Little Piece of Hair is a delightful punk-rock jaunt.
I’d been living in Halifax for about a month when some new friends decided to launch me headfirst into the celebratory punk-rock of Century Egg. They took me down to a DIY venue that, to avoid incriminating some lovely people, I will not name. I will only say that the venue has since changed locations and is now doing everything in its power to fight the effects of gentrification in North End Halifax.
But I digress. We arrived that night to a violent kaleidoscope of chaos. It turns out this was the venue’s last night in the building and — well, someone used the term eviction party, if that means anything to you. If it doesn’t: imagine a building being destroyed from the inside out. In the hall, people lobbed darts at balloons full of paint which burst into colourful patches staining what was left of the walls. I shimmed by muscular punks helping skinny punks swing jack-hammers at drywall and glass. People were drilling holes in the floorboards and ceilings just for the hell of it. The place was awash with dust and sin. A scene of jubilant destruction. There was someone in a suit trying to break into a giant safe using a stethoscope, and a young moustached man doing his best to sweep the floor, both to no avail, the broom being about as useful as an umbrella in a hurricane. It was all very funny and freaky and violent and thrilling, sure, but I pushed right past the festivities to get to the room in the back — where the music was. There could have been apes juggling baby tigers in the hall, but nothing could have diverted me from the wholly unique magnetism of Century Egg.
Two years later, now that the universe has it’s foot on the break, Century Egg is recording and releasing music in lieu of playing high energy live shows. Their new EP Little Piece of Hair is a delightful punk-rock jaunt. “Do You Want to Dance” opens the album with some loud and exciting questions: “Do you want to dance? / Do you want to Smile?” It sets the tone for what’s to follow: noisy fun with a subtle undercurrent of boredom and sadness. “Do You Want to Dance” is all about embracing a desire for life and energy that has been lacking this last year, but it’s a celebration all the same. “Ring a Bell” carries a similar vibe thanks to a burst of pop-punk cuteness. “Riddle to Place” is sonically darker and more sombre than the rest of the EP, while “I Will Make Up a Method” lyrically mixes things up by being at turns doleful and delightful. If there is one standout other than “Do You Want to Dance” it’s “I Will Make Up a Method.”
I’ve seen Century Egg live a few times now, and they always bring out an explosive exuberance in their audiences. They are complimented well by a rambunctious crowd. But even without all the wild fixins of live music and DIY venues, Century Egg brings the stink. Little Piece of Hair is worth dancing to all on your own. Just don’t break anything.
Rose Cousins “The Benefits of Being Alone” and “The Reprise (The Benefits of Being Alone)”