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Dead Man Walks Down Bayview is the first studio album that Toronto punk rock survivors The Scenics have recorded since the 1970’s. Recorded at Toronto’s #9 Studio and Allowed Sound Studio on Saltspring Island, 2009-2012, the album was produced by original band members, Ken Badger, Andy Meyers and Mark Perkell, mixed and mastered by celebrated producer Joby Baker at Baker Studios in Victoria, BC. Dead Man Walks Down Bayview is being released by Dream Tower Records October 30.

Like their initial late 70’s work the sound on Dead Man Walks Down Bayview is a thrilling fusion of the essential sources of punk and new wave with the styles inspired by them. The result is an intricate yet powerful twin-guitar sound that suggests, without imitating, the power drone of the Velvet Underground and the heavenly jangle of the Byrds as well as the oeuvres that outfits like Television spun out of those same elements in the early days of punk. The material here was written over a span of several decades, but stylistically could have all come together in one madly inspired session. The Scenics consist of founding members Ken Badger and Andy Meyers on guitar and vocals, with bandmates drummer Mark Perkell and bassist Mike Young returning to the fold.

Andy Meyers and Ken Badger originally formed The Scenics in the summer of 1976, joining the ranks of the nascent Toronto punk scene alongside outfits like Simply Saucer, Teenage Head, The Viletones, The Diodes, The Demics, Forgotten Rebels, and The Dishes. With a rotating cast of drummers and bassists, Ken and Andy created a sizeable catalogue of wonderfully distinctive and innovative songs during their six years together. The group shared bills with bands like Talking Heads and were part of 1978’s infamous Horseshoe Tavern punk swansong, live album, and film “The Last Pogo”. The Scenics released their Underneath The Door debut album in 1979 followed by the "Karen/See Me Smile" single two years later before parting ways amicably in ‘82.

 


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Over a quarter-century later, Meyers started listening to some of the more than 300 hours of rehearsal, live and studio tapes The Scenics had recorded and was pleasantly shocked "by the depth of the songwriting and the passion of the performances." The group re-introduced themselves to music lovers in 2008 with How Does It Feel To Be Loved: The Scenics Play The Velvet Underground, a collection of live recordings from 1977 - 1981. How Does It Feel… hit the Top 30 on college radio charts and received considerable critical acclaim from publications like the Village Voice, Toronto Star, Detroit Metro Times, Vancouver Province and Big Takeover among others. That same year, the documentary The Last Pogo, featuring performances by The Scenics and other members of the 70’s Toronto scene, was released on DVD. Seven unreleased Scenics performances from 1978’s “Mystery Train” filming were included as DVD extras.

Badger and Meyers then resurrected the most powerful Scenics line-up with Perkell and Young, playing their first live shows in 26 years to wildly appreciative audiences. Sunshine World followed in 2009, featuring previously unreleased originals and two intriguing covers laid down in ‘77/’78. Meyers began posting his reminiscences of the heady days of the punk revolution on the band’s website via his Punk Haiku blog. The band also began making a wealth of vintage Scenics’ material available for free or voluntary donation via www.dreamtowerrecords.com.

The band then returned to the studio for the first time in over 20 years to record nine Meyers and Badger originals. Dead Man Walks Down Bayview is vintage Scenics made new: jangly, inverted pop aesthetics, wrapped up in sharp lyrics and a cascading-two guitar attack.

www.thescenics.com

   
 

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