Ottawa has been a tough city to wrap my head around. I hadn’t heard much from anyone in nearby cities as to the relevance or vitality of the early scene. Someone might have mentioned the Rotter’s Club once, but it wasn’t with any great degree of reverence. In my slow crawl across this country, it’s taken me a while, but only the tiniest bit of digging was required to discover some of the amazing punk bands that Ottawa had in the late ’70s and early ’80s. And the Rotter’s Club was the centre of that early scene, hosting bands like DOA and the Dils while giving locals like the Red Squares and the Action a home. Then there’s the Bureaucrats, whose “Feel the Pain” single has been in constant rotation in my house since I first found it on the amazing Killed By Death Records blog this past weekend. An righteous Nerves-type power pop number that really starts to melt my mind after the first chorus, this song might be one of my favourite single-track discoveries of this project so far. It’s the kind of nugget that makes you glad that you just spent your whole weekend attempting to dredge up some nearly-lost part of Canadian history. And also makes you kind of dance awkwardly around your living room when your girlfriend is out.
The Bureaucrats: “Feel the Pain”