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Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Post-punk




"45 of the Best Up & Coming Rock Bands 2017"

Champion Lover released their self-titled, debut studio album in 2014. The following year they issued their first EP, Take One. The band is signed to Unprofitable Records. Champion Lover is greatly influenced by Sonic Youth. A great live band, the Ontario quartet has earned the honorific "Toronto's Loudest Noise Punk band."

Why are they on our list?

While they do utilize screaming, distortion, and sheer loudness, they are also very musical. Champion Lover's songs are complex and frequently melodic. Some pundits claim that they "play loud noise punk to fight, f**k, or drug to." That's doing them a disservice. They also play music you'll enjoy listening to. - Good Deed Seats (USA)

"Face to Face with Champion Lover and Last Imprint at the Opera House"

"Champion Lover got the evening started with one of the most blisteringly loud sets I’ve heard from an opening act. Never heard their tunes before but they gave me a Mudhoney meets Motorhead vibe with a heavy not to early Sonic Youth, all winning points in my books. For half an hour the four-piece beat out glorious noise that would have been enough for me to go home happy." - Live In Limbo (Canada)

"This Week’s 5-Yet-To-Be-Discovered Gems"

Champion Lover, “Rob Ford”

RIYL: Fast-paced, noisy post-punk

Toronto noise-punk quartet, Champion Lover, has been playing this track live for years, but, given the passing of former Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, the timing just wasn’t right to release it. The song was released a new single with a 360° view video, showing a dizzying view of Toronto, and as many Rob Fords as possible. - 102.1 The Edge (Canada)

"The Neu Bulletin - May 23, 2014"

Toronto band CHAMPION LOVER’s debut LP hisses with the same intensity as a pack of rattlesnakes, tails shaking like a pair of maracas on a vengeance. Officially out 20th June, it’s a work that throws around the foundations of noise rock for fun, flicking a switch between keen melodies and all-out walls of feedback. ‘Shooter’’s a standout track, booming with confidence and giving life to a band that first met in “grade four” of school in the “shithole” of Weston. Beat that, Foxygen. - DIY (England)

"Punk Rock Album Reviews: OKAY COCAINE + Champion Lover + Sewerside"

If Children Collide, or Eagulls, reverted back to their original EP, and then got massacred in noise, they’d sound a lot like this stellar fucking album from Toronto’s Champion Lover. This album is slathered in genius, a triumph really. It pummels with the kind of excitement that used to fuel McLusky. One song in, the pants-shittingly-good ‘Read My Mind’, and you’re hooked into the cult of Champion Lover. The rest of the album is an unflinching work of harrowing, blue-collar, cigarette-pumping punk that’ll tie you down and not let you leave until you’re another disciple. - Soundly Sounds (Australia)

"Champion Lover Toronto Noise Punk Debut"

ALBUM REVIEW: I am starting to wonder what is in the water now that all global warming is melting all the snow in Canada because the rock-n-roll that is starting to come down by the likes of Champion Lover is getting meaner and darker. The Toronto based noise punks have their scopes set on getting you fucked-up a lot which we’re totally fine with being that we’re in New Jersey and our home state’s super hero is The Toxic Avenger. This is a monster sized caliber release with jagged distortion episodes that manage to get inside your worst dreams. At other times pretty trippy power psyche(yea we said this) where the bassiness will make your bad day get worse. Pounding you with the opener “Read my Mind” and wipe off the blood with “She Likes Wu-Tang”; these are the real champions on this debut. The last track “Vacant Heart (Spring Break)” is what we can only imagine is a bad trip gone completely sour. So put your head in the barrel on their bandcamp to dose yourself. You might not need drugs listening to them because they are drug rock and will make you scrape your face-off. - Review Stalker (USA)


Toronto based outfit Champion Lover seems determined to bring noise punk back to our everyday life! Read My Mind is the opening song from their forthcoming self titled album and, damn, the word shivers just got a whole new meaning! Thundering drums, raw diy energy, cutting edge guitars and an aggressive vocal performer that feels like he’s re-located to another era and to be specific to the experimental rock years of the late ’70s with a dose of the mid ‘80’s underground guitar music! Just think This Heat! jamming with Pixies, sounds cool doesn’t it? This is fiercely good!

From Sound Injections' Facebook lead in to the review - "Raw, ecstatic, diy infused noise punk from Toronto's Champion Lover. Read My Mind will hook you with its fiercely melodic line and thundering vibes!" - Sound Injections (Greece)

"Music for the soul"

Toronto rockers Champion Lover share the Epic track Not Fine in which they offer up smooth vocals paired with thunderous drums and lush guitars to create a monumental and unforgettable slice of noisy shrapnel for the ears! The track is part of recent release russian prince that you can check out via Bandcamp! - diamonddeposits (Canada)

"Champion Lover – Champion Lover"

Note: Google Translate text followed by original German
"This noise punk band from Toronto makes noise a bit like as if the neighbors of METZ their punishment atonal riffs replaced by a good dose of doomy rock'n'roll à la Destruction Unit. Go forward as fuck, but is just also quite eigängig and the rough surface of the one or the other melody that does not want out of your head a hidden way. Also, Sonic Youth-esque harmonies and noise attacks are on board, enriched by subtle psych influences. The current wave gloomy post-punk bands such as Lower would also not entirely false comparison."

Original German
"Diese Noisepunk-Combo aus Toronto lärmt ein bisschen so als hätten die Nachbarn von METZ ihre atonalen Bestrafungsriffs durch eine gute Dosis doomigen Rock’n’Roll á la Destruction Unit ersetzt. Geht nach vorne wie Sau, ist dabei aber eben auch durchaus eigängig und unter der rauhen Oberfläche verbirgt sich so die eine oder andere Melodie, die einem nicht mehr aus dem Kopf will. Auch Sonic Youth-artige Harmonien und Noiseattacken sind mit an Bord, angereichert um subtile Psych-Einflüsse. Die derzeitige Welle düsterer Postpunk-Kapellen wie etwa Lower wären auch kein ganz falscher Vergleich." - 12XU (Germany)

"Champion Lover - Champion Lover | Album Review"

When: 20/06/2014
Like/Love: LOVE

Freaking Canadians man. They're always making music they makes me want to live out there and hope that they'll take me in as of their own. This time it's Champion Lover with their upcoming debut self titled album, and it is seriously good. The four piece play a kind of punk music that gives me blueballs, and for the first time ever, I don't mind having them.

Read My Mind opens Champion Lover with a rolling beat and a deep groove that is perfect for setting up the record. It's instantly engaging sound allows the band to sink the listener in before exploding some heavily distorted riffs that sound like they're bursting through the amps. It's awesome.

The lo-fi production definitely helps Champion Lover maintain a gritty, ballsy sound as the dirtiness behind it adds an extra touch of distortion to the mix. This in turn makes things even more distorted, thick and just straight up gnarly. Tracks such as Just Hollow and Bad Day are straight up punk rock JAMS because of this, and it's here that you begin to realise that this album could be a serious contender for album of the year.

Could You Be Mine punches the listener in the face with an immediate pounding drum section and intense guitar riffs that sound freaking incredible. I didn't think Champion Lover could go any harder but these guys smash through granite for this song. An excellent track, easily one of the highlights on the album.

The album also likes to head into darker territory as well as it's generally catchy roads which gives it a nice amount of variety. Champion Lover aren't afraid to add a bit of feedback or distortion to their songs which means any second could be home to a piece of ear bleeding feedback or a lead towards something that sounds freaking awesome.

Closing track Vacant Heart (Spring Break) is five minutes of Champion Lover saying goodbye by destroying your eardrums with all kinds of distorted guitar riffs and feedback that somehow produces it's own rhythm, it's insane. It's a fantastic way to close out what has been one serious fucking listen. Everything about Champion Lover is top notch, and this could be the best punk record I've heard all year. Hell, it could be the best record I've heard all year. - Exploding Head Syndrome (England)

"Reviews: put Champion Lover in your ear butt and make whoopee with it!"

I can't help but relate Champion Lover's recent self-titled release to sex.
So sorry.
Not sorry.
With 'lover' in the band name and that fuzzy, pulsating beat seducing my ear-holes into allowing the raunchy noise punk to explode inside them with each track... I mean, cum on. It basically screams 70's porno! (because, ya know, 'things' were a lot fuzzier back then)
If this is what it feels like to have a band make love to your ears through music then this album definitely justifies their name.
And like any romp in the sack, the better it feels (sounds), the more you want it.
I guess that whole 'bunny' thing works here too, not so much because they hump a lot, but because they have bigger ears to take more of Champion Lover in....nawmeeean!? - Music She Blogged (Canada)

"New Music Review – Champion Lover – Self Titled"

Champion Lover is the scuff and hardiness of a good pair of boots. These guys are an Ontario based quartet that plays loud, scrappy and noisy punk and today, we’re looking at their debut self-titled LP that was released back on June 20th. They’re also preparing to release the vinyl itself on the 18th of July (tomorrow), so that’s something to be excited about if these guys arouse your ears.

To get a very basic idea of the noises that these guys make, think of Fugazi, in a way. Although I think that these guys do stand by themselves as musicians, I see a lot of similarities to Fugazi. They’re both very typically aggressive, I mean, the way that lead vocalist,Edward Masuda, belts out his vocals on tracks like Vacant and Bad Day are really desperate and mean. The way that Champion Lover play is also extremely agitated, the vast majority of these songs feel incredibly intense with the way that the rhythms are put together.

The tracks build and shift always keep you on your toes. Shooter, is this really driving song, the bass and drums gel so well together and it’s not hard to imagine bolting down a highway listening to this. However, you also have, Read My Mind, which is energetic, has fantastic drumming and really puts across this sense of urgency that can make decent punk sound like good punk.

Which reminds me, the drumming in this album is really stylish. I love the jazziness during Could You Be Mine (I know it’s not jazzy, but I like the word and sound), similarly, the drums are incredibly punchy and effective during She Likes Wu-Tang. The bass in the intro to this tune is also colossal and I’d love to hear it in a live setting at some point. The drums and the bass work together to create this overwhelming sense of urgency in a lot of the songs.

From this sense of urgency, and often in the vocals, I picked up a strange taste of Nirvana as well. It was mostly in the guitar and vocals of Bad Day and Just Hollow, it’s hard to explain, but I can definitely hear it.

I would have liked to have seen the vocals be turned up, just a smidge in the mixing. Mainly because a genre like punk owes itself to playing loud and shouting louder, but it’s also nice to be able to understand what the vocals are rapping on about. That’s not to say these vocals are indistinguishable, but just a bit difficult to make out sometimes.

Champion Lover’s debut self-titled is a thickly intense album that sounds great; it offers very little in terms of a break whilst listening and comes at you, track after track. It flows well, it’s well produced and at times, it feels catchy with How Will I Know and I see You.

Don’t have a Bad day, Read My Mind and support Champion Lover, or you’ll be Lost and have a Vacant Heart. - Music Gleaner (England)

"An Interview With Edward Masuda of CHAMPION LOVER"

Note, Sonicbids doesn't recognize the direct link as valid in the URL field, so here you go -!champion-lover/c10ay

If you're anything like me when it comes to the range of music that you listen to there's no doubt that every now and then you'd like to listen to something that's just a little bit heavier than usual.. Enter Canadian band CHAMPION LOVER - a four piece that've just released a killer debut LP that hasn't left my heavy rotation list for weeks.

I first laid ears on CHAMPION LOVER after checking them out on their Bandcamp page a few weeks back.. The bands debut LP clocks in at around 35 minutes which may not seem like a long time, but let me tell you this.. There isn't one second of this thing that feels like filler.. Fast, fearless and ferocious are the best three words beginning with the letter 'F' that I can think of to describe what to expect from this gut wrencher of an album.. Listen to this whilst excercising and your workout will become at least ten times more epic.. Trust me!

The bands frontman Edward Masuda spent a little time spilling the beans with me last week explaining how CHAMPION LOVER was formed as well as his thoughts on music formats, 2014's best albums and the groups time on the road.. Enjoy!

Hey there! Thanks for dropping what you’re up to at the moment to be a part of taken by sound! For those out there that aren’t familiar with yourself or your band, who are you and what role do you play in CHAMPION LOVER?

Edward Masuda, lead singer and rhythm guitarist.

TBS: When did you first start writing and recording your music? And do you remember what it was that pushed you into wanting to pursue music in the first place?

CL: Personally music is all I’ve ever been good at. I’d actually been fighting the idea of being a musician for a long time until I just said “Ah fuck it. I guess this is what I’m supposed to do."

TBS: I’d have to say that the best way to describe your debut LP is “Holy shit that’s heavy!”. Who were some of your main influences that helped dictate the style of your album?

CL: At the time we were listening to a lot of Sonic Youth, Destruction Unit, Metz, Nirvana, Melvins, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Bass Drum of Death. When we were little kids James (the bassist) got me into bands like godheadsilo and KYUSS so heavy has kind of always been in our nature. Currently I’m really into a different set. Wire. Savages. Really tight, dry, post-punky kind of sounds. I’ve got about 8-9 songs for the new record and the only word I can think of to describe them is “taut”. Like everything needs to snap and crack and collapse and then completely explode.

TBS: Fill us in on how the album was written and recorded.. I’ve read that you tried to stick to a DIY approach which has obviously paid off in spades for you!

CL: Well I usually write a song just on a guitar and record it into my phone. Then I’ll send it to the band and they’ll give it a thumbs up or down. Almost everything gets tried at least a few times. If we’re feeling it we then try to hammer out an arrangement and get some parts to stick. Then we play it until we’re sick of it.

We recorded most of the record in our friend’s basement. We were using like mattresses for baffling and just really budget shit like that. For one song James has to get a lot of feedback from his amp but it was kind of wedged behind the water heater so he had to crawl back there while we were tracking. After the 10th take we were like “Nailed it! Take five everybody!” except we forgot he couldn’t get out without our help while we went outside for some fresh air. When we came back like 15 minutes later he was upset to say the least.

We did the overdubs and re-amping split between James’ apartment and our rehearsal space. DIY is great but people should be aware that when you’re picky it can become a lot of work. And it was.

TBS: I’ve seen that you’ve gotten some test pressing vinyls happening on your Facebook page.. What was it like to hear it for the first time on wax?

CL: The first time I heard it as a joke the guys put it on 45RPM so it’s like a Ministry album with Chipmunks vocals. It actually wasn’t bad and I feel like listening to it that way would really get you through your workout faster.

Edwards Essential #1

Sonic Youth - Tunic (Song For Karen) This song tells you everything you’ll ever need to know about SY-i I you don’t like this song you won’t like them.

Edwards Essential #2

Destruction Unit - The World On Drugs This album (Deep Trip) and this band changed how we play and how I write. If you go see them BRING EARPLUGS.

TBS: You just finished up playing at NXNE a few weeks back, what was that experience like? And who were your top picks for bands that we should be checking out right now?

CL: NXNE is always a blast. I saw about 20 bands overall in 4 days. We played the hottest set we’ve ever played.

The Beverleys-no description necessary, just check them out. One of my favourite Toronto bands.
Rulers Of The Moon-really heavy, kind of thrashy with some slight mathy moments and their singer is just super fucking amazing. Honestly the best frontman in the city. Also a Toronto favourite. Seriously go check em out.
B-17-another Toronto band I discovered by accident. Like a really trippy, early Stooges. And they slayed live.
Teen Tits Wild Wives-no description possible. Its been a very long time since I heard a band that didn’t really sound like anyone else. You’ll struggle to find their stuff online but I think if you track down their tumblr they have tapes for sale.
Village-i don’t think they played but Im going to shamelessly plug them anyway. Their new record New Things is such a perfect encapsulation of what they set out to do-so much 60s pastoral/psyche-folk happening but damn. Its a winner.

TBS: What are your top 5 albums at the moment?

CL: Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else (perfect)
Hüsker Dü - New Day Rising (what a fucking great record. His new one is awesome too.)
Destrucion Unit - Deep Trip (I listen to it a couple times a week still I think)
Savages - Silence Yourself
CHAMPION LOVER - CHAMPION LOVER. Honestly we’re quite proud of it and we made it very selfishly for ourselves. It just so happens that other people like it too.
Hon. mention goes to: Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power (srsly its never left my phone. Great for the gym. Fucking Hostile is my jam.)

TBS: And what releases are you looking most forward to for the rest of 2014?

CL: Ty Segall for sure, Spoon, and the new Weezer. I still have hope. Rumour has it The Beverleys are recording an album but I won’t believe it until I see it.

TBS: I understand that you’re quite big fans of the brilliant TV drama True Detective.. Apart from TD, what’s your favourite TV series of all time and why?

CL: So far it’s TD. Then Breaking Bad, The Sopranos…the Leftovers looks REALLY promising.

TBS: What’s planned for the rest of the year for CHAMPION LOVER?

CL: Not sure yet-we’d like to try and do some touring (cough cough Kickstarter cough buy the vinyl cough) and maybe get started on the new record. Hopefully it’ll take less time.

TBS: And finally, what words of wisdom do you have for the readers out there?

CL: Go drink beer and see us when we come play. Bring earplugs.

TBS: Bring earplugs... Definitely bring some bloody ear plugs.. I can't thank Edward enough for agreeing to be a part of taken by sound.. Your music inspired me to trek back into heavy music territory once more and I couldn't be happier! If you'd like to check out any of the bands work I'd suggest that you check out CHAMPION LOVER's Bandcamp page which can be found here.
Well, that just about does it for another week from me.. Thanks as always for checking out taken by sound! As always, if you or someone you know is a musician that wants their voice heard, don't hesitate at all to drop me a line via Twitter or Email!
And don't forget those earplugs! - taken by sound (Australia)




"iNTRODUCiNG: Champion Lover"

They call it “music for fucking, fighting, drinking, dancing and drugging to”, which is about as apt a description of Champion Lover as I could come up with myself.

The Toronto-based quartet of twin brothers William and Edward Masuda, James Cain, and Erik Tokar deliver a sonic blitz on their recently released self-titled debut that levels everything and everyone in its path. They cite Sonic Youth, Motörhead, Wire and Pixies as influences, all of which you can hear in the music, but Champion Lover are not into hero-worship. Their songs destroy their idols, smash them with sledge hammers and then take the broken shards and shred their instruments with them.

The music is visceral, vital, and highly charged. Their brand of punk rock makes PUP sound like an ABBA cover band. - quick before it melts. (Canada)

"Champion Lover - Champion Lover"

The sound of youth coming together and making quality, angst-driven noise punk is a rare find. Today's band manage to pull the sound off with a whiff of '90s influence, while staying true to their own sound and driving unwanted listeners away.

Their debut album starts off ready for the accepting audience. Read My Mind has a droning, old school grunge feel that's a bit easier to swallow than some of the upcoming tracks. Because of this, and because of the album's scene-by-scene layout, it's also the best first listen.

A bit repetitive, kinda catchy, eventually loud, this is ultimately a sprinkle of what they'll end up doing. There's constant noise and an inescapable dark punk essence that grows into their own signature monster.

I was also pretty shocked that that '90s influence fit in so well. They managed to blend in some nostalgic tones without ripping the era's influence apart. Not to say the album's perfect by any means, but as you listen you can tell they had a clear idea of what they wanted to bring to this release.

Bringing the album together fully is each track's puzzle piece noise. Feedback and white noise help each track fall into each other, but the track list layout on its own really does make for a great experience. It definitely wasn't made with shuffle in mind.

Now if you're gonna dissect the work track by track, some songs fall a bit short with their content. A lot of it is really well done, but there's definitely room for improvement. The best part is you can already see improvement right on the album.

You might be better off with the Soundcloud stream if you want to take in the album for its worth. If you've decided their sound is for you, give them a Like, a Follow, or check out their website and show love for the artists that deserve it. - D4AM (Puerto Rico)

"NXNE 2014: Shout Outs & Stand Outs"

After Rancho Relaxo failed to get an extended license, CL’s 2am set time was in jeopardy. A small shuffle later they packed Rancho and played one of the loudest, and definitely the sweatiest set of the festival. - (Canada)

"Top 30 Albums Of 2014"

10. CHAMPION LOVER – CHAMPION LOVER | A touch of nostalgia makes this new record sound even better as this aspiring band deliver some of the best punk songs of the year. - Exploding Head Syndrome (UK)

"Best Albums/EPs Of 2014 So Far"

Other recommendations: Champion Lover – Champion Lover - Exploding Head Syndrome (England)


BANG! Let's go. Toronto's Champion Lover waste no time in getting this album underway as the rifle shot drums and hot-rod engine guitars of 'Read My Mind' remind of a mis-spent summer listening to the likes of Engine 88. 'Shooter' calms things down a notch but the slacker punk ethos is the same and so it is on 'Just Hollow' although this track in particular wants to rut with you like an over sexed uncle at a wedding disco. The beautiful chaos continues on the flailing, hell for leather riff-a-thon that is 'Could You Be Mine' while 'Bad Day' has a more QOTSA meets Death From Above chug about it that is all aviator shades, Marlboro reds and leather driving gloves even though there isn't a car in sight.

The absorbing grunge-punk of 'How Will I Know' not only displays a flagrant disregard for question marks but also speeds through like the Ramones on a mission before 'I See You' rumbles along and you soon realise that Champion Lover live life in the fast lane because that's the only way they know how. 'She Likes Wu-Tang' reminds me of a great University 'debate' I had with a girl in a club about what a great song 'Gravel Pits' was only to realise an hour later she had no idea what I was saying - it's also a low slung, sleazoid of a song. I love the low-end riffing on this album as well as the drummer that sounds like one of those guys who just can't sit still no matter what medication he takes and these aspects are both in great display on 'Lost'. 'Vacant Heart (Spring Break)' brings things to a shuddering, heart-attack stop after a punishing 6 minutes that climaxes in a melee of feedback, distortion and the realisation that you've been drinking for 4 days straight and you're late for work - 4 days late. Champion Lover don't give a shit whether I like them or not and I don't think they care too much for you either but I do like them (alot) and you probably should too. Just don't expect them to hang around for a chat after the gig unless you're at least willing bring them some beer or have a talented tongue. - Listen With Monger (England)

"Champion Lover - "Champion Lover""

Post punk sounds go all around your headphones on this band's debut album, which ranges everywhere from catchy to pure sonic abuse. These guys aren't afraid to let some abrasive sounds fly out of their amps, and that's definitely respectable to me. If you want a brand new punk band that will more than likely kick you around a bit with their aggressive sound, Champion Lover is definitely a great one to check out. Dig it! - Riot In My Brain (USA)

"Honorable Mentions 2014"

Canadian punks Champion Lover deliver a non-stop onslaught of digging guitar phrases, driving drums and dirty bass tones. Delivered with a strong, spunky attitude, this record encapsulates everything that is desirable about punk, noise and rock. Emotional delivery and tight performances make this album a very solid release. - Pretty Neat Grooves (USA)

"Champion Lover // Debut Album // Out 20th June"

Passion is something this Canadian 4-piece have in abundance as Champion Lover release their gutsy debut album on 20th June.

Champion Lover are a band that care about their music, even down to the details like what format they should release on as James Cain (bassist, producer) says, "I’m sorry and don’t mean to offend, but all my most intense experiences have been with vinyl nearby. That’s why Champion Lover only wants to release vinyl or pure digital. Like any romance, it’s either about intense emotional connection or convenience. Everything in-between is just a shitty compromise."

It feels appropriate that I'm writing this on a train as the first song echoes the sound of the train rumbling along the tracks with that strong, steady beat. That drum line is intense, purposeful and builds the atmosphere ready for grimy, punk vocals and screechy guitars.

They've been together for over a decade and that close bond really translates through their music. The whole album flows as if it's one track with that fantastically raw battle-of-the-bands vibe. I'm impressed the momentum continues effortlessly even in the suitably gloomy 'Bad Day'. I can't help but fell this would make a great live album with the expressive tones in the vocals convincing me that Champion Lover would put on a brilliant live show, preferably in an intimate pub-like venue.

Stand-out tracks for me are 'Just Hollow', with the screeching vocals and whining guitar riff calling out to each other in the chorus, 'Could You Be Mine' because it's one of those songs you feel like you've heard before but can't quite place and it's guaranteed to get you dancing! Then what I believe is their most polished and slightly haunting track, 'I See You'.

Overall, it's a brilliant album that can easily be played on repeat for hours on end. - Never Enough Notes (England)

"Champion Lover: Champion Lover EP"

Toronto punkers Champion Lover have just released their S/T debut EP...and what is it like you may ask? Like base jumping off a double stack of Marshalls. Pure, unadulterated, lustful, scathing power. Oh yes, WTF else ever need be said. Get this this or stand in front of the mirror and say woos. - Floorshime Zipper Boots (USA)

"The top 10 Toronto albums of 2014"

*CHAMPION LOVER's debut received an Honourable Mention for Toronto album of the year - BlogTO (Canada)

"Top 25 Shows at Canadian Music Week 2015"

"Champion Lover - Lee's Palace - May 6th - 8:15pm
Noisy, fast and fuzzy, Champion Lover kickstart a guitar-heavy night at Lee's. Fronted by twin brothers William and Edward (Bill & Ted?), the band is all the rage. Last year's self-titled release received global attention. Also performing: Dead Broke, Flint Eastwood, Port Juvee, The Orwells" - BlogTO (Canada)

"Elephant Stone w/ Champion Lover & Bad Girls"

"...After a short break of equipment changes Champion Lover hits the stage. Not being familiar with them initially, they nailed it. The high-energy punk rock ensemble played like it was their last show. Good luck trying to lean on a wall for these guys; they had the crowd moving and moshing and were visually a wild and eccentric bunch. Belting out choruses, jammed in with heavy drum fills and distorted guitar fuzz. These guys fit right into what makes Sneaky Dee’s what it is with that “Don’t hassle me I’m local” vibe. From fuzz pedals attached to guitars, intense facial expressions, duct tape patches, banging the sh*t out of a guitar with a drumstick to the nonchalant instrument toss, these guys sure could keep your attention. After their action-packed slap in the face of a set the energy of the room definitely picked up as we anticipated the headline." - Spill Magazine (Canada)

"The Friday Fire Track: Champion Lover – “Read My Mind”"

Toronto is just cranking out noise-punk rock bands like no other area and they all are worth your time and ear. Champion Lover met in fourth grade so expect above average cohesiveness on their self-titled debut due out June 20.

I like on the featured track today how Champion Lover create tension without ever going to extremes. The calm vocals that sit right at the instrument level which keeps your attention to detail and makes for a rewarding listen. It also should get your anticipation up for their debut. Enjoy! - The Fire Note Online Music Magazine (USA)


Canada is pumping out some amazing hard arse angst inspired music at present. Witness recently Odonis Odonis and Ought and now Champion Lover. Originally out of the outer Toronto suburb of Weston, the quartet are the latest to pull out some serious heavy shit. They are set to release their self titled debut album on June 20, a relentless, pummeling chord driven affair from beginning to end with a definitive loose DIY feel. Check out the pensive and disciplined opening track, 'Read My Mind' from the record below and do your discerning 'fuck you' sensibilities a favour and get it digitally here. Enough buys may mean a wax release. - Indie30 (Australia)

"Interview: Champion Lover"

3/4′s of Champion Lover‘s members met when they were in grade 4. Back then, we suspect they didn’t have visions to become the noise-punk band with an appetite for destruction that they are today. The Toronto band’s debut album comes out June 20th, and its just as pummeling as anyone might expect it to be.

Champion LoverYou can stream and purchase Champion Lover’s self-titled album here

SA: Who are your musical influences?
CL: Thats going to be a long list. I feel (like most things) we all carry a set of albums with us for long periods or all of our life, but other ones come and go during other moments or stretches. For example, I have, and will always be, a massive Radiohead fan. But of late I’m really into Hüsker Dü and some local bands like The Beverleys and Mexican Slang. Oh that Savages record is AMAZING. When making this record we were listening to a lot of Sonic Youth, Wire, Destruction Unit, Bass Drum Of Death, White Lung, Nü Sensae and bands like the Melvins and Nirvana. A lot of Destruction Unit. Actually, I don’t think I stopped listening to Deep Trip for a couple of months. And Sonic Youth’s Goo was on heavy rotation too. Another blogger called us “the gospel according to Thurston and Kim” which I kind of like the sound of. Growing up I knew of Sonic Youth before I knew what they sounded like and I don’t think people really talk a lot about how fucking punk those first few records were in many ways. Maybe they do. I don’t know.

SA: Your self-titled album captures an aggressive energy. Where does that sound come from?
CL: When I listen to it I don’t really hear it as being aggressive, not in the challenge-you-to-a-fight kind of way. Its loud and heavy but I don’t always equate that with being aggressive. We just wanted to make music that we could go bananas to while playing and that hopefully people watching would go totally apeshit as well. I saw …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead years ago and the whole destroying their equipment on stage thing was just starting to become a tired ritual for them because everybody expected it. But then they literally annihilate the stage and all their gear and you’re kind of like “HOLY FUCK NO WAY” because they don’t really fuck around with how they do it. I actually hear the record as being kind of pretty and sad in its own way, but also very tense, and angry, and restless.

SA: How would you describe the recording process of your self-titled debut?
CL: It was definitely a slog. Arduous. It was kind of our own fault really. We recorded all the main tracks over the course of a couple weekends at a friend’s house in his basement and then a couple more months choosing takes and doing vocals and overdubs. Then we did a lot of textural work and then started to mix it ourselves, which for anyone reading is a TOTAL FUCKING MISTAKE. Pay someone. Hire a friend. We did. Pay them and walk away. Next time we’re just going to ask Steve Albini and be done with it. Go to Chicago. Steve, if you’re reading this, cut us a deal man?

SA: While your album is currently available to download from Bandcamp, it will also be offered on vinyl after July 18th. Do you consider the format to be an important part of how your music is enjoyed?
CL: We argued a lot over the tracklisting because initially we were going to do vinyl, then we decided not to. So at that point, the tracklisting didn’t need to be thought of as Side A / Side B. I mean, we all like vinyl, and it was important to us have a physical document of our work. It was a last minute flip-flop to do vinyl. It felt stupid not to have anything at our release show (shameless plug: July 18th, Sneaky Dee’s). I think vinyl is mixed differently because of some very technical shit that I don’t know enough about to discuss with any authority, and its bassier and stuff. We tried to keep that in mind during the mixing process.
And the artwork looks way cooler on vinyl. Can you imagine the first guy to put a picture on a record sleeve? People must have lost their shit.

SA: Can we expect some chaos when you hit the stage at NXNE?
CL: Man. We’ve been getting more destructive onstage and a lot harder on our gear with each show. Its getting expensive. If we could get a Fender endorsement that would help a lot. And its a late set so you know how that goes: lots of randos on drugs in the crowd. I think we’ll be lucky if any of us make it out with our guitars intact. Maybe not James. His Bass VI is kind of rare. But yeah, the goal is to not be too precious about what we do. We’re pretty aware of what kind of music we make. The Jack Johnson fans of the world should probably stay home. Plus we just added my twin brother William. He and I don’t always get along. There might be some fireworks. Depends on how much he’s had to drink I guess (knowing him he’ll say the same about me). Last year I got to see Destruction Unit and Teen Tits Wild Wives. If you ever get the chance to see either of those bands play, do it. Just go. I’ll mail you the money. At the DUnit show, they just walked on stage, started the feedback, never said a word, were louder than GOD and walked off. The singer for DUnit, Ryan climbed the lighting rig at the Garrison near the end of the set and then stuck his patch cord in his mouth and his amp is so loud that you could kind of make out some noises there. And then they left. My drummer Erik was actually kind of shaken by it. He didn’t bring earplugs and he felt a little disoriented. Thats our benchmark I guess. Make you feel like you did drugs. Then come party with us after. - Sound Analysis (Canada)

"Champion Lover – How Will I Know"

Sweeping rock from this Toronto 4-piece that brings the noise and chaos, and captures the restless energy of exuberance in all their songs. - Don't Need No Melody (USA)

"Champion Lover - Smiling Buddha, Toronto ON, June 21"

Champion Lover's twin guitar attack was literal in more than one way on the final night of NXNE. Enveloped by clouds of vapour from the adjacent fog machines, twin brothers Edward and William Masuda led the charge in bringing a set of noise punk jams to the early crowd with volume levels through the roof and liberal use of feedback. Though at times they became victims of their own volume, Edward's boisterous yelp never failed to cut through the wall of sound, not even breaking during a raucous final number in which he slumped to the stage after expending all his energy behind the microphone.

Any musical gearheads who were in attendance undoubtedly had their eyes on James Cain, who was a treat to watch handling his Bass VI. A strange looking electric bass thanks to its thinner strings and shorter neck, Cain took the weirdness to new heights by taping a fuzz box to the instrument and playing it with a drumstick. Not unlike Jimmy Page and Sonic Youth before him, Cain could be seen jamming the stick in between strings and pickups when not whaling on his instrument with abandon. - Exclaim! (Canada)


Did you get tired of psych scene? We have the medicine! Well, not actually us, but some guys from Toronto, Canada.
Edward, Erik, James and William grew up listening to Sonic Youth, Wire, Nirvana, Melvins, like every prudent teenager does (should do if not), and lately they like the sound of Hüsker Dü, Cloud Nothings, Destruction Unit, Bass Drum of Death, White Lung, Nü Sensae amongst others. Now, you can imagine their sound… it’s noise punk! And their name… Champion Lover.

Their self-titled debut album, digitally released on 20th of June, is already one of the best albums of the year so far. Besides the non-stop flowing recording that is really cool, there is a nice flow between the tracks, like a noisy trip. From the very first seconds of the record you recognize that this is serious good, a rolling beat and a catchy melody combined with calm vocals lead to the distorted “why can’t you read my mind?” At the end of the track you wonder if the opening track is such a killer, what will follow next? A rewarding listening, a must have album! - Blackspin (Greece)

"Top 5 Bands From Twitter For The Month Of June"

#1: Champion Lover (@CHAMPIONLOVERRR)
Whether the name Champion Lover is the band being boastful or making a factual statement (if a trophy or medal exists I will be impressed), it's impossible not to feel the confidence that oozes from their music. They know they're doing punk right and they want you to know it, too. - THE SUBURBAN SASQUATCH (Canada)


If you like your music raw, noisey and full of passion, look no further than the sounds of Toronto’s CHAMPION LOVER. The band has certainly come a long way in the last couple of years and this is clearly evident when you have a listen to their debut long-player.

Now that we have your undivided attention, it’s time for you to check out the self-titled effort below. The tracks are loud, infectious and full of melody… just the way we like it here at The iM. Stand-outs include Read My Mind, How Will I Know and Lost.

In other news, the four-piece officially unleash the album tonight, Friday, July 18th at Sneaky Dee’s with WATERBODIES, SEXTAPE and SHIPLEY HOLLOW rounding out the bill; if you know what’s good for you, you’ll be there. And… come say hi to us while you’re at it. We wouldn’t miss this one for the world. - The Indie Machine (Canada)

"Quickie Review - “Champion Lover” Champion Lover"

Canadian punks Champion Lover deliver a non-stop onslaught of digging guitar phrases, driving drums and dirty bass tones. Delivered with a strong, spunky attitude, this record encapsulates everything that is desirable about punk, noise and rock. Emotional delivery and tight performances make this album a very solid release. Songs like “Read My Mind,” “Bad Day” and “Lost” are great examples of how adept this band is at creating that angsty aesthetic that fans of punk rock seek after. “Read My Mind,” for example has a very punchy snare, complimented with guitars layered in tasty and tasteful reverb. The chorus goes HAM, so much so that I worried about my levels of cholesterol whilst digesting this song. “Bad Day” demonstrates how the band has the ability to make you FEEL: this song convinced me that I was having a bad day, and artfully so, since the instrumentation is somber and encumbering. The production on every single song is also fantastic, with feedback and noise elevating the experience.

This release would definitely be complimented by a packed basement show, chock-full of stage dives, aggressive head-nods and sing-alongs. The two gripes I have, however, are that I don’t find this album to flow very well (some tracks should be rearranged), and I feel that this band could use a fresher approach to this style of music. I feel like I’ve heard this record before, but that’s not a bad or good thing in my opinion. I think that this album is a great first taste for anyone new to Champion Lover, and I cannot wait for the future. This album does demonstrate that this band has mad potential, and anyone interested in punk should take note.

FAV TRACKS: Read My Mind, Bad Day, Lost

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Vacant Heart, Shooter, How Will I Know
Score: (7.0/10) - Pretty Neat Grooves (USA)


The sounds seem to be wrestling to get back into the speakers like a Jehovah Witness knocking on the door discovering an orgy going on inside, as the bass implodes upon itself, before finally giving up the fight and donning a gimp mask to join in with the party. The full value of CHAMPION LOVER lays in the underbelly which they expose in a darkened drone that takes over the room in a shroud of reverb which thumps off the walls like clods of sodden turf.

This is music that requires the speakers to be turned up to full volume as the mind immerses itself in the waves of understated distorted phrases which dissipate before the brain can fully ingest the flowing compositions. There is a wandering psychedelic tincture to the sound to which the brain locks, giving it a trippy feel without the ensuing headache. - Emerging Indie Bands (England)

"Episode 114 - Godzilla & Godzilla's Revenge"

"...the best band in the city (Toronto), CHAMPION LOVER."
"Other than podcasts, all that I listen to is the new CHAMPION LOVER album. It is so fucking good."
"It is really really really really great."
"This album is so clear and concise in what it wants to do."
"I keep coming back to Disappears as a touchpoint."
"The songs aren't long, but they click along. The drumming is incredible. But they have pop melodic hooks, but in sort of a kraut drone ascetic."
"It is the dirtiest pretty music I've ever heard."
"What a great record. I like every fucking song."
"The progression of the album is amazing."
"It does have a total journey to it, which is great."
"I can hear some Cloud Nothings in there."
"I can hear some late-80s Nirvana."
"They as a band listen to a band called Bass Drum of Death a lot and I can hear a lot of that in there as well."
"And yet they sound totally like CHAMPION LOVER."
"Stop being a dick and spend $7 on an album."
"For my money it's one of the best albums of the year." - See You Next Wednesday Podcast (Canada)

"2014 Favorite Albums"

"18) CHAMPION LOVER – S/T “…a nice flow between the tracks, like a noisy trip…a rolling beat and a catchy melody combined with calm vocals…already one of the best albums of the year so far…”" - Blackspin (Greece)

"This Week in Music"

Tags include noise, punk, sludge, hiss, feedback, diy, bass vi, loud, and rock and roll. But they have a marketing agent! That's not DIY, guys. Anyway, I'd add garage to those tags and call this a pretty alright snack for Nirvana/Pixies/DFA1979 fans. - BlogTO (Canada)


Champion Lover\s debut album is an Indie music fans dream. This album had everything you wish for in an indie album. The band has come out strong with this album and Indie fans will enjoy this one. It has a hardness that will really attract fans and the musicianship of the band is pretty decent. Give this album a listen. - Ontario Rock (Canada)

"Pod Fodder (Volume Two Hundred And Forty Nine)"

Taken from the Toronto band's brilliant new LP which can be ordered from their Bandcamp page. If you live in Toronto they would rather you collected it yourself as postage is not cheap! Great LP though. - Burning World (England)


Music for your late-night neon discotheque light-show tanning; or the sound of being chased by a swarm of angry hornets.
The gospel according to Kim and Thurston.
This is indie driven punk music with great swagger.
Nice release from some Canadian boys. - If It Be Your Will (Canada)

"A Two Way Monologues NXNE Primer Part 2"

Those who hang out around Rancho Relaxo have known for some time now what the rest of the world is now finding out: CHAMPION LOVER is arguably Toronto’s best band. Their hiatus was never expected to approach a year, but the boys said they would not play another live show until the record was complete. CHAMPION LOVER are men of their words and now they finally hit the stage again at Rancho Relaxo for an ear-piercing live show at 2 AM. I have been around this music game long enough to know the best bands with the best albums do not necessarily get all the best breaks, but god damn it this time it better happen. - Two Way Monologues (Canada)

"CHAMPION LOVER’s New Album Available to Stream"

...Three of the four band members have known each other since they were young kids (grade four) and it shows. The album is fun and loud with crashing drums and crazy guitar riffs that don’t slow down from song to song... - Anchor Shop (Canada)

"10 Things I Learned at NXNE from the Perspective of the Promoter/Sponsor at Rancho"

Champion Lover is a name that Toronto is going to have keep on its radar in the weeks and months to come. Yes, this band is composed of ex-Black Devils Brigade members, but that is where the comparison ends. They are both heavy, but Champion Lover are way noiser, more experimental, and a much more intense listening and watching experience. If they build on this first show, the sky is truly the limit. - Two Way Monologues (Canada)

"North By Northeast NXNE 2012 - June 14 Concert Recap"

Rancho Relaxo was packed for this gig and even though it was quite early in the evening the audience was rowdy and really loving the really loud set delivered by the band. - T-MAK World (Canada)


2014 - CHAMPION LOVER (self-titled LP)
2015 - Take One (EP)
2017 - Russian Prince (EP)



"Toronto band CHAMPION LOVER’s debut LP hisses with the same intensity as a pack of rattlesnakes, tails shaking like a pair of maracas on a vengeance." - DIY Magazine (England)

"If Children Collide, or Eagulls, reverted back to their original EP, and then got massacred in noise, they’d sound a lot like this stellar fucking album from Toronto’s Champion Lover. This album is slathered in genius, a triumph really." - Soundly Sounds (Australia)

"You might not need drugs listening to them because they are drug rock and will make you scrape your face-off." - Review Stalker (USA)

"Thundering drums, raw diy energy, cutting edge guitars and an aggressive vocal performer that feels like he’s re-located to another era and to be specific to the experimental rock years of the late ‘70s with a dose of the mid '80’s underground guitar music! Just think This Heat! jamming with Pixies, sounds cool doesn’t it? This is fiercely good!" - Sound Injections (Greece)

"Champion Lover got the evening started with one of the most blisteringly loud sets I’ve heard from an opening act.  Never heard their tunes before but they gave me a Mudhoney meets Motorhead vibe with a heavy not to early Sonic Youth, all winning points in my books.  For half an hour the four-piece beat out glorious noise that would have been enough for me to go home happy." - Live in Limbo (Canada) 

Band Members