Volume 91, Issue 83

Friday, March 6, 1998

100 bottles of beer


Mama never warned you about this

By Tim Merrill
Gazette Staff

In the modern world of stale, impotent rock 'n' roll there are few bands left that can sonically knock the snot out of you and leave you drooling like a slacked-jawed ape, begging for more.

For the Toronto punk rock wrecking crew known as The Sinisters, destroying audience members is a common occurrence. From rocking out at Colin's Bay maximum security prison, to being banned from playing just about every bar in Toronto, the Sinisters have been raising hell throughout Ontario and the U.S. for the past four years.

The Sinisters have been notorious for playing gigs amidst debris of pig heads, fireworks, broken beer bottles and anything else they can get their hands on. Taking their cues from early Alice Cooper, MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges, The Sinisters cram punk rock straight down your throat – just the way it was meant to be.

In looking back at the origin of the group, guitarist Troy Craig explained how the chaos was spawned.

"Basically we had all been kicked out of four different bullshit bands in Toronto. I knew Steve from being in previous bands and Saint and Brian both went to the same high school."

There's no doubt The Sinisters are part of a new breed of bands such as the Candy Snatchers, Nashville Pussy and Electric Frankenstein. Each of these are attempting to restore rock 'n' roll to its loud, sweaty, beer-soaked state of the past. Craid sees the band as "Shoegazer backlash.

"People are going out to shows now and they want their money's worth. Nobody wants to see a bunch of guys staring at their shoes. I expect people to get off their asses, drink some beer, let loose and have a good time."

Since their formation in 1985, The Sinisters have spewed out the LID EP and the full length Memories Of A Happy Hell on Skeller records, as well as a number of seven-inch singles.

Recently, The Sinisters extended their grip overseas by releasing a split CD/EP with Australian band The Voodoo Love Cats. "This young guy over in Australia has his own record label, Horrorshow and he wanted to make The Sinisters accessible over there, so we did the split CD. I'm just waiting for someone to send me a plane ticket so we can play over there," he says.

The Sinisters have obviously enjoyed corrupting a wider range of miscreants after playing a solid week of shows throughout New York City, and an upcoming U.S. tour is in the works.

As The Sinisters have become notorious for playing shows that never come off without incident, Troy feels the madness and aggression are all part of the game.

"When we started opening for other bands in Toronto, there was always fights. It'd be our crowd versus the other crowd. The bands all understood what we were doing, but the crowds thought we looked like a bunch of fags. Now people are into us and when the crowd goes nuts and throws stuff around, that's what I expect. It's the same things I did as a kid."

The Sinisters definitely deliver the sonic goods and then some, but Craig flatly states that the crowd should, "expect nothing, unless you're willing to put everything into it."

So, on Sunday afternoon witness the almighty power of The Sinisters as they light Call the Office on fire, setting it up for Nashville Pussy to knock it down.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998