Oh Canaduh!

Oh Canaduh 04

Picture the scene: 29 October 1997, Mrs 1537 looking slightly miffed as her saintly patience is tested yet again by her feckless husband as he dives into yet another record shop.  She didn’t mind yesterday, when he bought two LPs but it’s all starting to wear a bit thin now.  She understands he likes records, hell she used to buy even more than he did, but this is getting a bit much.  Especially in this heat. Especially as they’ve got stuff to see and do. Like walk up to the Goddamn Acropolis like you’re supposed to when you go to {CENSORED} Athens!!

Yup, one holiday in Greece, three LPs.  I picked up a copy of Iggy Pop American Caesar on the beautiful island of Poros* and snagged Green Day Insomniac that day in Athens, along with todays’ object d’art Oh Canaduh! Quite why Virgin Megastore in Athens was stocking an LP of cover versions of Canadian punk songs is an interesting question, the answer to which potentially involves wormholes in the fabric of space and time and moose.  Quite why I then bought said LP of cover versions of Canadian punk rock songs, when I only knew one of the originals** and only one of the 14 bands covering them, is probably an even more interesting question, the answer to which definitely involves wormholes in the fabric of my wallet and deeply obsessive tendencies.  Ho-hum.

Some stereotypical Canadian punks, yesterday
Some stereotypical Canadian punks, yesterday

Released on 1995 on Lance Rock Records (based out of Nanalmo, BC) Oh Canaduh! pitched 14 bands at 14 songs.  I had thought that all the covering bands were Canadian too, but it turns out that I just didn’t read the small print very carefully – two are from Japan, 1 from Australia, 6 from the States and 5 from Canada; all based around Vancouver – is that the epicentre of Canuck Punk? Now I know about DOA, of course and I think I may even have seen them once (excessive cider intake makes the details a little fuzzy), I loved original Canadian punks The Diodes^ and I knew later dudes like NoMeansNo.  But that’s where my knowledge skids to a halt.  Quite where all the original bands covered here fit in, I can’t say, but let’s take a roll call anyway:

Teenage Head, Viletones, Subhumans, K-Tels, Pointed Sticks, Active Dog, Modernettes, Dishrags, Dry Heaves, UJ3RK5, Biz, No Fun and Infamous Scientists.

Now apart from finding out that the Viletones’ singer was called Nazi Dog, the most fertile area for internet research was The Subhumans^^, Vancouver punk troglodytes who featured Dimwit who went on to become the drummer for my beloved Four Horsemen, after he spent some time drumming for Pointed Sticks.  The other original band members were Useless, Normal and Wimpy by the way.  Lead singer Gerry Hannah when not penning tunes such as ‘Slave To My Dick’ and ‘Fuck You’ (which I remember thrashers Overkill covering to great effect) was involved with Direct Action / Squamish 5, a militant environmental group who carried out a bombing on a factory making cruise missile guidance systems – whilst he wasn’t involved with that action Hannah got sent down for 10 years for what he was purportedly involved in.  All of which is a darn sight more anarchic than singing rude songs about the queen.  Although it isn’t on this LP, the Subhumans song ‘Oh Canaduh’ provides the title for it.   

The music on Oh Canaduh! varies wildly in quality and style, as you might well expect.  We have Teengenerate’s take on ‘Top Down’ which is a wild, Japanese, explosion of snotty grope-a-tricity, Bum’s aggressive thrashing of ‘Screaming Fist’ and Lord High Fixers horrible, creepily unpleasant take on ‘Fuck You’ and that’s just 10 minutes in.  After that it gets lighter, it gets darker and it gets weirder.  My particular favourites are:

  • Al Perry – Fun While It Lasts: a really un-tuned nugget of acoustic, country greatness from the man from Tucson. At one point this track sounds like two separate people playing two separate tunes – in a good way.
  • Evaporators – I Can’t Puke: a deranged trumpet led ode to the art of barfing.  Perfect to put on for granny next time she’s round at your crib (as I think you Canadians say).
  • Onyas – I Don’t Give a Shit: Australia’s representatives here, a real can’t be arsed delivery contrasts hugely with some stun-guitar heroics.
  • Fastbacks – Won’t Have To Worry: female-fronted, almost Buddy Holly-esque tunefulness which sounds quite radical in these surroundings.
  • Man Or Astroman – Eisenhower & The Hippies: the only band I knew here, weirdo Austin twangy guitar-slinging, meets The fall’s Mark E Smith uptown, has bonus ‘Telstar’ effects.
A typical Canadian man in full national costume apparently (Note to self: check Google again before publishing)
A typical Canadian man in full national costume apparently (Note to self: check Google again before publishing)

All compilations are a mixed bunch, by their very definition and Oh Canaduh! is no exception.  There are difficult bits, a couple of too-samey bits, an unlistenable one and one track that makes me want to wash my hands after hearing it.  I love the way there are labels putting out this sort of thing, I mean what’s the target audience for this type of compilation? I’m betting it wasn’t Welsh tourists in the capital of Greece.  There was even an Oh Canaduh 2!, sadly I only learned about that yesterday.  Ah well, maybe I’ll stumble across it in a dusty record shop in rural France one year.

Oh Canaduh 01

I’ll leave you with, ahem, a 1537 first, a poem entirely poemed by me from the titles of the songs here, I call it Life, it is to be read aloud by two people alternating lines, until the last line which is to be read in unison:

I hate music

Fuck you

I don’t love you

I don’t give a shit

Now I ain’t got no face

I can’t puke

Fun while it lasts

You see? I’m a serious artist!

383 Down.

P.S – any idea who this is depicted on the record label?

Oh Canaduh 05

*small, hot and scenic, but blessed with a record shop.  What more do you need?

**’Disco Sucks’ by DOA, since you ask.

^Tired of Waking up Tired / Child Star was just an incredible 7″ from 1978.

^^not to be confused with the English band of exactly the same name, obviously.  Like, duh!



29 thoughts on “Oh Canaduh!

      1. If there’s one thing those Greeks love it’s to guzzle Ouzo and listen to Punk music from Canada. (‘Bound For Veges’ will give you a quick feel for Art. He in CB’s opinion should have been a lot more popular than he was. He didn’t help himself, sort of ‘Replacements ‘attitude plus a taste for illegal substances. Bottom line the guy made some real good music. Rock n roll, 1537 style, I think)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. ** I was wondering where the hell D.O.A. was, in all this.

    “wormholes in the fabric of my wallet and deeply obsessive tendencies.” This happens to me ALL THE TIME.

    “wormholes in the fabric of space and time and moose. ” also happens to me ALL THE TIME.

    I love these bands. This is a cool comp. Well done!

    PS Nice poem.


  2. I have no idea who that is on that photo, no.

    I loved this one, and your poem at the end, just brilliant.

    I don’t seem to remember ever seeing this one on CD in the store. I wonder if it was even released on CD?


      1. Absolutely.

        I can’t believe they make Lego mohawks now. That’s beyond hilarious.

        Did you happen to see the Lego Simpsons episode this week?


      2. No I didn’t, but the latest set of minifigures is all Simpsons; my daughter and I have Krusty, Officer Wiggum and Apu so far – need some very specific LPs to use those ones on.


      3. One of my favourite CDs back in the 90’s was the Simpsons soundtrack disc…not the one with “the Bartman” on it, the one that had actual songs from the show. Songs In The Key of Springfield, it was called. But I am certain it was never produced on LP.


      4. No, but I know the one. My similar fave was the Beavis & Butthead one – I thought that had some really great tracks on it.


      5. Not bad, not bad…but in order to fit in, you have to have hockey loyalties. That’s not something that can be easily faked here. You have to pick a team, learn the names of the players, and at least know the score of last night’s game. Only then can you be one of us.


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