Courtesy Blush
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Courtesy Blush

| INDIE

| INDIE
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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


A mix of driving punk-rock and raw-boned hardcore, Sweet Modern Fairy Tales is hands down one of the most invigorating releases I have heard in a long time.

Bands like Courtesy Blush motivate listeners to form their own bands. This Thornhill, Ontario, Canada outfit creates a sound that is as much jarring as it is melodic. Sweet Modern Fairy Tales contains great diversity, with each edgy track exploring numerous paths; they never seem to repeat themselves. Saw-toothed rhythms are always butting heads with ear-hooking melodies, and the impact of the two sparks hot glowing sounds that invigorates and enlivens the soul.

Courtesy Blush even gets a little technical, especially on the opening of the scorching "Love, Love," and the closer "A New Comedy" contains some potent metallic hardcore crunches, but overall, they consistency play lashing sonic rock that will furiously shake emotional reflections and troubled thoughts from your mind. "Starlight of Empty Nights" deeply affected me with its delicate intro, prodding guitar buildup, and a stunning hard-edged climax that had me constantly hitting repeat on my stereo. It definitely numbs the senses, leaving a vivid impression.

This is passion. This is punk-rock. Sweet Modern Fairy Tales will make you blush.

Intriguing, angst-ridden, and energetic, Sweet Modern Fairy Tales is an amazing release from start to finish. Ears that love the melodic dynamism of outfits like Spain's Standstill and Syracuse's Cru Jones, Courtesy Blush is an outfit you need to know.

by Ken Hawk

- Faketrain


Courtesy Blush goes way above the call of duty on their independently released album. I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard an emo/hardcore band buck the concept of traditional song structure as well as these guys. The songs are an evolution all the way through, often with only a repeated chorus to make you realize that you’re even on the same track.

What that means is that “Sweet Modern Fairy Tales” is an interesting listen from beginning to end. The instrumentation does a lot of cool things, feeling unwilling to do too much repeating. While it does seem ADD, there is also a thrill of excitement because, unlike most emo releases where everything is safe and predictable, you just don’t know what comes next here.

Of course, that is not to say that everything here is outstanding. While the vocal styles are as varied as everything else here, what is used most frequently is that whimpering emo-boy whine. Unfortunately, it’s not even done well. Not even by emo’s admittedly low standards.

That’s not a minor complaint, however, enough vocal stylings are used to keep the shrill whine from being too much of a focal point of the album. If these guys get signed, loose (or drastically improve) the whine, and find a good producer, they have the potential to save the world.


- Decapolis


Courtesy Blush is a band that just refuses to be categorized or explained. They've got two really good different styles that they're pushing. Part of their music is a Rescue-esque mathy rock sound and extremely melodic. Then you hit other parts of their songs and they're heavy, off time, and screamy. Though they're two different styles, they seem to flow together rather well. I wouldn't like to be the one to have to find a marketing scheme for them, however. The only way you can really push them is to say they're good.

Every bit of this record, from the guitar riffs to the well thought out patterns is very good, though I wish they could of had a better recording on the record to showcase their abilities a little better. But for an unsigned band working on a limited budget, what they came away with was pretty slick. As a whole, I would say the closest thing the band reminds me of is a heavier Rescue or Fordirelifesake. There is no dull parts of this album at all, the whole thing is go go go, push push push, destroy destroy destroy. I believe I could put this at the top of the list for the best unsigned records I've heard this year. And that's a wonderful thing. Check out the mp3s below and listen to it for yourself.

RIYL: Rescue, Foredirelifesake, etc.
- Rise and Revolt


Sometimes the best sounding bands are the ones on such a small scale that you've never even heard a word about them. Finding this kind of talent is hard to do as a music fan but one of the perks of writing reviews is that a really good album could land on your desk by a band from the middle of nowhere. In the case of Courtesy Blush, middle of nowhere is Canada and a very small record label (Bad Samaritan). The band's first disc, Sweet Modern Fairy Tales, finds them experimenting with post-hardcore and progressive rock.

The first glimpse into Courtesy Blush comes in "La Ber Sae". In a little over four minutes, the band manages to take the listener on several ups and downs. Included in the mix is a steady amount of guitar distortions, chaotic time changes, progressive-sounding riffs, and vocals that are sung, screamed, and talked. In a sense, this band reminds me of a slightly less chaotic Circle Takes The Square as all of the tempo and vocal changes are very similar. Throughout the eight tracks, the band keeps things fairly unpredictable. "The Video Is A Tightly Kept Secret" is a very crazy track that features upbeat, catchy moments as well as a heavier breakdown that is placed right in the middle of two melodic, spacey parts. "Love, Love" is one of the band's heavier tracks that feature metallic riffs and very aggressive drumming. The band's more sincere side shows up in "Starlight Of Empty Nights" where they use gentle drumming, melodic guitars, and clear singing vocals. A few parts are a bit more energetic and the highlight comes at the end when they build it up with bass thuds and technical riffs.

Even though this quintet is playing a brand of melodic post-hardcore that has been done quite a bit, I still can't say that this album is average. They play their instruments in such a technical and catastrophic way that it is hard not to give them their props. The one major complaint would be with the vocals as sometimes the singing leans towards the whiny side but if you are a fan of Circle Takes The Square then this shouldn't pose a problem. While it is far from original, Sweet Modern Fairy Tales showcases Courtesy Blush's crazy arrangements and wide range of influences in a pleasing way.

- Acclaimed Punk


Discography

Sweet Modern Fairy Tales

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Courtesy Blush formed in January of 2002. Initially a four-piece instrumental band, they acquired a singer in July of that year. They had four songs written instrumentally, with vocals added promptly following the arrival of their new singer. In the next nine months, Courtesy Blush, consisting of: Stan Simon (vocals), Mathew Wronski (bass), Jon Arden (guitar/backup vocals), Pedja (guitar) and Ben Reinhartz (drums), wrote four more songs, showcasing all eight of them at shows in Toronto and the GTA, as they still do at least twice a month.

In the summer of 2003, they recorded their eight song EP entitled Sweet Modern Fairy Tales, recorded by Matt DeMatteo (Big Wreck, Edwin, Ashley MacIsaac). An EP of raw emotion, intricate melody, rhythm and powerful lyrical content, it has been released without any label support, selling over 500 copies that the band sells themselves at shows.

They have recently gone back into the studio to record a new song entitled “Trephining” which will be mastered by the end of October. They signed up for the Finger Eleven Summer of Judgement tour opening slot and won the chance to open for them in Kitchener, Ontario, in July of 2004. Two weeks later, the band embarked on their first tour ever to Europe, covering most of France and Spain with the UK band Jairus.

Since their return, they have been working extensively on new songs to be performed at upcoming shows and released on their future full-length album. A band in constant progression, their new material has the feeling and intricacy of Sweet Modern Fairy Tales, but dabbles heavily in dynamics and atmosphere – the idea of playing less to convey stronger emotion, and, most importantly, balance.