Gentlemen of Horror
For the past few days, I’ve been deep in some unnecessarily heady papers about Canadian identity, culture hybridity, cultural drift, the garrison mentality in Canadian literature, and other stuff that I’m mostly just pretending to understand. If it hasn’t been made clear enough already, one of the aspects of early Canadian punk that fascinates me most is the isolation; even in major urban centres like Toronto, bands like the Vilteones existed with the knowledge they they were unlikely to snag the major recording contracts of their American and British peers, which helped created a more unhinged, erratic expression of punk than anywhere else in the world. But what really blows my mind is the punks who lived in parts of Canada that were really, actually, extremely fucking isolated. Places like Kelowna, BC, that bred weirdos like the Gentlemen of Horror, a band that only played about 20 shows but whose recordings regularly sell for several hundred dollars on eBay. While it’s clear that GOH were drawing on a fairly standard set of punk and hardcore influences, the fact that they existed in a cultural vacuum without immediate influences makes their particular blend of those influences an entirely unique one. And that rules.