What The Shit?!
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What The Shit?!


Band Folk Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Fucked Up Show review"

Anyone who thinks that $10 can’t buy very much clearly wasn’t at the Underdog on Saturday, February 3. On this chilly evening, $10 got you four hours of awe-inspiring performances from some of the fastest growing punk and hardcore bands in North America today.

The night started with What the Shit?! delivering a fast set of intense punk tunes, which was received very favorably by the near-capacity crowd trickling into the Underdog. Along with solid songs, WTS?! have a unique sound, which can be attributed in part to the fact that their line-up has one thing that 99.9% of punk bands are missing: an electric mandolin player.

Next up was Louisville, Kentucky’s Lords, who played with no less than six amplifiers, effectively creating a wall of noise. Despite some minor technical difficulties with mic volume problems, their songs translated very well in the live setting, particularly those from their recent album “Swords.” As Fucked Up front-man Pink Eyes proclaimed later in the show: “Lords did what we thought was impossible… tour Southern Ontario. This place is like Russia to them!”
Finally, after a forgettable set by Montréal’s Cobra Noir, Toronto-based headliners Fucked Up took the stage to much applause. Immediately the energy levels in the room tripled, as fans gleefully body slammed and moshed their way through intense live renditions of songs from Fucked Up’s 2006 release “Hidden World” (rated number one punk record of ’06 by Exclaim!). Pink Eyes democratically shared his vocal duties with the crowd, as he passed his mic to over-zealous audience members, effectively blurring the line between band and audience.

As the last notes of set-closer “Jacob’s Ladder” blared through the P.A., handfuls of exhausted, sweaty Peterboroughians marched slowly out of The Underdog. Who says $10 can’t buy much?
- Trent Aurthur

"It’s Halloween… What the Shit!?"

Originally this week I had intended to review the Hot Piss/Knifehammer concert, but due to my inability to read posters correctly, I assumed that the Halloween show was going to be held on Halloween. To my surprise, it was held on the Saturday prior and I missed it. In my desperation, I gathered together a handful of albums local artists had supplied me with and that I had intended to write a music review of. While in this panicked state, a light of hope beamed from my computer monitor. Drew Demers from Gagner informed me they would be playing with four other bands, including What the Shit! Tuesday night at the Red Dog. Although I had just reviewed a Gagner concert the previous week, I had heard many good things about What the Shit!, so I set off to the Red Dog to see what they were about.

When I arrived at the Legendary Red Dog, I quickly found out something interesting about the night’s performances: they were all in competition in the Red Dog’s Legends series (a fancy name for a battle of the bands, I suppose). Two judges were on hand to grade the bands and marks were given for professionalism (25%), stage presence (10%), crowd participation (25%), quality of song writing (25%), and originality (15%).
Now, I’m never a big fan of band competitions. The bands that play them are usually just starting out, looking for a quick break, and typically the judges base their decision on bands that are on time and have the best equipment rather than those who give the better performance. All I could hope was that tonight would be different.

Gagner performed first, delivering their own static blend of funk-rock to the eager audience. Their performance did suffer from a few musical hiccups, but I doubt most of the audience noticed (though I am sure the judges did). Much of the audience took to the dance floor during their set, heads bopping and limbs flailing, but it was only a small fraction of the energy the crowd would generate that night.

After Gagner left the stage, a large cluster of people began to crowd around the stage anxiously waiting for What the Shit! Before it had even started, I already knew who would be winning tonight.

The band consists of Zeke Roos-Walker and Mike Butler on guitar and vocals, Brendan “Dotes” Doherty on bass, Andrew Morrison on mandolin and Stephen Rigby on drums. The band vaulted onstage in cowboy costumes (Rigby was dressed as a cow) complete with duct tape cowboy hats while the crowd continued to chant “What-The-Shit! What-The-Shit!”

The band’s sound is one of intensity rather than quality. All four sets of strings multiply exponentially, becoming a wash of strumming resonance that, although frantic-sounding, does move in a fluid, predictable fashion. When I sat down with the band, they told me some people were calling their sound cow-punk (an equal mixture of country twang and punk aggression), but I disagree. Although both punk and country/folk elements are present, the punk rock influence is much more distinct than the country influence. The reason I disagree with the term cow-punk is it puts the country influence first, so they should perhaps be called punk-cow, but that sounds more like a costuming prank against livestock. To avoid using generic labels, What the Shit! sounds as if you were to round up a 70’s punk band like the Buzzcocks or the Germs, arm them with cattle prods and acoustic guitars, and ditch them out in the country. The lyrical content changes from the normal brash, frustrated rant to a more carefree chant about women and drinking. The music itself evolves from distorted, aggressive noise to a bristled strum, but the immeasurably fast tempo and delivery of hoarse harmonies are pure punk rock.

“Most of us are into punk and hardcore and Mikey grew up in the hardcore/punk scene in Kingston, so it’s always been a heavy influence,” Doherty says. “We try to write in a folk or country style, but we’re such crappy musicians that it ends up sounding like a punk song … and I’m probably going to break a string every show,” adds Roos-Walker, who managed to break two stings during their set. But the Nunavut/Kingston collective is far from self-conscious of how people perceive the band. “It’s all about the good times and the drinks,” Morrison says when I ask what they would like the audience to get out of their performance. And if you’re still sitting on the edge of your seat wondering if the band won - yes, the band did win the night’s Legends series.

What the Shit! will begin recording their first album next week, and in typical DIY style, plan to produce cheap CD-R copies and hand them out for free. No plans yet for a tour, but the band will be playing this Friday, November 10 at the Montreal House with Gagner.

- Joel Walters


What the Shit?! Fights Lions - LP


Feeling a bit camera shy


What the Shit?! Is comprised of 3/5 Iqaluit, Nunavut, and 2/5 Kingston, Ontario, and was formed in December '05 when the boys got together over a few beers and decided that there are far too few foot pounding good drinking bands around.They are known for their high energy shows and loyal, hard-stompin' fan base that supports their madness wherever they go. After opening for the likes of Fucked Up, The Cancer Bats, The Johnstones, and Lords they are looking to expand their horizons to all parts of Canada including upcoming shows in Iqaluit, Nuanvut and a cross Canada tour in the summer of ‘08. They released their debut album WTS?! - Fights Lions in 2007, toured the east coast of Canada to promote it and are currently playing in Ontario in order to promote it further. What The Shit?! will make you dance until the early morn' like you've never danced before!