a motorcycle.

Next Up- Terminal Joy is hitting Call The Office in London!

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Cherry Cola’s (04.18.18)

Link to Terminal Joy Performing their NEW SONG “Vermin” Live at Cherry Cola’s:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L20qKlaj33I

 

 

Cherry Colas is almost the definition of an intimate rock bar. Between the black and red colour scheme, the candle lit chandeliers and the soft, red velvety sofas, the room may be as fitting for rock music, as for some sort of gothic eyes wide shut style blood orgy.  Perhaps in spite of the relatively small size and intimate vibe of the room, the sound was booming enough to be heard down several blocks.

First on for the night came Beige Shelter. Beige shelter’s atmospheric guitar sounds and lush vocal melodies, backed up by the intricate baselines and contagious beats of their cojon got the show going. The groovy and up beat “Athena”  packed a punch and set the tone for the heavily emotional set they delivered. At times political, and at times deeply introspective, the band captured the hearts of everyone in the room

Next up was an immediate switch in dynamic. The Pistol Packing Preachers switched up the temperature a thousand degrees setting the entire room ablaze with their furious blend of zeppelin inspired blues rock.  The vocalist’s style was  a near equivalent to Motörhead that evoked the spirit of Lemmy from the grave.

Terminal Joy came on stage to close the night with a vengeance. It seemed the loudness of the sound system was perhaps being put to a bad use, as their awful horrendous tunes were made far too audible. The boys broke off into a set composing of almost all new and recent material, and it’s freshness was reflected by their amateurish, sub-par musicianship.

All the friends who they had come out to watch them perform were no longer their friends by the end of it, and Matt watched as the love of his life walk out on him with another man, leaving him to wallow away in despair.

Thanks to everybody who came out. Big cheers to Beige Shelter, Pistol Packing Preachers, Matt Groopie for organising the event, and all the beautiful,  amazing staff at Cherry Colas!

See you all at a SECRET house party show May 12th and in Guelph May 18th!

 

 

Link to Terminal Joy performing their new song “Vermin” Live at Cherry Cola’s !  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L20qKlaj33I

 

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March for the Sprott House- Bovine Sex club (4.1.18)

It was hard to believe for the members of Terminal Joy that they would be playing once again at the Bovine Sex Club. Usually one show is enough for anyone to never want to see them again, but here they were, once more, at Bovine Sex Club. And boy, did it ever feel like home! The clubs horrific displays of masks and figurines on the walls, the television playing an 80’s horror film,  “zombie holocaust” in the background, all served as a suitable backdrop for the bands of misfits who performed that night in support of a LGBTQ homeless youth shelter called the Sprott house.

First up was Ivy James. Imagine if Taylor Swift was actually angsty and didn’t give a fuck, and you can get some idea of her sound. The music was soft but the emotions were hot and heavy, pouring out through her sweet melodies and lyrics reflecting adolescent heartbreak and loneliness.

Next up came The Creeping Bent Orchestra. Fuelled by pounding drum beats, rockabilly guitar riffs akin to Link Wray and grooving bass rhythm’s, the band hijacked the entire bar and drove all the way to the southern United States on a flaming motorcycle. Anyone who tried to sit still could not, the drum beats were too relentless, the ripping guitar solos too captivating and the Jeffery lee pierce style howling vocals too soul wrenching to be ignored. Towards the end of the set they performed an original song entitled “my roommate is a vampire”. It was almost as though The Cramps had been resurrected from the dead. Lux Interior must have been smilling from his grave.

Next up came “The Tasty Boys”, Who played refreshing takes on classic pop songs, notably, “I’m coming out” and afew Elton John covers including an impressive rendition of “Bennie and the Jets” ,  all the while featuring a singing drummer who even played solos on a kazoo.

High heels low Fi reclaimed the stage with a furious barrage of punk rock covers, or as they like to call it “drunk rock”. Somehow, the lead singer managed to bring a  level of grittiness to her voice matched only by predecessors such as Joan Jett and Janis Joplin. The guitarist demonstrated an uncommon virtuosity in their playing, rarely found in any punk rock, let alone “drunk rock” band. The band certainly delivered what they came to deliver, the entire place become a little drunker  thanks to the bands ecstatic energy the whole way through their set.

Lastly, to finish the night, was Terminal Joy. There couldn’t be a better choice to follow the other acts, seeing as It was now 12 45 in the morning and people were already preparing to leave, this just gave them all the more reason to get the hell outta there. Beginning with the rumbling bass line of their new song “Extortion” El Avo grooved along, head-manning the attack through each song on the set while Matt and Alex performed their wacky stage antics, scaring away the crowd, as usual.

A big thank you goes out to Vanessa Rago and Carlos Mallia as well as everyone else at Cosmic Circle for putting together an amazing string of events for a great cause.

Thank you to the kind folks at the Bovine, and thank you to Ivy James, The Creeping Bent Orchestra, The Tasty Boys, High Heels Lo Fi for the wonderful performances by you all!

Catch us at Cherry Colas, April 18th!

 

Check out these great shots courtesy of Dominic Dos Santos

Photo Credits: Dominic Dos Santos

 

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The Cavern 2.0 (02.27.17)

 

 

 

Terminal Joy with the legendary, Frankie Marshall of the Handsome Savages

In the hub of eastern Toronto there is a hostel, and in the basement of the hostel is a legendary little place called the Cavern Bar. The Cavern Bar is a house to all sorts of Toronto acts, and tourists from all over the world who come down from their rooms in the hostel upstairs and watch those acts As the gear was being set up, there was trivia night going on in the Cavern Bar. The atmosphere of the trivia night could not be more juxtaposing for what was about to come. It was the equivalent of a senior citizens bingo night, just before a torpedo launched through the building. That torpedo, would bet the opening act, Diamond Weapon.

Diamond Weapon served up a nasty cocktail of jams reminiscent of Fugazi and Hot Water Music. While one vocalist would rhythmically sing into the microphone, the other assaulted the mic with loud, visceral chants. Despite the rapid change of atmosphere from the quiet, yawn inducing trivia night to this, the many hostel stayers remained, entranced by the emotional barrage of Diamond Weapon.

Next up was, yours truly, Terminal Joy, making their second appearance at Cavern Bar, almost a year to the day. It seems that time has not been friendly to the gang. They look more fucked up and dysfunctional than ever. And of course, they sound that way to. The audience of hostel stayers do not merely leave the bar, they go back to their home countries. Terminal Joy delivered a set mainly comprised of new songs, including “Vermin” which sounds akin to a steel mill in hell and would likely kill your sweet old grandmother if you played it for her.

 

After Terminal Joy had cleared the whole room of any spectators, Songhat BLVD, who came all the way from Chicago, brought them back. Their sound was piercing with the angst and fury of late 90’s emo rock, heavy breakdowns, and retro 70’s punk undertones. The band showed no lack of energy after just playing in New York the night before, and certainly found their place in the Toronto underground.

To close the night, was the Handsome Savages, and they did exactly that. Towards the end of their furious set, the maniacal bass player (shown in picture) was hanging upside down from the rafters above the stage, sending asbestos everywhere. Not long after, the fire alarm went off and the entire building was being ushered outside. Without any regard, the band finished their song before being forced out onto the street. After the fire marshals arrived and left, the band returned as though nothing had happened. They finished their set with “HD”, a stunning example of their ability to blend Stooges-Ian protopunk bass groves with Tom Morello inspired guitar effects and the staggering shift between one moment, soft, melodic, soulful dreamscapes and then relentless and soul-crushing Rock and roll. Truly a fitting way to cap off a show that began with “Trivia night.”

 

 

Frankie Marshal, everyone!

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Bovine Sex Club (1.11.17)

The Sexy Hooded Fan

 

 

It was a dark and stormy night when Terminal Joy arrived at the Bovine Sex Club. The club is so deep in the heart of Toronto that you can feel the city’s pulse. It’s been a year since their very first show and the boys go about their usual routines. Alex puts on his make up and prays to his crystal skull.  El Avo eats Thai food, and Matt drinks as many espressos as he can medically handle, and then the show begins. The first band is Newcomer. It’s like being transported into the 90’s. They successfully weave together an atmospheric melancholic experience with expert renditions of 90’s cover songs. Next up is the Brouhahas. Their sound is some sort of mad crossover between Television and The Pixies, all while the vocalist eerily groans into the microphone. Their energy is both nostalgic and intoxicating. Next up is yours truly, Terminal Joy. The boys play their usual, God awful, wretched noise, and Matt heaves his hairy, sweaty body backwards over a railing into the audience. After the loud, abrasive, menstrual sounds, and flashes of the lead singers genitals, the few remaining audience members are relieved to survive through the grueling set. To close the night, is Scratch Nasty. Despite it being past midnight, the audience is floored by the bands heavy blues rock, jazz infused sound. In between the roaring, electric songs, the band gives the audience a moment to stare in awe, and catch their breaths while the band breaks into spacey jazz instrumentals, before once again launching into their furious rock grooves. The Toronto music scene is-a rockin’.

Thank you to Sarah from the Brouhahas for putting us on, as well as all the bands for their amazing performances.

Thank you to the kind folks at the Bovine for being gracious hosts, and for tolerating us and our bullshit.

Check out the Brouhahas, Scratchnasty and Newcomer!

 

Before the audience was scared away.

 

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Lee’s Palace (1.5.17)

El Avo

Thank you to all who came out to Lees palace last night in the record breaking freezing cold temperatures. It was indeed a historic night, for Terminal Joy that is! As usual Alex and Matt were running late for soundcheck. It was 6:45 and soundcheck started at 6:00. Matt decided it would be smart to give El Avo (who is part German and always on time), a call and let him know that they would be there late (which they already were). As it turns out, El Avo himself was not at soundcheck. All hell broke loose when El Avo answered the phone explaining that he was still miles away in Port Perry, with his pick-up stuck in a ditch. Time was ticking. Terminal Joy was scheduled to be on at 9:00. Port Perry was at least an hour away, It was 7:00 and Matt still hadn’t finished his cup of tea! Alex took charge. “Go and get El Avo, I’ll go to the venue and try and sort something out!”. So Matt drove like a maniac on the 407 highway Toll route while Alex went to the venue to try and plead for more time. Alas, it was to no avail! Terminal Joy was to start at 9:00 sharp, or they would not play at all! Two hours later, with just minutes to spare , still frozen from the long drive, Matt and El Avo made it on to the stage and joined Alex to deliver their set. The night was a success and everything went according to plan, and then the boys were forced out of the venue for complaints of loud sexual encounters in the bathroom. Just another night, with Terminal Joy.

 

P.S We thank the wonderful staff at Lee’s; Ron who is always fantastic on sound, and the security guard who was nothing but gentle in his dealings with us, as well as Freedom Baby, Howlin’ Circus and Sratchnasty for their spectacular performances!

 

Stay tuned

 

Love, TJ