Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review - “Songs from Nowhere” by Nico Taus

“Songs from Nowhere” are the reflections of the Sudbury hardcore scene that these kids helped build. The book is written by Nico who was the singer of VICIOUS CYCLE. VICIOUS CYCLE were one of my favourite band’s from Sudbury and they were around between 2005 – 2010. But Sudbury has it’s challenges. It is a bit of a shithole. The city is remote and north and is best known as a mining town. The big mine is nickel making the place better known as the Big Nickel. It is the kind of town you escape from. But it is a university town and as a result there is a small punk scene there that has been particularly great over the last few years and has included bands like the STATUES and UV RAYS. This book of Nico’s tries to chronicle the events of the scene over the last few years using VICIOUS CYCLE as the narration point. He starts with the band’s prior band PROVEN and gets into how the band changed members, recorded their different releases and got out on the road. Some of the story line has gaping holes. Some of his writing can be characterized as rapid fire recollections. The book is full of highlights but falls down with providing the back story. I would have loved to know more about how bands came about. The fights and conflicts. More of the stories behind some of the bigger shows. I hoped that “Songs from Nowhere” was going to be more like “Banned in DC”, which is the ultimate book for telling a scene’s stories. I feel the history of this era could have benefitted from other perspectives. If Nico had done some interviews and included those in here this book would have had a more well rounded perspective. It is the diary style that fails in telling Sudbury’s story I have done interviews with a few of these, so I know first hand that they have great stories to tell. Regardless, “Songs form Nowhere” is a book worthy of your attention just to learn about how these bands know each other and interacted. There are great photos and loads of flyers that I have never seen before. And indirectly the book makes the argument that smaller towns produce great bands and incredible scenes. Over the years I have seen this to be true. Think of the scenes in Hamilton, Victoria or St. John’s to prove this point. (

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