Warp Lines – Human Fresh LP (Dirt Cult Records, 2019)

Warp Lines are from Ottowa, Canada. Their roster is made up of members of Big Dick, Steve Adamyk Band and The New Calling (probably others too). Scuttlebut on the internet suggests that fans of the likes of Drive Like Jehu, Wipers and Husker Du will be down with this.

photo: Ming Wu

My experience of releases from Dirt Cult Records over the last couple of years has been an entirely positive one, and I’m always keen to check out what will be dropping next. I think it’s safe to say that I wasn’t expecting what may or may not turn out to be my record of the year (and there’s been some pretty stiff competition from big and little hitters alike).

I’ve shown this release to a few friends that hadn’t picked up on it, and everyone has been blown away. I’m most certainly hooked on this. To my ear, I’m getting a fiery forge of Dischord post-hardcore vibes; only perhaps tempered by mid-West emo, and hammered into shape on an anvil of trad power-pop.

photo: Ming Wu

Imagine if you will Bluetip covering the big guns off the first couple of Get Up Kids albums. If you were to then imagine the alternative option (gritty, driving) of the indie rock direction that the Promise Ring might’ve taken after Nothing Feels Good meets Sebadoh around Bubble & Scrape and Bakesale, then I feel like we are getting to the crux of what this sounds like. I mean, there does actually seem to be a hefty dash of Very Emergency era Promise Ring here too, which seems to almost cast doubt on my previous statement.

I was talking power-pop a while ago too. I mean, Canada has been producing some awesome stuff along those lines over the last few years, but a couple of bands spring to mind from that particularly rich seam of musical black gold: Corner Boys (who I believe may now be sadly defunct) and Cheap Whine. There’s something undeniable about that nifty pop sensibilty that weaves it’s way through the aforementioned post-hardcore / emo / indie rock blend.

This is rad. And you should listen to it now on the player below to discover for yourself why this one is getting a hefty Tony of Nurgle rating of 10/10.

You can pick this up in the US / Canada on white vinyl from Dirt Cult Records, or if you are quick, you can snag one in the UK from the Different Kitchen Records webstore

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, recently returned to Yorkshire and residing in Leeds (after close to a decade living in exile in Croydon and South East London). He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also several years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night "punk room" at Jilly's Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up - next event at Retro in Manchester on 07/09/2019. Apart from that, it's all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, occasionally skateboarding, always exhausted, often reading books with maps in the front.

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