Early this year, Victoria’s party punk darlings Slam Dunk made a decision that would baffle even the most generous of souls. After putting the final touches on their first full-length album, The Shivers, the band proceeded to give it away for free as a download on their bandcamp page.
“We probably did it because none of us understand business,” Bass player/singer Caitlin Gallupe jokes. “We overheard some people talking about this thing called the internet, and we were impatient to get the record out so we just threw it up there for free.”
Upon listening to The Shivers, it quickly becomes obvious why the band was in such a hurry to release it; it’s that good. Recorded in a West Saanich barn over a mere two days, the album manages not only to capture the energy of Slam Dunk’s live set, but distills it into an even more potent form. Crowd favorites such as “Feral Child” and “Slow Dance” burn brilliantly on an album that ends too quickly.
As fans desperately downloaded free copies, Slam Dunk continued to sell out shows in both Victoria and Vancouver. This summer, the band embarked on a cross-Canadian trek to promote the album, playing all-ages shows whenever possible. The final show will be a homecoming stop at The Norway House; not surprisingly, the show is open to all ages.
“Playing all-ages shows is the honourable thing to do,” says Gallupe. “I promised myself when I was 16 that if I was ever in a band I would only play all-ages shows, because it just seemed crazy to exclude all the under 19s. That said, we’ve rarely played them as all-ages venues in Victoria are hard to come by.”
The Norway House show will be in celebration of the release of the physical incarnation of The Shivers 12-inch vinyl pressing featuring one-of-a-kind, homemade covers. “We scrounged a whole bunch of old scratched unplayable records from the record store, gutted them and turned the sleeves inside out,” says Gallupe. “Then, we painted them black and silkscreened them gold and glued them back up.”
While Slam Dunk’s approach to business may be questionable, its approach to garage rock is undeniable. Come down to see what all the fuss is about. M
Saturday, July 2, 7pm
at Norway House (1110 Hillside).
Tickets $7 at the door or Ditch Records, 250-386-5874