Gilbert Switzer
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Gilbert Switzer


Band Alternative Avant-garde


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The best kept secret in music


"Gilbert Switzer is the sound of rock n roll when the tornado hits." - Stephen Cooke

Young upstart band Gilbert Switzer aim to make punk rock songs that steer away from too much thought to song structure and instead focus on the sense of wonder and excitement that can be heard from punk’s early acts. Armed only with a two piece drum kit (played standing up), a guitar and gravelly, slipshod vocals, this Halifax trio play fast, lo-fi songs that are as playful as they are furious. - Liz Worth

Gilbert Switzer play old school raw punk, the drums seem to be shared between both guitarists, the vocals are melodic but raw, and the music is pretty simple and like the vocals its melodic and raw. Not a style you hear that often but one I'd like to see and hear more of.
- Shay Murphy

"The Gilbert Switzer live show is pure mayhem and perfectly deviant. One of my favourite acts in Halifax right now." - CKDU 88.1FM

"Gilbert Switzer's rock is the punkest. When you see Über Destructinator on his back, heels tucked up under his ass, hips thrusting skyward towards some heavenly vagina, shouting "Ride the pink tiger," it's almost as good as when you see Über Destructinator on his back, heels tucked up under his ass, hips thrusting skyward towards some heavenly vagina, shouting, "I'm not a murderer / Or a factory farmer / I'm just a regular guy." Though not quite. Switzer killed it at the spacious and spare Adrift Skate Park in Kensington Market on an unusually breathable Toronto August night, their position carefully triangulated between the skate ramp, the last band's misfired gear, and the club's front door. This meant that the kids arriving late to the set -- most had been driven outside by the previous act, an egregious Lightning Bolt rip-off plagued by the chronic technical problems that dog the ambitiously over-geared -- couldn't return to their previous places of swaying in either their usual sauntering meander or their back-up meandering saunter. Instead, they met with an immediate and jarring ear-and-eyeful of mad Über's contortions, both vocal and physical, and with the grinding rhythmic thud of guitarists / drummers Ash F and Poison I. The kids would enter, startle, and sheepishly, as though shamed, make their way past the band – so near as to touch – taking their place among the joyfully assaulted.

Earlier in the evening, Über – né Troy Richter, CKDU radio's Kid Savini of the acclaimed Tom Savini Fair and the more recent CKDU Smart Patrol – explained to me that particular night's line of attack. Since there was a decided lack of hipster kids among those half-enthusiastically assembled for the five-band punk show, this was to be a night of “freaking out the squares.” I count myself among the squares freaked out. The calm and sedate Richter undergoes an on-stage transformation that leaves him just this side of possessed, a state best captured in the work of Halifax photographer David Cieplinski, official unofficial photographic archivist of the city's music scene for the last dozen or so years, whose pictures you see above and below. Of the more than ten thousand images in Cieplinski's library, it was this Switzer shot chosen for the cover of The Coast weekly's recent Cieplinski profile. Such is their rockingness.

Cieplinski captures the visual element of Gilbert Switzer's live performance; the band's 2005 Divorce Records cassette American Idols , recorded at Halifax's One World Café, captures the rest. Here, Switzer storms all sexy-like through a dozen-song set of new material and selections from their earlier Don't Stop the Film CD. The flipside consists of new studio recordings of a half-dozen tracks, including “Fucking Golfer,” which you can listen to here. “Porno rags and douchebags / Smell like Alice Cooper,” Über shouts over Ash F.'s and Poison I.'s din – “He's just a fucking golfer.” All of that is factualy true. You can look it up.
For more on Gilbert Switzer – your new favourite band – visit the Divorce Records site at"

- Kendell Sheilds


Gilbert Switzer/The Hold State of Nature 7" (2006)
American Idols Cassette (2005)
Don't Stop The Film Mini CD (2004)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Gilbert Switzer formed in July 2004 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The group is not so much a 'band', but a three-person punk rock carnival, whose live show evokes the childish insanity that we have all suppressed for too long. Musically, Gilbert Switzer have been described as primitive garage rock, no wave or post-hardcore, but the members themselves think of it as, simply, minimalist punk rock. Their VU-style standup drum kit, lack of a bass player and playful live attack have all contributed to some wonderfully chaotic, audience-interactive gigs over the band’s two-year history. To go with their unique take on the performance of punk rock in the 21st century, Gilbert Switzer has also released music in numerous formats, from mini-CDR (Don’t Stop The Film, 2004), to cassette (American Idols, 2005), to 3.5” floppy disc (!). State Of Nature is their most recent release - a split 7” with fellow Halifax band, the Hold. The group toured eastern
Canada in summer 2005, and eastern/midwest US in 2006.