Thursday, May 29, 2014

Golers to play Maple Ridge!

I'm kind of fascinated by the Golers. For those unaware of Nova Scotia's (real life) Goler clan, Wikipedia will serve nicely (though they're also the subject of a book, On South Mountain). Quote follows:
The Golers lived together in two shacks in a remote wooded area... outside the town of Wolfville. Like most other mountain clans, they were isolated from most of the residents of the farming district in the Annapolis Valley and most of the nearby towns. The adults, some of whom were mentally deficient and/or handicapped, had little schooling and rarely worked. The children were generally forced to perform any menial chores (such as preparing food or removing trash). Garbage was simply thrown into the attic, until it was completely filled, and then the adults would make the children haul it all out. 
In 1984, one of the children, a 14-year-old girl, revealed the details of a long history of torture and abuse (physical, sexual, and psychological), to a school official. According to further details uncovered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, this abuse and forced incestuous relationships had been taking place for multiple generations. As the case was investigated, authorities learned that a number of Goler children were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers, cousins, and each other. During interrogation by police, several of the adults openly admitted to engaging in many forms of sexual activity, up to and including full intercourse, multiple times with the children. They often went into graphic detail, claiming that the children themselves had initiated the activity.
As anyone who has familiarity with the Vancouver punk/ metal scene knows, the Golers are also a band - and a long-running one. I wrote about one of my first times hearing about them in 2009, when I did this cartoon; I'd been aware of them for a year or two before that. I would love to sit down and interview them at some time (when being paid to do so, mind you; freebies are too expensive for me to do these days!). I would love to get their story about how they came to name themselves after the Goler clan, and how that decision affected them when they toured Nova Scotia for the first time, earlier this year (or was it late 2013?). I'd like to know their own sense behind the politics of their name - because it has proven controversial in some quarters:
Truth is, I'm not in the slightest bit offended by the band's name (though maybe my not having read On South Mountain is working in their favour on this point). There's a long tradition of punk bands with offensive names, from the Crucifucks to the Inbreds to Crackwhore (who apparently also drew the wrath of the PC crowd at a recent show). Tasteful such names aren't, but that's generally part of the point, plus to all appearances the Golers are identifying themselves not just with the victimizers, but the victims, who were all part of the same family - which point seems to be lost on the commenters above.
Still, I didn't really do justice to the Golers in my CD review of their last album, where I admit I rather copped out on actually reviewing the music, hiding behind a description of the band and their subject matter(s) and avoiding the question of whether I liked what I was hearing, which is a pretty important part of any real review. Trouble is, fascinating or not, the Golers are one of those bands I can never quite "get," like I never really feel like I'm liking them as much as I'm supposed to, or, to put it another way, as much as they deserve. They are obviously ferociously talented, and seem to be pretty nice guys - so I actually intended to write a positive review - but their music is just so fucking intense and relentless, and, uh, kind of grim that I only can enjoy it for snippets; compared to the Golers, Slayer are practically singing Christmas carols.  I keep wanting their songs to be catchier, funnier, or more fun, or something - for their music to have at least some of the playfulness that's evident in their lyrics. As it is, the music itself is just a bit on the violent side for me; my need for catharsis through brutal music is simply not this strong anymore (if, indeed, it ever was), and I rarely if ever break out my Golers CDs (though I have a full complement of their releases, and have seen the band play two or three times now). Admitting this in public kind of feels like I'm declaring that I just don't rock hard enough; I sure don't rock as hard as these guys. So I kinda copped out on that review, I admit.
All the same, if you're a punk or metalhead in Maple Ridge (or the outlying areas), I would highly advise being at the Wolf Bar on the 30th for this show. I pretty much can guarantee that I won't be, because after dragging my girl to see a band like this I think she would force me to go to a Sarah McLachlan concert or something horrible like that, and I would probably feel like I owed it to her. This must not come to pass...
All photos and cartoons (but not the gig poster or snarky Facebook comments) by Allan MacInnis. Not to be reused without at least the offer of sexual favours. 

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