431 College St. Toronto
This event is 19 and over
The Fullblast broke up ten years ago. Assembled in 2000 from the remnants of suburban skate punk bands and high school friendships, they spent six years writing brain-bendingly complex melodic punk andtouring themselves into the ground alongside peers like Rise Against and Alexisonfire. Then they were done, members recruited by established punk bands, running their own record labels, working honest jobs.
A few years ago, they reunited for a show in their hometown of Toronto. It wasn’t meant to be a triumphant return, just a chance for a group of friends to have some fun with a big room filled with more friends. They played a few more shows. Members that had scattered across the country over the yearswere living close together again. Talk turned to writing. And now we have five new songs in the form of Attack.Sustain.Decay (February 24th), a full-throttled return to form that builds on the band’s legacy without retreading it.The Fullblast have always been defined by an equally keen interest in complex musicality and pop sensibility, a balance on full display the moment opener “Shame” rips through your speakers. A personal account of a decaying relationship, the emotional response is immediate. Guitar intricacies and syncopated drumming recall peak Relationship of Command-era At the Drive-In, slashing underneath an instantly memorable vocal melody that’s more pop than post-punk. By “Stay,” the band’s enduring breadth and chops are clear, with lyrics exploring depression via a third person narrative and a tight, explosive musical foundation that will move any Propagandhi fan right to the front of the pit.
The most resonant moment for long-time fans is likely to come from “Redemption,” where the band addresses their breakup – what pulled them apart and eventually drew them back together – in an uncompromising and intimate missive. The song is directed equally at themselves as those who followed them from the halls where they played their first shows over 15 years ago. The song plays as a culmination of the inventive musical ideas that defined the Fullblast’s best material during their initial run, layered and textured in a way unique to these four friends. It’s a song that could only come from everything that took the band from their formation, to dissolution, and eventual reformation.
The Fullblast is an integral part of the fabric of contemporary punk and Canada’s music scene -bassist Bri Robinson plays in A Wilhelm Scream, and vocalist Ian Stanger runs Black Box Music (Classified, SonReal, the Glorious Sons). Their 2006 full-length, Short Controlled Bursts, was the first-ever release for Dine Alone Records (City and Colour, the Sheepdogs, Monster Truck), while 2004’s Contagious Movement Theory launched Black Box.
But with Attack.Sustain.Decay, they’re returning to something left abandoned 10 years ago. A chemistry that never went away, that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Proving to themselves that they still had something to say. They are as good – or better – than before.
Bio by Sam Sutherland