Established in 2002, Toronto, Ontario's Year of the Sun Records strived to make Canada another hotbed for all things punk, metal, and the experimental. In this 3rd installment of “Yay or Nay?”, here are some of the label’s latest (and mostly self-titled for some reason) releases. Do they make the cut? Let's find out.
Of The First Born Sun — self titled
With their self-titled debut EP, Of The First Born Sun are taking their interpretation of metal and hard core and making a small yet very loud statement. All the typical criteria is in place with the off time guitars, breakdowns a plenty, and guttural vocals in the veins of bands like Misery Signals and August Burns Red. The mix on the record sounds a bit off at times but that still doesn’t deter the music from being solid for a first release. This record is a definitely a step in the right direction and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on a touring package with any of the aforementioned bands either.
Dear Black Diary — self titled
Dark, bleak and full of unbridled hate, this debut EP has the grit that will catch the attention of any technical metal aficionado. While the title may sound like some emo band, this record will make you cry out of fear and not because some girl broke your heart. Vocalist Jordan Shortt brings a cathartic exorcism of all things painful and faces them with no fear. Fans of Daughters, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Destroyer Destroyer will be pleased with this first effort.
Handheld — self titled
Ok, this quartet isn’t reinventing the wheel. I mean, honestly, who is? But if this was the early 1990s, I would be all over this record but unfortunately, its 2008 and this brand of punk rock isn’t that appealing anymore. That doesn’t mean its not well-executed as there are plenty of fast, precise drums and guitars in place along with the melodic vocals ala Face to Face and MXPX. Skate kids worldwide should embrace this band easily. I’m going with a NAY on this one but honestly, its strictly on preference. If you want to go back to being 16 and skating with your friends, this would make a great soundtrack. For fans of No Use For A Name, Face to Face, and MXPX.