The Junction
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The Junction

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | MAJOR

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | MAJOR
Band Rock Pop


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"The Junction - Another Link in the Chain review"

The Junction - Another Link in the Chain
By Mark Millard

June 14th, 2006: the day I was first introduced to The Junction. No, I’m not speaking of the neighborhood in Toronto, but I am speaking about an important part of the city’s independent music scene. I’m also talking about a band that has just proved me and I’m sure a few others completely wrong; or at least they are about to.

As I think back to the aforementioned evening, I recall standing inside the Opera House at The Black Lungs, Cancer Bats, and Moneen show. Waiting for the latter two bands to take the stage, there was another act I was required to get through first: The Junction. I recognized the name, but had never heard any of their songs. When it was all said and done, I didn’t mind their set. But, I also didn’t think very much of it. Ultimately, when I found out Universal Music had dropped them sometime after, I wasn’t surprised. It’s not that the band wasn’t good, because they did posses a very upbeat, catchy sound. It just seemed like a band lost in a genre that several other bands had already conquered. The drop appeared to be the sign of a band that had seen better days. Keyword: appeared.

July 16th, 2009: I surprisingly receive the assignment of reviewing the Junction’s new LP Another Link in the Chain. Much to my surprise, I was left with one thought following the album’s inaugural spin: “Shit, was I ever wrong about this band.”

The Junction is back with the follow-up to their 2007 self-titled full length album, and it’s very impressive to say the least. Recorded in New York City and produced by Gus Van Go and Werner F (The Stills, Priestess, The Trews), Another Link in the Chain is the product of a band that has matured, overcome adversity, and developed their sound into a smooth blend of upbeat rock and jazz elements. The end result: a catchy, melodic and groove oriented release that can best be described as Sam Roberts meets Radiohead; equipped with slight hints of Broken Social Scene, The Strokes, and the Dave Mathews Band.

Radiohead? Where did that come from? Look no further than “Miles in Denial”, a prime example of singer/guitarist Brent Jackson’s vocals coming into their own. Resembling a style perfected by Thom Yorke, Jackson’s vocals will send shivers down the listener’s spine as showcased in the a cappella lyrical introduction, singing: “Miles in denial/sleeps beside broken bottles.”

“My Love Was There” is another instance of melodic brilliance, and is everything that rock radio needs right now. (Attn: Arkells/Attack in Black fans, I think this song may be for you.) The track is a quick, upbeat, catchy tune, expanding on a style Sam Roberts brought to the table with tracks such as “Bridge to Nowhere”. “My Love Was There” has summer hit written all over it, as Jackson’s vocal’s take the listener through a pleasant, anthemic journey. His ability to pick off notes on the guitar (a trend throughout the album) is also a standout. Matt Jameson’s bass and Mike Taylor’s drums are very effective as well, remaining simple, but tight as… well, you can figure out the rest.

“Pick Your Battles” and “Level with Me” have the Strokes written all over them, yet they mesh perfectly with the sound the band has created. “Level With Me” also brings in an element of surprise; catchy, happy horns a la Broken Social Scene (or at least they could be on a BSS album.)

“Lonely Road” is another standout, as Jackson’s amazing vocals and effective guitar are once again brought to the forefront. But “No Road” is perhaps the best way to summarize the direction the band is headed, with the opening lyrics singing: “To all the believers / to the sights and sounds / to the saints and the sinners who walk this ground. I wanna speak to the nations / I wanna make them proud / I wanna be another link in the chain to keep the music around.”

The Junction is clearly another important link in the chain of strong Toronto indie acts keeping rock and roll alive today. Another Link in the Chain is guaranteed to be one of the catchiest, upbeat indie albums of the year, and it should not be avoided.

Be sure to check out The Junction on August 13th at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto for their official CD release party. - Fazer Magazine

"The Junction Re-Learns What it Means to Be Independent"

I was genuinely happy for The Junction when I heard that they were picked up by a major label a couple years ago. I can still remember seeing them play in the auditorium of my Brampton high school and the first time they were mentioned on mainstream radio. To see their hard work finally pay off was very satisfying.

But a lot can change in two years. The four piece became a trio, their label dropped them mid-tour, and the future of The Junction became dark and uncertain. But there's a light at the tend of the tunnel in the form of their new album, Another Link In The Chain. This meant that it was time I met up with Matt Jameson (bass) and Brent Jackson (guitar, vocals) at Nirvana to talk about this roller coaster their career is on -- and to find out if it's on it's way up... or down.

I wanted to start with the bad and get it out of the way, so I asked Matt about the loss of the label.

"We were on tour...I had sent a couple e-mails to our marketing manager to say 'hey, has anything been done for this tour, are you planning on doing anything for this tour?' and our [band] manager just could not get in touch with anyone at the label. The guy who had pretty much signed us to the label had either been asked to leave or had left. We just weren't getting responses. So, halfway through the [national] tour, when we had finished the Western leg of it, we drove straight from Saskatoon. Thirty-six hours, no showers, straight to Universal. Smelly band gets out of the van and we go in."

It's probably not a good sign when you're walking down the hall and you see your marketing manager spot you and jump behind a filing cabinet.

"If we're spooking people then it's not good. And it's not because we're some crazy, control-freak band. This guy [the marketing manager] just didn't have a spine to say 'hey, I don't have a budget for you -sorry'. I think the conversation would have gone down sooner if they had been more open on their part."

That's when The Junction stopped moving forward and basically stood still.

"We got back and we were fucking freaking out. We had to turn things around. And Brent really grabbed the reigns by coming up with new, raw material."

It was the new music that Brent was creating that gave the other members the necessary strength to keeping investing and believing in the band. Brent went into detail with me.

"I was like, well I could slip into a deep dark depression, scratch my head and ask 'why, why is this happening to me?' But I was like 'fuck that!' So I picked up my guitar and I tried to write some songs that might motivate the other guys in the band to keep being a band."

And the new record is what happened, so I guess it worked.

"This new record is the outcome of that decision [to keep going]. We had a real black or white decision to make. Is our time done? Is it dead in our hearts? Or do we make the chance to keep on going? I never once felt like we were finished. At the end of the last record I was really happy that we had completed all our goals and that we had made it to a major label, but I knew that we could do better; that we hadn't reached our peak."

Another Link In The Chain is very different from their last self-titled disc. It is a calmer, more cohesive album. There is definite sadness within some of the songs, but it is an optimistic record and the production is fantastic. I recommend 'My Love Was There' and 'No Road'. Brent went on.

"You know, when you're a teenager and you're in a band, being signed to a major label is your hope and dream. But then I got there. Now I'm like 'screw that!'. Being independent feels way more natural. Being independent for years before made it more clear to me, because I used to like the days when I felt urgency and like there was something to work for. Investing more time in your band actually has a pay-off. As opposed to being told to sit on your ass and let someone else do everything for you."

The Junction is having their official cd release party Thursday, August 13, at the Horseshoe Tavern. And a tour should be in the works. Well, kind of, according to Matt.

"Right now I'm the tour manager, and I'm not a very good one."

The band is content with letting the album breathe a bit and giving people a chance to appreciate an upcoming tour.

The Junction have received signing offers from various respectable labels, but have decided that this album had to be the result of their hard work and not someone else's. - BlogTO

"Sound Advice: Another Link in the Chain by The Junction"

Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.

The Junction have always been lumped into a scene that their radio-friendly rock-tinged indie pop didn't necessarily "fit"; rarely are 905 emo mainstays such as Moneen or the defunct Cain and Abel (reincarnated as the wonderfully riff-heavy Ulysses and the Siren) mentioned without also dropping the Brampton trio's familiar name. Another Link In the Chain, released independently today, is an aptly named album that may lack in songwriting innovation, but makes up for it in an audible forward momentum and maturity. It's a fitting addition to a catalogue that documents the band's old-fashioned, hard-earned place in the city's—and the country's—independent music consciousness.

Though it feels like The Junction have been around since the dawn of discovering bands on MySpace, and they've already been through the major-label haul and back, this is only their second full-length release. Gone are the traces of the jazzy piano and rythym influences that dominated the most recent EPs—Another Link In the Chain is a straight-ahead modern-rock celebration that should ensure a ton of Edge airplay and a new chunk of fans who have also latched onto some similarly positioned new-rock-stars-with-indie-cred 905ers, the Arkells.

It's an old set of rules, but the Junction plays well within them; guitars, drums, bass, auxiliary horns and/or pianos (featured gloriously, respectively, on two of the album's highlights, "Level with Me" and "Under the Night Sky"). The songs are short and fast, and all of them have lingering verses and big, memorable choruses. The token slow song, "Miles In Denial," is one of the album's weakest, with singer Brent Jackson's Liam Gallagher nasality overpowering the already mediocre haze-pop (similar to boring moments from the Vines’ otherwise-excellent debut), but the driving Sam Roberts sound of "No Road" or the unbeatable Stills-esque hooks of "My Love Was There" will make you pine for simpler times, when your Pitchfork bookmark was still a Chartattack one.

In an indie music landscape as fertile and influential as Canada's, how does a simple set of solid indie rock find attention, longevity, and, most importantly, relevance? The Junction has earned the respect of a loyal fanbase through hard work and infectious live shows—if only such niceties were as important as safe, inoffensive pop having a name-brand label affiliation. The Junction play tonight at Criminal Records (7 p.m.) and at the Horseshoe on August 13.
- Sound Advice

"Subscribe to the RSS The Junction - Another Link In The Chain - July 28th"

cover_72 Your friends and mine, The Junction are back with Another Link in the Chain. Now, these boys have toured the country supporting their previous two releases and built a solid fan base in Canada. I can honestly say that this new album is outstanding. I know. Bold. I think The Junction are at a point where most people who has heard of the band, pretty much think they don’t need to hear this album. Well, they have smashed all preconceived notions of what The Junction is all about. They turned down the fun and turned up the balls. Every element of this band is on full display. Vocally it’s emotional, aggressive and dynamic. It’s just simply the best thing they have done. I think having fresh ears from producers Gus van Go and Werner F (The Stills, The Trews, Priestess) to assist or guide the boys in tacking a step forward was a success.

So whether you know The Junction or not, I dare you to right click this puppy. Track 1 - Birds of Prey. - New Prey

"Album Review: The Junction's "Another Link In the Chain""

The Junction, a Toronto-based three-piece (with suburban roots), released their second album last week. A great example of danceable Canadian indie pop-rock, Another Link In the Chain will appeal to indie kids as well as commercial radio stations programming for the broader music-listening audience.

This is a group clearly inspired by the rock they grew up with in the 90s and indie rock bands of the 2000s. By bringing these two influences together with a nod to classic Brit-pop, the Junction has crafted a strong rock album that should appeal to indie rock fans as well as audiences looking for something a little more accessible. Expect melodic guitar lines, heavy drumming, clear vocals, and so on. But just when you might think you’ve got the band’s sound pinned-down, screamo-vocals, handclaps, tambourine, and horns come in to shake things up. It all makes for a good outing with enough interest in to keep me from getting bored, but plenty of pop-rock hooks to keep the kids happy.

The first single is the happy, peppy, rock anthem “My Love Was There”—obviously so. It’s sure to get audience members jumping, clapping, and singing along. “And if you hear my song, sing along, sing along. A-La da da....” Fun! I don’t like the fade-out at the end, but that’s probably a wise radio-friendly decision on the band’s part. Other strong pop-rock tunes include “Pick Your Battles,” the slower Brit pop-inspired “Miles in Denial,” “Level with Me,” and “Lonely Road.” “No Road” showcases the band’s rockier side. Not all songs work as well, but nothing completely disappoints. The band has a sound that’s both a little interesting and totally accessible. Catchy and fun, it should translate well in a live setting (though maybe not all those horns). - NXNE

"Album Review: Another Link In The Chain by The Junction"

There are so many indie bands that sound real “samesy” to me these days to the point where I dread the word "indie" when I hear it. For every one stand out indie band, it seems that there are ten that should break up and unplug permanently. The Junction isn’t one of those groups as evidenced by their latest release, Another Link In The Chain.

Will they set the Paste Magazine crowd or Pitchfork world on fire? Probably not, but The Junction have some great songs worth listening to. The song that first caught my interest was their single, “My Love Was There”. With a catchy chorus, a simple beat you can clap to and great vocals, you have all the elements to a great indie song. It is very Top 40 friendly with the indie sophistication to please the more cynical music lovers. Although it will probably be the most downloaded track, personally I much prefer the slower, spacey sound of “Miles In Denial”.

While it will never be a single, “Miles In Denial” proves that The Junction can fill an album without using fillers. By that, I mean that there are not any fluff songs used to fill up an album between singles. “Pick Your battles” is Another Link In The Chain’s high energy indie rock gem. It kind of sounds like every other indie band a little bit, but it is good track none the less for those needing some music for a pick me up. Those who enjoy winding down to some slow and spacey indie tunes, you’ll enjoy “Hymns of Night”. There is just something soothing about the soft, jazzy piano combined with the melancholy vocals. If you don’t enjoy the whole album, you will certainly like a couple of the afore mentioned songs to load into your iPod.I'd be surpised if you didn't. - Double Stereo

"CD Review: The Junction - Another Link In the Chain"

In a 2007 interview with TMS, Junction vocalist/guitarist Brent Jackson stated, “I don’t really like hearing a band writing the same record over and over.” It appears two years later the man has stayed true to his word. The Junction’s sophomore release Another Link In the Chain shows the band further developing their smooth indie rock and perhaps finally finding their niche.

Produced by Gus van Go and Werner F (The Stills, The Trews, Priestess, Hollerado), the Junction headed down to New York City to record an album that is arguably their most experimental yet. “No Road” and “Pick Your Battles” boast an ambitious kind of Canadian rock reminiscent of a young Sam Roberts. “Miles In Denial” is an ominous tune featuring humming symbols that slowly break into a quiet Brit-rock ambience. “Level With Me” is your typical, catchy indie rock song, but with the surprising and refreshing addition of horns.

“My Love Was There” is the first single off the album and also a standout. It’s sticky like those sweet summer days, but in a rolling way that encapsulates an older more acoustic Junction feel with a little bit of twang, a strong grasp on melody and a whole lot of heart. Its upbeat indie rock shows just how far the band has come in terms of song construction and overall writing abilities. This song alone has a the potential to change this Brampton’s band career so they no longer are merely opening for Moneen, but rather fiercely holding the reins on their own.

While their last record was released on Universal, this independent release shows their true brilliance. The record is equally enjoyable whether its spinning at the cottage, keeping me awake on the subway or leading me through a stroll down Bloor St. Albums like this make me proud to have been born in Brampton. - Toronto Music Scene


EP - 2004 Universal Records
Album Title - And with this comes tomorrow

Full Length - 2007 Universal Records
Album Title - (Self-Titled)
First single – Components of Four. Charted to #15 on the Thursday 30 and reached #68 of 2008's Top 102 songs on 102.1 The Edge (CFNY). Other commercial radio adds included Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Sirrius Iceberg, and CBC radio.

Full Length – 2009 Fontana North/The Junction Inc.
Album Title – Another Link In The Chain
First single – My Love Was There. Currently charting on CFNY (was the groundbreaker on the Thursday 30, Oct 29th 2009). BDS Modern Rock Spinburners #3. BDS Rock Audience #2 Greatest Gainer New @ #38. Peaked at #34 on BDS Rock Charts. Has also been added on 4 commercial stations in Quebec, Sirrius Iceberg, CBC radio, and FM96 in London, ON. The song is also appearing on Degrassi:The Next Generation on CTV and the N network this winter. The video has received heavy rotation on Much More Music and medium rotation on Much Music. It was also added to AUX tv.
The video can be seen here.

The track “No Road” reached #1 on XM Verge. The video was added to heavy rotation on Much Music and Much More. Bubbling rotation on Much Loud and also added to regular rotation on AUX tv. The song was also used in the opening montage of Hockey Night in Canada.
The official video can be seen here.
And the HNIC clip can be seen here.

Latest release - 2012 The Junction Inc./Fontana North
Album title - Grievances
Canadian Release date - March 6th 2012
First single Futurists is currently charting on the Nation Rock Charts.

Email for an up-to-date radio report.

The band has also performed on MTV live twice.



In their 12 years together as a band, The Junction have experienced all facets of the music industry, from rising suburban pop/rock experimentalists to major-label up-and-comers and back to DIY indie rockers blazing their own trail. The Toronto-based trio have established a consistent, anthemic rock sound that can only come from highly-developed cohesion and an unbridled joy of music.

Singer/guitarist Brent Jackson and drummer Mike Taylor met during their shared Brampton childhood, but it took a Grade 9 discussion about music for them to realize that they both played instruments. The pair began as a duo (with the occasional help from a teacher at their school), but that quickly changed when a 2000 school transfer brought Jackson into contact with Matt Jameson, a punk bassist with a burgeoning thirst for jazz and funk. As a newly-minted trio, the Junction quickly became the outliers in a suburban hardcore scene populated by more abrasive bands like Alexisonfire and Moneen.

Their third in a series of EPs, And With This Comes Tomorrow, caught the attention of Universal Music in 2005, who quickly signed them to a record deal. Their consequent self-titled 2007 major label debut was praised among fans and critics, including Exclaim’s Sari Delmar, who called the album “12 well-developed, sparkling indie rock tunes featuring amazing production their unique, bright songwriting has always deserved.” Combined with a desire for sovereignty, the excellent reception spurred the band to regain control and start their own label, The Junction Inc.

Being an independent band hasn’t held the Junction back. They’ve since released a successful sophomore LP, Another Link In The Chain (2009), praised by Torontoist’s Nicole Villeneuve as “a fitting addition to a catalogue that documents the band’s old-fashioned, hard-earned place in the city’s—and the country’s—independent music consciousness,” and’s Ben Conoley, who predicted that “the Junction could very well become one of the country's best pop bands.” They’ve also toured across Canada several times, including a prestigious performance at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, while their songs have appeared on Hockey Night in Canada and in heavy rotation on MuchMusic.

The Junction have recently released their third LP, Grievances, on March 6, 2012. The album closely trails an emotionally taxing episode for Brent Jackson, who ended a seven-year relationship right before the recording of the album and has since lived “homeless”, camping out on friends couches and living on the road. Though the experience heavily informed his songwriting, Grievances is not a “breakup record”. Instead, it’s a musical examination of universal human pathos in all its forms – brightness and love, but also detachment and heartbreak – a consequence of Jackson’s ongoing “quest for the real”.

Recorded in Montreal with acclaimed producers Gus Van Go and Werner F (The Stills, Hollerado, Priestess), Grievances displays the chemistry and maturity that Jackson, Taylor and Jameson have developed over more than a decade. Poignant, direct songwriting intersects with bouncy, feet-moving arrangements, while textured production recalls the evocative sonic ambience of Radiohead and Portishead. Newly-recruited second guitarist/vocalist Marcus Wong joins the Junction to fill out that depth in concert.

“It really feels like a clean slate for us,” says Jameson. “Without the burden of external expectations or fear, it allowed us complete artistic freedom. The relationships were already established, ideas were flying in the studio and it just felt like pure comfort.”

Band Members