BEST PUNK BAND

NOW Magazine - Best of Toronto - - Music -

BRU­TAL KNIGHTS So you’ve been baf­fled by Flana­gan’s un­com­fort­ably en­ter­tain­ing stand-up rou­tine and be­fud­dled by his com­i­cally bent pon­der­ings on con­tem­po­rary mu­sic? Well, don’t ex­pect his on­stage an­tics scream­ing goofy punk rock songs with a sweat­soaked T-shirt wrapped around his head tur­ban-style to be any less con­found­ing. But it seems Flana­gan has fi­nally found his true mi­cro­phone metier fronting the Bru­tal Knights, whose ag­gres­sive thrash attack is per­fectly suited to the rapid-fire de­liv­ery of his ig­noroid rants. To­gether they hit with a mighty wal­lop that’s of­ten just as hi­lar­i­ous as it is heavy.

C’MON You can’t beat th­ese three bat­tlescarred rock purists ( Ian Blur­ton, Katie Lynn Camp­bell and Randy Curnew) who just wanna make noise, spilling a sloppy, ex­plo­sive goulash of AC/DC, the Damned, Alice Cooper and MC5 all over the freakin’ place like a blen­der miss­ing its lid. C’mon sound like Blur­ton has tapped into some dark, evil place be­low the sub­way lines. Their al­bums – Mid­night Is The An­swer, and their lat­est, In The Heat Of The Mo­ment – are slabs of pure heat. But be care­ful when you see them live: the first five rows run the risk of get­ting hit by hair.

FOGGY HOG­TOWN BOYS What be­gan as an ex­cuse to play some clas­sic Bill Mon­roe tunes with friends on the week­end has evolved into one of this coun­try’s finest tra­di­tional blue­grass bands. The Foggy Hog­town Boys’ just-re­leased North­ern White Clouds disc demon­strates that Chris Quinn, John McNaughton, An­drew Collins, Chris Coole and John Show­man have ma­tured from a gath­er­ing of ex­cep­tion­ally skilled pick­ers into a unique blue­grass group who used their Canuck folk in­spi­ra­tion to build on what they’ve gleaned from old-school South­ern blue­grass. They’ve de­vel­oped a high lone­some sound all their own, grounded in the past but look­ing for­ward – and that’s an achieve­ment worth cel­e­brat­ing.

RON SEX­SMITH Along with his cus­tom­ary melan­cholic af­fect and the “peren­nial un­der­dog” tag that fol­lows his name like a sock with a nasty case of static cling, our old Juno-win­ning pal Ron Sex­smith has been a con­stant shoo-in for best singer/song­writer honours since be­fore the dinosaurs walked the earth. Why? He con­sis­tently pens songs that deeply res­onate on both

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