By Jonathan Ely Cass
I have witnessed a number of things in the past few years that have pissed me off, and here’s one of them: wealthy university arts students using the local food bank or dumpster. The dumpster is especially interesting. They view it as some sort of activism against food waste and an awareness of what’s real. These are people with computers—they have more resources at their fingertips than any previous generation—and instead of organizing something to improve the system, they take from it.
Lucky for me there’s a TV Freaks song for just about everything that pisses me off. For frontman Dave O’Connor, being pissed off is almost a public service, and he’s quickly becoming Hamilton’s chief tauntster (even though he’s from Welland). Like any frontman, he doesn’t do it alone. O’Connor is backed by the tasteful bashing of drummer Nathan Burger, the cavernous rasps of guitarist TJ Charlton, and the zigzagging lines of bassist Justis Krar (who recently handed down his bass to wunderkind-songster, Kevin Bell, to focus on his band, Single Mothers).
What might at first sound like schoolyard mocking is really a clever turn of the tables. Grown-up bullies are pantsed in front of their respective classrooms. Not since Fucked Up has a band so raucous been so rousing. (Check out the song Upper Hand as an example.) It seems that we’ve gotten accustomed to punk rock being about other things—angst, irony, empty political rhetoric, falling in love with a girl at a rock show (fuck). We’ve trivialized the day-to-day when it isn’t all trivial. If it’s happening to you in your neighbourhood, and it matters to you, it’s important. We don’t need a Reagan or a Romney to be the bad guy; your landlord can be enough. On this EP, TV Freaks have brought the personal back to the fore.
How we treat one another is important and, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry), but sometimes someone deserves a “fuck you!” And there’s no better fuck-you than opening up shop across from what pissed you off. And there’s no better soundtrack to that than TV Freaks latest EP (until their next release).