Headbangers' Hideaway
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Headbangers’ Hideaway

Heavy music may be hard to find at this year's CMW festival, but it's not totally missing. Here are our picks of the thrashiest the fest has to offer.

FAITH NO MORE, courtesy of CMW.

A diamond in the rough, a needle in a haystack, whatever cliché you use to colour the search for heavy music in Canadian Music Week, the festival could use a little more aggression. Not that there’s any reason for that — from Cursed to No Warning, Fuck the Facts to a world-renowned death metal scene, Canada doesn’t suffer from a shortage of either quantity or quality heavy acts. Still, with both nearly absent here, we flung ourselves into the haystack or rough (whatever that is) to pick out the needles or diamonds for you. Ok, fine, you can have the diamonds.

Faith No More

When: Saturday, May 9, Doors at 8 p.m.
Where: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (1 Front Street East)

Faith No More is fronted by Mike Patton, which should be reason enough to go see them. For the unaware, Patton is a mad scientist who experiments with metal and other left-of-center music and really gets away with whatever he wants: America’s Devin Townsend, if you will. And Faith No More was the band that started it all; to continue to Townsend connection, it was Patton’s Strapping Young Lad (with all respect to Steve Vai). Faith No More were inflecting their alternative metal with funky influences before it was the nü thing to do — and before it, consequently, became really old, really fast.


When: Thursday, May 7, 2:30 a.m. (meaning technically they play on Friday)
Where: The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West)

If following doctrine were at the forefront of the craniums of clerics, they wouldn’t be doing any drugs harder than Tylenol, much less acid. However, given the prevalence of priests engaging in ungodly acts, it doesn’t seem that unlikely. Actually, if the GTA’s Acid†Priest are any indication, this hellish act might be preferable; it’s unlikely anyone would be hurt by the results of the clergy tripping out: except maybe some ringing ears and sore necks from headbanging along to the fuzzed-out, psychedelic punk made in the garages of outer space by these stoned servants of the leaf or, uhhh, lord.

Strung Out

When: Friday, May 1, 11 p.m.
Where: The Opera House (735 Queen Street East)

Strung Out is what happens when a bunch of skate punks spend equal time on the skateboard and the fretboard. Now in their 26th year of existence, the band of shred-happy shredders have likely been active for longer than many of their fellow CMW performers have been alive. Their ninth LP, Transmission.Alpha.Delta, came out just over a month before this CMW showcase, so the band will be flying high on their high-speed metallic punk.


When: Thursday, May 7, 9 p.m
Where: The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West)

New Damage Records’ HOUNDS are as loyal as their namesake; they kept production for their debut EP within their label’s family, with Cancer Bats guitarist Scott Middleton helming the effort. Even their sound ain’t so far from the Bats’ southern-tinged punk ‘n’ roll, just with less of doomy Black Sabbath influence and a little more fun.


When: Thursday, May 7, 12 a.m. (meaning technically they play on Friday)
Where: The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West)

While Silverstein are gallivanting around the globe and playing songs off their sophomore release, Discover the Waterfront, one of their main influences will be playing CMW. Although the Grade-ing diminished between Silverstein’s debut and the album they’ll be playing in Australia while this showcase is going down, there’s no doubt the as to the impact the elderly Burlington band had on their successors — and the whole early-to-mid-2000s post-hardcore scene they came up in. Grade may have gone a little Under the Radar, relatively speaking, but so go get a history lesson while they’re back on it.