Canada mirrors the US in that it is a cultural melting pot made up of European colonizers, immigrants of other nations, and its own indigenous people. When it comes to the history of rock in Canada it has developed its own unique sound. Between punk, psych, noise, and all other sub-genres of rock, Canada is at the forefront of nations producing kickass bands.
The following list is made up of bands from the past both near and far as well as current bands still ripping it up. Buckle up and let’s road trip across Canada.
D.O.A (British Columbia)
D.O.A are incredibly influential in the history of Punk music and are the first hardcore punk band in Canada and one of the first in the world. They continue to release albums the most recent of which was released this year in February 2020.
White Lung (British Columbia)
White Lung is a band that was started in 2006 and is influenced by post and hardcore punk.
Jons (British Columbia)
Jons has to be included in this list. They have since broken up as a band and some members have formed the popular indie group Loving. Their first release Com Shred I is recorded from home with a warm and fuzzy sound.
Nomeansno (British Columbia)
Starting in the 80’s this punk band is filled with bizarre samples, lyrics and sounds.
Japandroids (British Columbia)
Two friends who met in college make up Japandroids. They take from punk and garage to form their sound.
Moving eastward and back in time we find the since broken up band Women. They are extremely influential in the post punk genre. The band is psychedelic, fuzzy, “drony”, noisy, and experimental.
Their 2010 Album sets the scene in a cold night in Calgary.
Preoccupations formerly “Viet Cong” are a growing band that recently toured with IDLES. Preoccupations is a post-punk band that has multiple members who were previously members of the band Women.
The song “March of Progress” uses a similar melody from a song by the influential band “This Heat”. This song is a personal favorite of mine in the Preoccupations catalog. “March of Progress” builds for about 3 minutes and the final minutes really are euphoric.
A garage/psych band from Edmonton.
The Avulsions (Saskatchewan)
This band from Saskatoon is gaining popularity in western Canada. The album “Expanding Program” is heavy on synths and creates a sci-fi/spacey soundscape.
KEN Mode (Manitoba)
KEN Mode is a noise, metal, and post-hardcore band. They have an extensive discography and my personal favorite is “Success” released in 2015. For fans with “harder” palettes any of these albums would suffice.
Regarded as one of the most influential punk bands in the Canadian scene.
The band has fun punk albums that matured with each release. The band in interviews has elaborated on “cringing” at their earlier albums.
METZ is a popular band that hails from Ottawa and covers genres such as post punk, hardcore punk, and noise rock. Their newest release “Atlas Vending” is produced more clearly than past albums and brings a noise rock masterpiece to the table.
Low Approach (Ontario)
The Heavy Medicine Band (Ontario)
Psychedelic and Jazzy Blues. Solo Artist.
This band from Toronto has a combination of influences such as garage, psych, kraut rock, and jazz that fuse together to create a driving spacey sound.
Great KEXP performance of “Beautiful Blue Sky” off of their album “Sun Coming Down”. A great post punk album. Television with tinges of sonic youth and other influences.
French Canadian band. Jump around their discography. Tons of treats.
Sinkin’ Feelings (Quebec)
Anthesis (New Brunswick)
Nomadic Holmes (Nova Scotia)
2 thoughts on “The Canadian Road Trip”