I did the math, and it’s shocking: punk rock, in its classic mid-70s trans-Atlantic incarnation, is coming up on its fiftieth anniversary. While its heyday has clearly come and gone, like all good zeitgeist scenes, punk rock’s legacy continues to filter down through generations. It continually inspires a new wave of artists to make music and art in their own way. One recent discovery (thanks, Laura!) is DIYers Charm, a Welland, ON-based band that channels the raw energy of 70s punk and whips it in a blender with classic pop. Theirs is a frothy, frenzied sound that’s instantly familiar and refreshing all at once.
“Gasoline” and its b-side “Second Chance” is the latest of Charm’s self-released one-off singles. The former is an all-out, full-throttle drag race of pure enjoyment that clocks in under the two-minute mark; the latter a — ahem — charming bubblegum rocker bursting with big melodies and bigger guitars. The quartet (pulled together from members of local bands Wild Side, Big School, and Candy) acts as a fully self-contained unit: they write and record the music themselves, while all the visuals and artwork are made by the band in-house (band member Mitch Courtois spends his days as an animator and made the video for “No Gasoline” embedded above).
They also have zero social media presence, which is about as punk as you can get in 2019. Charm tells me that they’d eventually like to get some time in a proper studio to see what they can come up with, but for the time being are enjoying the freedom and creativity that comes with making art on their own terms. With songs as buzzy and bouncy as “No Gasoline” and “Second Chance”, who wouldn’t be having a blast hanging with friends and raising a holy racket?