This City Defects
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This City Defects

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




Trekking through minus thirty degrees is never fun in itself, but when there is a friendly bar full of friends, reasonably priced pints of Mill Street Organic, and some of the most inventive bands active in Calgary, the weather hardly phases you. The disappointing news came early that local legends Gunther wouldn't be playing. Although grumbling persisted throughout the night over their last-minute bailout, the distraction of Stalwart Sons' apt cacophony of open chords, driving drums and passionate At The Drive In-era Cedric Bixler-Zavala style staccato vocals bursts nearly negated the griping immediately.

??This City Defects changed the pace of the night with an interesting mix of quirky instrumental pop and rockier, vocal-driven sections of a set that, in the best possible way, took effort to follow. It's easy to get lost when listening to more technical, "experimental" indie bands like this, but in the case of TCD the reward for your devoted attention is well worth it. The engaging rhythms and subtle harmonies may not immediately jump out at the average listener, but any Sleeping People or These Arms Are Snakes fans were certain to take notice. ??

Closing the evening was garage rock quartet called Bikeland. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say this fuzzy four piece was "bad," but I couldn't enjoy it. They sounded like exactly like they wanted to sound. Maybe on another night when they aren't following up This City Defects I might find this band appealing, but their odd, high pitched vocals just weren't doing it for me. Others seemed to thoroughly enjoy their aggressive grunge, but I personally need more melody than malice if I'm going to listen to something psychedelic. - Beatroute

"This City Defects USA TOUR"

Touring can be a fickle mistress. A band’s first tour is always exciting and fresh as the van pulls out of the driveway and the thrill of uncertainty is palpable. But the monotony of touring can get stale quickly, especially in Canada where the distances are great and the venues scarce. Veteran road bands eventually figure out the best places to play and the best places to crash, and seem to have a close roster of like-minded tour mates.

This City Defects, a math rock trio consisting of Adam Lamb on guitar and vocals, Matt Doherty on drums and Aaron Schlopp on bass, have certainly fallen victim to the mundane repetition of touring. Having successfully returned from a couple of month-long tours in Canada, the boys are now excited to set their sights south. Just as February turns to March, This City Defects will aim their yet-to-be-purchased tour van for the United States and tour brand new territories for two months, including two unofficial gigs at SXSW.

“The first tour is always so much fun. By the fourth or fifth time, you figure out the best places, the best bands, the people you’re going to chill with and it’s all pretty much set,” explains Doherty, sitting on a chilly Friday morning at Broken City. “It’s great and it’s all friends, but it’s not nearly as exciting as going to some brand new place.”

Of course, a two-month long tour in uncharted territories could be potentially fatal for a young band. Far from home, tensions can escalate, drama accelerates in the van’s cramped quarters and the stress of being continuously on the road and broke have torn more than a few bands apart.

“I think we’ve done it enough,” says Lamb, dismissing concerns about the scale of their upcoming tour. “We always feel like we’re just getting into it when we come home. The first week or two, we’re always like, “OK, this is going to be kind of tricky,” but by the time we get home, we feel like we can go forever.”

“Especially with this incarnation of the band. We’re able to get pissed at each other and then walk away from it, come back an hour later and not hold it to heart. We want to be doing this. We’ve done so many one-month tours, it’s not like we don’t know what we’re getting into. We know when we have to get out of the van and go for a walk by ourselves, or put on a pair of headphones, or shut up and not say anything,” adds Doherty.

This City Defects are touring behind their latest album, the appropriately titled Patterns. The album represents a break from their previous work and the band considers it a stepping stone of sorts towards the band they want to become.

“I’m happy with the fact that we were able to put this album out,” says Doherty. “The last album was kind of recorded and written so long ago that it really wasn’t an accurate representation of who we are.”

“There’s a bunch of different songs we’ve had over a period of time that we kind of just put together,” furthers Lamb. “There’s a variety, from a math rock instrumental song to a straight up punk song to a longer, sort of dissonant angry song. Or a noisy, weird electronic song. It’s a lot more of what we want to do. Especially what we’re doing now. We have a whole new slew of things going on.” - Sebastian Buzzalino- Beatroute

"Love ot or Hate it,This City Defects has a new CD"

All the pride you can swallow.

If there was ever a tagline for indie rock band tours, that would probably be it.

“It humbles you to sh-- , man,” says This City Defects singer-guitarist Adam Lamb.

“Especially going to the States. You have to realize how many more awesome bands there are. And how many awesome bands are busting their asses in the U.S. It’s a huge number.”

Bass player Aaron Scholpp nods in agreement and adds, “The first time I went on tour with (This City Defects) was an ego check. It was a reality check. Even in Edmonton, nobody knows who you are. Nobody cares.”

The members of the Calgary post-rock band are reclining on a sofa in the living room of drummer Matt Doherty’s slightly shabby digs in West Hillhurst.

Lamb, the band’s main songwriter, idly strums a guitar as he discusses how the trio’s consistent touring is starting to pay off.

“The shows we’re getting are way better,” he says.

“The places we’re playing, the people we’re meeting are already way better. We got lucky enough to meet some people from Brooklyn and they’re hooking us up nicely. We have a few good shows lined up on the west coast.”

This City Defects are hoping to make greater inroads into the States and the rest of Canada with the release of their new CD, Patterns, and another tour, which kicks off Friday night at Broken City.

The band has attracted a strong local following with their intense, rhythmically complex and somewhat experimental style of punk rock.

Patterns is the band’s sophomore full-length and the first CD on which Lamb takes lead vocals.

This City Defects parted with their original singer last year and instead of auditioning for a new one, Lamb decided to “step up.”

“It was three weeks before we were going on tour,” recalls Lamb. “I said, ‘F--- it. I’ll just do it. It just works and I like it a lot better.”

Lamb and Doherty were playing in the now-defunct local band Lint when they formed This City Defects in 2007. Scholpp – who met Doherty while both were attending Mount Royal University’s Jazz Performance program – joined the fold in 2008.

While the band has had some great shows over the years, Doherty admits there have been others that he’d rather soon forget.

One such show took place at a venue in Marda Loop, where the band had been hired by a friend of the former singer to play once a week for a few weeks.

“We never brought people in and our band and this venue were completely different styles,” says Doherty.

They were promised $1,000 to play one last show before heading out on tour. But when they arrived at the venue, the booker had left his job and the staff didn’t know who they were.

“The first song in, the bar staff is coming up to us telling us to turn it down,” Doherty recalls, laughing.

“By the third song, the bartender came up and handed us a piece of paper that said, ‘Can you play Top 40 please?!’

“Adam whipped his guitar off and threw it across the floor and it takes out a chair ... There was almost a bar brawl. We didn’t get paid ... But at least we got a reaction. I think that’s a good sign. I think that if people had passively listened to it and didn’t care either way, that’s not what we go for. You either love it or you hate it.” - Lisa Wilton


This City Defects were up next, an act who left the audience visibly impressed with their technical musicianship — unsurprising considering the act sprung from now-defunct jazz metal outfit Lint. Their inconsistent time signatures made for difficult dancing music, though the small crowd contorted and shook all the same. Though mostly instrumental, vocalist Adam Lamb periodically took the mic to the accompaniment of spazzy yet mathematical drums and guitars. - Beatroute

"This City Defects- they don't need no stinking key"

Touted as an ongoing study in compositional disparity, This City Defects tempers their groove-heavy riffs with provocatively progressive instrumental flourishes. Parlaying sonic dissonance into the unlikely concord of perpendicular narratives, the fiery Calgary-based quintet pride themselves on bringing a new dimension to their municipality's typical straight-up rock scene. It has been a strange journey ever since lead guitarist Adam Lamb initially conceived of the band in early 2007. Setting high standards for the band, he found like-minded musicians Josh Wong (vocals), Matt Doherty (drums), Devon Elaschuck (guitar) and Aaron Scholpp (bass).

"There are no conscious decisions to write something specific," confirms the band's primary composer and guitarist Adam Lamb of the group's approach to songwriting. "Most songs are like: here are some pants - this shirt looks nice with those pants - how about a hat? Looks nice. Etcetera. Then take a picture and move on. We get really bored with things quickly and have to constantly find new ways to entertain ourselves."

Sighting influences as divergent as King Crimson, John Zorn, Brainiac, Sonny Sharrock, Hella, and Don Caballero, the quintet veers towards punk and hardcore and back to experimental and pop-rock without missing a beat. Percussionist Doherty's background with acts like Miopus, Thehesheits, Lint and Axis of Conversation have given him the experience necessary when navigating the uncharted expanses of the prog-rock universe.

"To me, progressive means unexplored, untapped, and somewhat unappreciated," Doherty explains. "Creating an atmosphere the whole time seems to be the theme; a balance of harmony and chaos. The calm before the storm." He continues, "Dynamics, density, momentum, an openness to flow wherever the piece takes you. I think Adam has the dynamics mapped out in his head before the song is recorded. A lot of our sound has changed over the time we've spent writing for This City Defects. Some songs are really soft, some medium, some intense, and some carry a mix of all these things."

With an unreleased EP already collecting dust on the shelf, This City Defects is more than eager to unleash their full-length debut Two Form Constant. A hypnotic collection of some eleven ambitious tracks, the new album runs the gambit from ecstasy to agony with a surprisingly refreshing thrash-meets-art appeal. The cohesive nature of cuts like the feisty "Ersatz," an urgent "Apex of the Tongue" and the silken "Curtains" came as a bit of a shock to Lamb, who later connected the subconscious dots that tie the whole together.

"It wasn't until the record was completely done and I really had a chance to listen to it," Lamb reports, "that I realized there was a strong connection between the songs and how they flow on the record, and the story it tells."

Armed with a strong lyrical character and a name that signals their readiness to set themselves apart from the flock, This City Defects doesn't shy from injecting their psych-rock epics with a raw, emotive style that proves they wear their rebel hearts on their sleeves.

"From a city controlled and steered by business and corporate success," says Doherty of his personal grounds for defection. "From people who are more interested in bank statements and what's on TV than what's happening in their own community or the world's economic woes. From 'the box.' We should all attempt to see our lives through a different lens. Might help put everything into context. At least that's my rant."
- BeatRoute Magazine-By Christine Leonard

"This City Defects – Two Form Constant"

“Two Form Constant” is a sonic, challenging record. As it begins, a claustrophobic feeling closes in on the listener. Throughout the record, diversity is paramount. The instrumentation evokes a little bit of everything, from the dusty amble of folk rock to the precision of metal. Other, more subtle notes – electronic and touches of brass – serve to underscore the often effects-soaked guitars. The drumming is also airtight. All this being said, this album could have gotten away with being instrumental. While the vocals contribute from time to time, they’re largely a shapeless croon over that tight instrumentation.

The verdict: From rhythmic to atmospheric, this album is a swirling experience.

The arbitrary rating: Three pages from a composer’s notebook and two from a high school poet. - The Meliorist-Landon Festor

"College News Reviews: This City Defects"

Since it’s shrouded in both musical visual oddities - not to mention the cult-like followers - the progressive / industrial / experimental rock genre is often overlooked, or even forgotten, by music fans.

Despite its lack of true mainstream popularity, it remains a personal favorite of mine and the breeding ground for some of today’s most creative, original and sometimes peculiar. Canadian group This City Defects certainly fits that bill with their new album Two Form Constant.

With their rhythmically progressive yet melodic tracks, This City Defects has traits reminiscent of A Perfect Circle. The Calgary quintet is made up of guitarists Adam Lamb and Devin Elaschuk, singer Josh Wong’s vocals, and rounded up by drummer Matthew Doherty and bassist Aaron Schlopp.

Following the reclusive genre’s standards, Defects’ tracks are typically lengthier and more diverse than standard fare, with plenty of songs on the album breaking the five minute mark.

Singer Josh Wong has a cadence and singing style similar to Tool and APC’s Maynard James Keenan. However, the sound of his voice made me think of Bono’s early work with U2 as well . It’s the dichotomy struck when Wong’s seductive lyrics overlap the coarse instrumentation that will pull listeners into the music. While the idea is not completely unique, the execution is distinctive enough to justify your consideration.

“Curtains” has plenty going for it with its echo-y vocals, repeating guitar rhythms and dissonant environment. It certainly won’t intimidate any newcomers who don’t like getting their heads rocked off. Try it out for an easy transition into the rest of the album.

“Apex of the Tongue” is full of quirky ambient noises that separate the fast-paced rock sequences from the rest of the carefully laid guitar and drum tracks. Wong stays above it all with forceful, well-timed vocals.

Finally, the near seven minutes of “Innate” will do no wrong for lovers of the genre. Hypnotic vocals and guitar strums will hook you early, ensuring you stick around for the cymbal-crashing conclusion.

Truth be told, This City Defects does a fine job of playing within the progressive rock genre’s limits. Still, does performing this type of music resign a band to sounding like Tool? I’d like to see a wider scope taken by these artists. Aside from that minor gripe, This City Defects delivers well beyond what I had expected. Come on guys; give progressive/industrial/experimental rockers a chance!

Two Form Constant is available now at CD baby. This City Defects can next be seen at the Canmore Hotel in Alberta on December 26th. Visit their MySpace page for other upcoming performance dates and stream-able tracks.
12/9/09 - College news


LP-"Two From Constant"




Based out of Calgary, Alberta "This City Defects" began as early as 2007 when Adam Lamb (guitar) and Matt Doherty (Drums) began writing songs together well playing in another local band LINT(Now broke up).Since then TCD has been relentlessly touring and writing,and has embarked on several USA/Canadian tours releasing 2 full length albums and are in the process of releasing a 7" with 2 different USA labels.

The groups influences are far ranging, Artists such as Brainiac,John Zorn,Hella,Tera Melos,,Dirty Projectors,Sonny Sharrock,The Blood Brothers,,Extra Life just to name a few.Their energetic live performances confirm the groups sense of reckless abandonment, and you'd be hard pressed to find the same amount of ambitious song writing from your favorite local punk band. This City Defects doesn't attempt to fit into any particular genre, and feels right at home in any sort of musical situation.