Sexdwarf
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Sexdwarf

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | INDIE

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Alternative Pop

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"Reviewed: Sexdwarf – Has Disappeared into the Mystic Dawn"

You should be taking Sexdwarf very seriously. Alright I know, but let’s actually get serious for a second. Let’s get real. Let’s get Sexdwarf. Shit, this is harder than I thought. What you should take away from this is that you have a new band that you can have fun with just by saying their name. Express yourself with Sexdwarf. Draw a picture of what you see in your head when you say “Sexdwarf”. Mail that picture to a stranger. Repeat. Avoid the law for a little while, then apologize. If they catch you. Then check these guys out at a show, because they set a very relaxed and entertaining atmosphere. Take the fun of lighter Beatles material, add some gnarly synth, and then drag it through the nineties by its heels. Avoid the neon, the needles, and probably almost everything except that wave of British pop rock. Do you see? He Disappeared is the band’s debut LP, available on Bandcamp and Busted Flat Records, and it’s one of the most fun and unique albums I’ve heard from the local scene in a long time. Just know that if you Google the band, do not put a space between sex and dwarf. Or do, I can dig it.

8.5/10 - Velvet Rope Magazine


"Some choice local music in 2013"

2013 has had its ups and downs for those in Kitchener-Waterloo who spend their weekends checking out fine rock 'n' roll.

On the downside, we have bid farewell (at least for the time being) to our beloved Boathouse and its regular contributions to our musical lives (you can still check out Romeo Sex Fighter on Sundays at the Duke Of Wellington, FYI).

On the upside, we've had amazing artists like Lee Fields & The Expressions, Matt Mays, Hannah Georgas, Sleepy Sun, and the Tragically Hip's Paul Langlois adding some variety to our local club scene. Our own local scene has been no slouch, though, and in this column, you'll find my top five reasons that this town, in 2013, is as vital as any in the nation.

5. The Reklaws — Kiss, Kiss

Though they didn't release an album in 2013, The Reklaws did release their debut single, "Kiss, Kiss", which has been steadily turning heads since its release, while soaring up the Canadian Country Music singles charts. Stuart and Jenna-Rae Walker possess a natural chemistry (they are, after all, siblings) and an incredible ear for harmony and melody. They're working with some of the biggest names in country music and will certainly be on many more year-end lists in 2014 when their music has had a chance to get into a few more ears.

4. Lumberjunk — EP1, EP2

Singer-songwriter Matt Weidinger struck gold when he hooked up with producer/guitarist Darryl Rhompf and began fleshing out his powerhouse blues with a full-band. His God-given pipes are given a proper ship to sail on in Lumberjunk; a dirty blues quartet who push power and swing to their forefront. On their 2013 releases, EP1 and EP2, the band unabashedly flaunts its power and Weidinger's cache, but with his upcoming solo appearance at Memphis, Tennessee's International Blues Challenge, he may not belong solely to us for much longer.

3. Outer Islands — Balloon Capsule

Rob McFee spent 10+ years honing his craft with local anthem-rock band Vaccuity, but he's at his best with Outer Islands. Along with collaborator Duncan Nicholls, McFee can indulge in his love of Radiohead, synthesizers, samplers, and good, hooky pop music, without surrendering to mimicry. This gauzy, glittering pop music should have no problem supplanting the impressive legacy that Vaccuity left in their wake.

2. Hinindar — Honest Work

The men of Hinindar, Steve Sloane and Jeff Woods, caught lightening in a bottle with the Absalom EP and expanded on that blueprint with Honest Work, both in 2013. The fragile, ethereal nature of their songs is nicely anchored by Sloane's strong, clear voice, and measured, lyrical guitar patterns. Hinindar take the lonely, poetic model established by Bill Callahan's Smog and make it into something reverential; something gospel. This work will be hard to top.

1. SexDwarf — Has Disappeared Into The Mystic Dawn

SexDwarf get the Album of the Year award for 2013. After years of threatening to finally release something, Has Disappeared Into The Mystic Dawn still managed to surprise and dazzle. The group's fine blend of Ween goofiness and razor-sharp pop-instincts make for irresistible listening and some contagious guffaws. Their time backing-up local regulars like Lynn Jackson (and local legends like Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake) has shown them the road to pop greatness is fearlessness, and these dudes are absolutely not blinking.

Looking forward — 2014

2014 holds much promise for those of us keeping an eye out. New records are on the way from Kitchener dirtbags Saigon Hookers, hard-core punk-metal dudes Exalt, and singer-songwriter Lynn Jackson … as well as Kitchener's own all-star team, Romeo Sex Fighter, whose tangible release is perpetually pending and long-anticipated. In the meantime, 2013 has given our ears much to enjoy. - The Record


"A new Dawn for Sexdwarf"

Don’t let their name and song titles fool you, this local band is trying to make a serious statement with its debut CD

Busted Flat Records’ psych-rockers Sexdwarf, have been awfully quiet of late. Save for the occasional backing gig with labelmate Lynn Jackson, or Scottish pop-rock legend Norman Blake, Sexdwarf have scarcely been on stage for the last couple years. The official reason is that they’ve been finishing their long overdue debut record Sexdwarf Has Disappeared Into The Mystic Dawn, but these schooled rock-lifers know that a little cultivated mystique can go a long way.

“It’s totally the Black Metal thing,” singer-guitarist Chris Boyne told me. “The less people know about you, the better you are. Really we never thought about it; we just worked on this until we were done working on it.”

“And now we have giant welts on our heads from bashing them against the wall for five years,” bassist Jake Stallard added.

Four-plus years holed up in a studio trying to piece together a coherent statement from reams of digital files, take upon take, and the encroaching paranoia that maybe none of this makes any sense, will take its toll.

“It was a long time coming,” Stallard explained. “We started recording those drum tracks … it was four years ago this past July. It was a learning experience. We recorded it all ourselves, where ever we could. (That freedom) allowed us to screw around, which was nice. I think the songs really progressed because of that. But also our skills, as recordists (sic), as that progressed, we’d keep going back and re-recording things and it’s like ‘Oh, these new tracks sound so much better than the original tracks! Instead of trying to mix this to death, let’s just re-record it!’ It was a never-ending cycle of that.”

“I’d say that we’re really competent … now,” Boyne added.

Mystic Dawn benefits greatly from its creators, (Boyne, Stallard, drummer James Butcher, and keyboardist Joe Dunn)’ patience and willingness to experiment. Surely, goofy song-titles like Paid Me For Sex and Love Is A Boner, (not to mention the band’s name), could lead casual listeners to assume that Sexdwarf are a jokey, Ween-esque band of stoners, but that’s not quite the case. … Mystic Dawn is a technicolour, melting-pot of influences and deft songcraft, indebted as much to Electric Warrior and Sgt. Pepper as it is to Ween’s White Pepper.

“I think that music attained perfection in 1967, but we can’t make it sound like that,” Boyne explained. “So we just went with our take on it. Trying to keep it as subconscious as possible, rather than having a plot.”

“We let the songs dictate what we did to them,” Stallard added. “There are so many influences that they’re all sorta buried together and hopefully it became its own thing.”

The inherent danger in crafting such boundaryless music, especially on your own time and gear, is that there’s no one to tell you when it’s done. A concise love-song can quickly morph into a sprawling mess of self-indulgence. Sexdwarf were keen to avoid such pitfalls, choosing to serve their songs first, and do so fearlessly, if carefully.

“I think it took a lot of the time to realize it could be this and not the mess that it was in certain stages,” Stallard said. “A lot of times we wouldn’t use the guitar tracks and it was like ‘Oh man! That sounds right!’ It really opened things up. When we jam too, that really is a lot of our sound: the rhythm section of the keys, bass, and drums, and then Chris just sorta does his thing over it. But when we started recording, we kept doing all these rhythm guitar parts, cause that’s what you’re supposed to do, supposedly. We found that those weren’t working so we ditched them and ended up sounding more like we actually sound. We learned the hard way. Took the long way around.”

“Honestly,” Boyne added, “we just went with what we thought sounded good to us. We didn’t really think about how whether or not we’d be able to pull it off.”

patrick_finch@hotmail.com

Sexdwarf with Lynn Jackson Band / Boathouse / Saturday, Feb. 23, 9 p.m. / $5
- The Record


"Busted Flat At Seven"

Indie record label celebrates 7th anniversary with bash at The Boathouse. (see video for more details) - The Record


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Introducing SEXDWARF (in conversation with Lynn Jackson):

We want to reclaim rock and roll from its suckiness.

And so it begins.

Im sitting at a popular local watering hole with Chris Boyne and Jake Stallard from Kitchener, ONs Sexdwarf, trying to get them to talk about their band, their new album and their musical philosophies in general.

Its a bit like pulling teeth.

We want world submission, proclaims Stallard.
How do you describe your sound ?

Its everything and nothing all at once - except without the bad stuff, offers Boyne, the groups frontman and main songwriter along with Stallard, who handles backing vocals and bass.

Our music comes from growing up with classic rock and throwing other stuff in. Were the Max Webster of the 21st century, Boyne says with a shit-eating grin.

I try to get them to narrow it down a bit and together we come up with:

Classic rock meets the experimental quirkiness of Ween, meets the memorable melodic pop of The Monkees, with a dash of a trippy version of Tom Petty.

Well, for now.

The influences keep changing, even as were sitting here talking about it.

As songwriters and big music fans themselves, they draw on a lot of different styles and influences, but they both agree on one thing: Substance over form, definitely, says Boyne.

We care more about caring (about the music) than anything else. We want to save the future of rock and roll.

Sexdwarf is made up of Boyne, Stallard, Joe Dunn on keys and Jamie Butcher on drums and percussion. The band formed a few years ago, in 2007, when, as Boyne says, I stole them from another band.

Hes referring to Stallards earlier band, The Lowdown, which also included Dunn and Butcher.

Yeah thats right, recalls Stallard, we fired the other members (after they moved away, he says, with a smirk) and rest of us just kind of came together as a band.

And after six years together, Sexdwarf has just released their first album, Sexdwarf has Disappeared into the Mystic Dawn (2013) on Ontario indie label Busted Flat Records (www.bustedflatrecords.com).

With a lucky 13 number of tracks, the album is a hybrid of their influences, with soaring guitar and catchy melodies. Its a unique kind of ear candy thats fresh and original, with smart lyrics that rocks hard when it wants to, but is danceable all at the same time. A strong album front to back, highlights include Thomasina, Love is a Boner and Centre of It All.

Says Mark Logan, of Busted Flat Records:

After years of seeing the industry hype derivative, uninspired bands, it is refreshing to hear a band so utterly original, inspired and free of affectation. Listening to the Sexdwarf album brings me back to my early days as a music listener when I could go into a record store, buy something on spec and be utterly blown away.

Local radio personality Coral Andrews (Coral FM, of Sound FM in Waterloo), adds:

Sexdwarf is sonically lovely and amazing and quirky. My favourite songs I like to play on the radio are Thomasina and Love is a Boner. They make me smile.

So whats in the near future for Sexdwarf?

Were working on promoting the new album and working on a single for radio, says Stallard, adding that they are working on new material bit by bit.

The group has upcoming shows throughout the summer across Ontario in London, Waterloo and Toronto.

What do you want people to take away from a Sexdwarf show ?

Those guys look good sweaty and gross, says Boyne.

Stallard: I would definitely not sleep with those guys!

Band Members