Centretown Cripplers
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Centretown Cripplers

Band Rock Punk

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Feb
27
Centretown Cripplers @ Cafe Deckuf

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Centretown Cripplers are a strange band to make sense of. On the one hand, they've got somewhere in the neighbourhood of seven members (though they've been known to have more than that on occasion), which means you'd expect them to fit in squarely with any of the other many-membered bands that have come to define the Canadian music scene in recent years. At the same time, though, they're basically a straight-up garage-rock band; whether in concert or on record (in this case, the so-new-it's-not-even-officially-out-yet Motor Points of the Face) the band does an amazing job of streamlining their sound so that, absent the visuals, you'd only expect them to have three -- maybe four -- members, tops.

This speaks to the band's ability to play sloppy rock music with surprising tightness and shockingly good production values. Co-frontmen Matthew Wells and Chris Cook both howl as if they're being mauled to death by packs of wild dogs, the riffs all sound like they were created by people who have only rudimentary guitar skills, the drumming is simply primal and the overarching feel of the music is that it could just as easily have emerged out of London circa 1977...and all of those things are meant in the absolutely best way possible. "Goan Wildman" doesn't aspire to more than a catchy, three chord rock song, and it succeeds -- not only because the riff is great, but because the song is crisp and clear, and nothing gets buried in a sonic muddle. Similarly, even when the band adds on little things here and there (like the organ in "Eat The Bee", for example), they do so in a way that makes the addition stand out, but not in any kind of bad, awkward way. It adds up to make Motor Points of the Face an exemplary album, and Centretown Cripplers one of those rare bands who are able to translate the energy and fun of an incendiary live show onto disc.
- I Heart Music


Here in Montreal, Ottawa gets a pretty bad dull rep. I’ve been there many times and have been having a hard time wrapping my head around it. Is it because its a government town? Is it Harper? Or is it the neatness of it all? I don’t know what it is, but it isn’t the music. If anything the music coming from Ottawa has gotten much more play with me over the last year. Band such as The White Wires, The Sedatives, The Creeps and a band I’d like to discuss today The Centretown Cripplers have stolen my cynical heart. The Centretown Cripplers are a 7+ piece garage rock band from Ottawa and have recently self released an EP entitled Motor Points of the Face. Now I’m not a reviewer I consider myself more of a hyper or an awareness raiser so I want to share this review from one of my favorite blogs, I (heart) Music that summed up the EP perfectly:

"Co-frontmen Matthew Wells and Chris Cook both howl as if they’re being mauled to death by packs of wild dogs, the riffs all sound like they were created by people who have only rudimentary guitar skills, the drumming is simply primal and the overarching feel of the music is that it could just as easily have emerged out of London circa 1977…and all of those things are meant in the absolutely best way possible. “Goan Wildman” doesn’t aspire to more than a catchy, three chord rock song, and it succeeds — not only because the riff is great, but because the song is crisp and clear, and nothing gets buried in a sonic muddle. Similarly, even when the band adds on little things here and there (like the organ in “Eat The Bee“, for example), they do so in a way that makes the addition stand out, but not in any kind of bad, awkward way. It adds up to make Motor Points of the Face an exemplary album, and Centretown Cripplers one of those rare bands who are able to translate the energy and fun of an incendiary live show onto disc."

Here are some of my choice tracks from the EP. I highly recommend that you take a night to get Crippled this May, you’ll love it. - Trendwhore


Finally got time to listen to this EP by this Ottawa band, who’ve I’ve gotten to known so well.
First time I sound them was in November of 2008 where they opened up for Oh No Forest Fires and the
same night as Matt & Kim in another venue.
They were amazing live and surprised that there was alot of people to see them.
They are a big band, with seven members.
Fun to see how seven members have great dynamics, even if one of them doesn’t show up on time before the their soundcheck.
Met the drummer at Osheaga while waiting in line for tickets last summer.
They only made 75 copies
It has seven tracks and goes by this:

* Goan Wildman
* We Got Nothing
* Innocent People
* Hands
* Waves
* Eat The Bee
* Stepping Stone (Live) [Bonus track]

Style of music is garage (Pronouncing the British way) pop rock.
They only made 75 copies of the CD.
All I have to say that this is a really good EP.
Very fun, catchy, high energy and good ol’ garage rock music.
The sound has that circa-1980s rock feel.
Really fun CD to listen to.
Surprised they added a bonus track which is a live track called Stepping Stone.
Even at their live shows its also fun to attend.

Best Tracks:

* Goan Wildman
* We Got Nothing
* Hands
* Waves
* Eat The Bees
- Ming Wu Music


My friend Todd was telling me about a recent set these guys played. They did a song about all the things they hate, and the dude singing was pointing at people in the audience and singling them out, like “I hate that kid’s skinny jeans!” That’s awesome. I don’t hate skinny jeans, I just really like hate.

So, right there, you see these guys (and at least one girl) are on the right track; they’re not afraid to stir the pot. And they sound good too. Despite having too many members (seven, I think?), they don’t fall prey to that whole retardedly pretentious indie rock mindset of ‘we have a lot of members and a lot of old people instruments so we must be good and interesting, right?’. Basically what I’m saying is, the many cooks in CENTRETOWN CRIPPLERS manage not to spoil the party-fuelling garage punk broth.

Actually, shit gets a little boring around track three, but then track four pulls it right up again with a pounding assault against nosehairs, and then things keep being pretty awesome for the next two tracks. That’s three awesome tracks right there. Pretty fucking good for an EP. But then, I really didn’t need the hidden track, a live ‘Stepping Stone’ cover. It just seems like it was thrown in there.

I find these guys are at their best with songs like ‘Hands’ and ‘Eat The Bee’ that sound kinda like the backing track to a crazed, torch-wielding mob hunting some monstrous creature through the night. They should focus on that stuff.

Bottom line: if you saw these guys play GAGA WEEKEND (or, apparently, antagonizing the crowd opening for THE ZOOBOMBS) you know they’re on to something. Let’s just hope they learn to cut the fat for future releases. NOT SHITTY - Standard Issue Zine (#8)


The truth of those thoughts is never more apparent than when the seven take to the stage. Three guitars, bass, keyboards, two percussion and seven smiles. No really, it’s corny but it’s true. There they were two guys and a gal, all screaming (nearly) incoherently…all the while the bunch of them are smiling away, having a brilliant old time. It was impressive. I can’t claim the punk sound as my ideal choice, but I knew I wanted to be open minded, and as I stood there, I found my toes tapping, my head bobbing and a smile on my face. The energy was infectious and I was glad to have been a part of it. Granted, next time I’m bringing earplugs…because well…it was loud. Besides the volume, a couple other things stood out for me. Firstly, and I do mean this as a compliment, Chris is a rock star. Ok, that may be somewhat vague, but what I’m getting at is that his on-stage presence was impressive. He had all the mannerisms and on-stage charisma that you would expect from a big time star. He was commanding and confident and that, in my experience, is a rare thing to find “naturally” in someone. Secondly, I recall a quote I heard once by one of the Ramones. This not verbatim, but it had to do with the simplicity of punk, due to the few chords necessary to play it. Watching these seven play, simplicity did not come to mind as they maintained a tight cohesion playing their instruments at speed. It may sound a simplistic compliment, but seven musicians; playing at speed in unison…I was impressed, especially to an empty room, where they could have been excused for taking the show lightly. - Lysten.ca


Centretown Cripplers are a seven-piece. I only mention this because they're a garage rock band, and bands in that genre typically have a much more minimalistic approach to line-ups. As Eat The Bee shows, however, in this case size doesn't matter. Centretown Cripplers are loud, raucous, primal... and awesome. - I Heart Music


Discography

CDEP, "Motor Points of the Face", released spring 2009.

Photos

Bio

While sitting at Ottawa's once legendary Aloha Room, Chris and Matthew decided that the drink of the night, "The Centretown Crippler" was a good name for a band. They wanted to start a dance-punk band but didn't have any idea how to make dance-punk music. They recruited as many people as they could find to come drink beer, get sweaty, and help make danceable noise.The result was more Blues Explosion than !!! but the resulting garage slop-pop turned out far better than any had expected.

In 2009 they recorded their debut EP which received positive reviews from Iheartmusic.net, Standard Issue Zine, Trendwhore.ca and Lysten.ca. They also played a wide variety of shows including Ottawa's Gaga Fest. They are preparing to record their followup album in February.