Saturday, April 10, 2021

Collapse: An Interview with Chris Murdoch of Souvenir & Shows # 877, #876

Souvenir is a band out of Halifax, Nova Scotia featuring bassist/vocalist Lachie MacDonald (Tom Fun Orchestra, Great Plains, Dyscontrol), guitarist/vocalist Dave Banoub (Jon Hynes) and Chris Murdoch on drums/vocals (Word On The Street, Weekend Dads, Outtacontroller). Produced by Charles Austin (Outtacontroller, Future Girls) out of Ocean Floor Studios in Halifax, Collapse is the debut full-length album from Souvenir. With all three members contributing vocals and songs, Collapse features nine songs and album cover artwork by illustrator Raymond Biesinger. The album was released in February 2021 digitally, roughly one year after their six-track EP Beating Into Dust.

The sound of Souvenir combines elements of bands such as Jesus Lizard and Fugazi, but there are also influences of bands such as Dinosaur Jr. and Husker Du that find their way into the songs at times. “Blood From A Stone” opens Collapse. With its commanding drum intro from Murdoch, MacDonald’s bass comes in as it builds with the drums before Banoub’s guitar adds more tension to the opening moments of the album. With lyrics such as “Took my breath/Left me surrounded by silence,” “Tear it down/As the bricks become shadows,” and “I wanna watch the water rise/See the buildings fall into the sea,” vocalist Dave Banoub sings in grizzled tones evoking different images of difficult situations, the silence, existential thoughts and the things left unsaid. “Circles” continues with a more punk aesthetic. The nostalgic vibes of this track bring up a late 80s/early 90s alternative and punk sound while still sounding like its own thing as lyrically it delivers abstract images sung by Lachie MacDonald that seem to portray being stuck inside your own head. “I’m Leaving” begins with a tense bassline before the drums and droning guitar come in. With plenty of space in this song, Souvenir conveys a weary urgency. “Holding Pattern” switches up the pace a bit as it drifts with its own momentum and picks up the tempo at differing points. While there are not many words in the song, the music provides a certain mood as phrases such as “Holding pattern/Hopeful action” bring up images of desire and the bogged down hopes that come with them.

Distortion and feedback lure you in on the opening moments of “Ransom”. As the song arrives, the melodic vocals sung by drummer Chris Murdoch demand your attention. “Ancient Door” opens up to sounds pulling in the influences of Jawbox and Fugazi as the words “The gate it’s everywhere” are sung throughout the song by Lachie MacDonald. “Heavy Weather” is a quicker, punkier track sung by guitarist Dave Banoub while “The Long Way” ends Collapse. With vocals once again by guitarist Banoub, it is the longest track found on Collapse at just over six minutes. This song showcases the mood and aesthetic that Souvenir maintain throughout this release. Whether it is a faster track or one of the longer tracks, the heavy bass, drums and alt rock/punk influenced guitar builds up around each song as the lyrics fall into place.

Throughout Collapse, influences of bands such as Dinosaur Jr., Jesus Lizard, Jawbox, Fugazi and Husker Du come to mind. Lyrics convey characters or situations that seem to be falling apart or are just about to. However, the final track shows shades of hopefulness. The final part of the song propels with an incendiary guitar solo that escalates as the song draws to a close. With Collapse, Souvenir define their sound like something nostalgic that is hard to forget.

Listen to Revolution Rock's interview with Chris Murdoch:

Show 877 Playlist (Originally Aired On April 10th, 2021)(Chris Murdoch Interview):

1.  Destroyer - Savage Night At The Opera
2.  The Weather Station - Atlanta
3.  Ian Daniel Kehoe - Time Through Faith 
4.  Ryley Walker - Axis Bent Course in Fable
5.  Teenanger - Blinds Drawn 
6.  Viagra Boys - Best In Show II 
7.  Viagra Boys - Secret Canine Agent 
8.  Souvenir - Blood From A Stone 
9.  Souvenir - Ransom


10. Souvenir - Promises 
11. Souvenir - Circles


12. Weekend Dads - Falcon 
13. Outtacontroller - R. Stevie Moore 
14. The Birthday Party - Zoo Music Girl 
15. The Birthday Party - Cry 
16. The Cure - Primary
17. The Cure - Other Voices
18. Public Image Ltd. - Flowers of Romance 
19. The Replacements - I Don't Know (Demo) 
20. The Replacements - Beer For Breakfast 

Show 876 (Originally Aired On April 3rd, 2021)(Olivia Jean & April March, Dan Sartain, Dry Cleaning, Alice Cooper):

1.  Olivia Jean & April March - Punkette
2.  Dean Drouillard - Hollowed 
3.  Reigning Sound - A Little More Time 
4.  Dan Sartain - Walk Among The Cobras Pt.I 
5.  Dan Sartain - Replacement Man 
6.  Dan Sartain - I Don't Want To Go To The Party 
7.  Dan Sartain - Swap Meet 
8.  The Kommenden - Television Years 
9.  Beams - Break Glass Ego Death
10. Dry Cleaning - Oblivion 
11. Dry Cleaning - Strong Feelings 
12. Gang Of Four - What We All Want 
13. Death From Above 1979 - One + One 
14. Alan Vega - Nike Soldier
15. Suicide - Johnny
16. Alice Cooper - Caught In A Dream 
17. Alice Cooper - Is It My Body 
18. OFF! - I Won't Be A Casualty 
19. Wired Wrong - If Life's So Short 
20. Brain Itch - Forced To Pay 
21. The Mark Inside - Coming of Age (At The End of Days) 
22. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Hand of God 
23. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson - OK Indicts 
24. Michael Feuerstack - Time To Burn
25. Willie Dunn - Broker 
26. Trophy Knife - Again and Again (CJAM Live Off The Floor)
27. Trophy Knife - America's Favourite Pastime (CJAM Live Off The Floor)
28. Trophy Knife - Man of Action