Agatha Pale (http://agathapale.bandcamp.com) played her guitar at our summer camp campfire when I was a teen. As she strummed, two dozen of us admitted we were flawed (but still worthy of love), and collectively (slowly, calmly, in formation) walked into the cold, deepening lake, never to return. She sang. It was perfect. From Montreal.
Also Also Also (http://alsoalsoalso.bandcamp.com) is a modest frozen lightning bolt arcing between bedroom chillwave and ‘80s synths. “Vocally-driven, darkly evocative and intensely lonely.”
Back Teeth (http://backteeth.bandcamp.com) are a Hamilton-based triad of bedroom-recording no-wave expressionists who squeezed out an EP called Garbage Head in 2018. Poised to resurface to the subsurface in the near-future.
Barnacle (http://barnaclemtl.bandcamp.com) is the kind of smash-lunge-kick-fun-beach-weird punk band that can have you endlessly flipping from their Bandcamp to their FB, never fully able to answer their million dollar question: "is it true that we're a Sponge Bob Squarepants tribute act?" The answer is "yes." Maybe based in Montreal, probably based in the ocean.
BBQT (http://bbqtband.bandcamp.com) play high wasted surf garage maybe from Hawaii, probably from Newfoundland, actually from all over Canada, recently based in Montreal. Oh, and Amery BBQT lends crucial help on select Pentagon Black duties.
Beef Boys (http://facebook.com/bbponks) are a band of rhythmically astute triplet brother siblings fathered by Iggy Pop when he slipped into the crowd for three minutes mid-set at the Peterborough Memorial Centre in 1974. Right between "Search and Destroy" and "Raw Power." For serious.
Beep Test (http://beeptest.bandcamp.com) emerged from Montreal's jacuzzi palace DIY zone to chase ambulances, not for profit like lawyer creeps but for the joy of the hunt and pursuit of burnt punk steel with a side of vampirism. Thrilling.
Bonnie Doon (http://bonniedoon.bandcamp.com) is an Ottawa-based post-punk foursome/fivesome drawing inspiration from spooky beaches and pizza joints and UK art bands we can’t remember the name of right now.
Bonnie Trash (http://bonnietrash.bandcamp.com) is Guelph's art-wave horror menace-synth act centred by intelligent twins occasionally on about deathly Italian fairy tales that are probably true. Beware.
Child Actress (http://childactress.bandcamp.com) emits ghostly vocals over dark melodic indie pop, formerly of Calgary and currently of Montreal. Key words are "grief," "Cocteau Twins," "multi-instrumentalist," and "instinct."
Deathsticks (http://buysomedeathsticks.bandcamp.com) crept out of Peterborough circa 2014 and have toured and played as if a duo of suicidal noise animals ever since. Currently of Toronto. Spent some time in Ottawa. Permanently damaged some ears. What was/is up with that skull stage lamp thing? Please advise.
Deperuse (http://facebook.com/deperuse) teased us with the foggy and florid '80s style pop crystal "Isolate Me" on our second compilation in 2017, but then moved from Windsor to Montreal, disappeared for a while, and emerged with a trickle of singles in 2020.
Dresser (http://dressermtl.bandcamp.com) drift then explode
garbageface (http://everyoneisdoomed.org) made all other intense thoughtful virtuoso doom rap industrial soul artists obsolete, then decided to make himself obsolete and vanished into a down-tuned bass string tied into an ouroboros. He turned up again, though, because the bass string was actually a sample. Active in Peterborough since 2009.
Chris Hauer (http://chrishauermusic.bandcamp.com) “Took a loan on a loan of an opinion, I’ll give it back and it’s yours once I’m done. Don’t you know that you have a cigarette? You know I don’t, I bet you’re getting used to it. It feels like a place that we’re meant to be.”
Jules Nominal (http://inhock.bandcamp.com) didn't appear on one of our phone comps until the fifth, but we're pretty sure the format was made for him. Bulk time and poetic thought poured into words and strums.
Ladies Night (http://thankgoodnessitsladiesnight.bandcamp.com) are "gay and glam and sponsored by KAM (TM)" and the latest two-piece drums and guitar combo to lay fuzz rock bricks into Pentagon Black's intangible neo-gothic mansion.
LAPS (http://lapslapslap.bandcamp.com) are a tempo change then a time change then a glimmer and a shadow, formerly of Fredericton now of Montreal, always playing locally, regionally, nationally. File under math rock but algebra with feelings and artfulness.
Love Language (http://instagram.com/lovelanguageband) have written exactly eleven self-descriptive words. "Songs to make u laugh and cry on the metro home." That leaves much unsaid, including bright-hot jangle-sweet nostalgia guitar lines and us wishing they were the soundtrack to our fall of '96. Montreal-based.
Man Meat (http://manmeat.bandcamp.com) are “A bleak and despondent blast of post-punk menace with a healthy appetite for chaos and dark greys. Equal parts compelling exhaustion and self-assured right-cross.” They’re also from Saskatoon, and are also the only band to ever have the guts to send us a yell-heavy seven-minute MP3 bomb (ie. “Teeth” on our second compilation).
Motherhood (http://motherhoodmusic.bandcamp.com/) needs a checklist several sheets long. Tour monsters? Zine makers? Visual artists? Avant-country? Circus punk? Black metal fusion? Neo blues howlers? Fredericton's top export? All that.
Chris Murdoch (http://souvenirhfx.bandcamp.com/) is a noted Halifax musician, writer, and DJ who currently channels '90s alt in Souvenir and wrote Pentagon Black Information Pamphlet No. 1. Yup, the one about where Black first met punk, in the UK, USA, and Chris' own life.
Napalmpom (http://napalmpom.com) are esteemed Calgary lifers with party-brain lyrics and A++ best-in-show musicianship and charisma. Guitarmonies, hooks, guitarmonies, hooks, repeat.
Numéro Deux have no internet presence. Offshoot of Montreal's "post-punk négatif-positif" act Bleu Nuit. A document of a thought on a day.
Nüshu (http://nushu.bandcamp.com) are Montreal Relentless garage punk from the Bell Provence, making us all look lazy by comparison. Not just in terms of straight-up shredding, but by being on countless compilations, splits, EPs, and LPs since starting out in 2014.
Oiseaux (http://oiseauxmusic.bandcamp.com) are Regina-based wheatfield alt, giving it crisp and straight like Highway 11. New album in 2020!
the Orange Kyte (http://theorangekyte.bandcamp.com) describes itself as "a loose cacophony of visceral sonic tomfoolery, fixed together with pop-informed melody, three safety pins, and some scotch tape." We believed that, too, til we realized linguistics hasn't caught up with whatever it is they're doing. Psych from Vancouver.
Oromocto Diamond (http://oromoctodiamond.com) is a two-wired conduit for electricity, drums, bass, charm, acrobatics, post, punk, Ville de Quebec, etc. Also contains 1/2 of the astoundingly prolific Quebecois record label P572.
Outtacontroller (http://facebook.com/outtacontrollr) are North End Halifax's solution to good manners and taste. These power punks party profusely, perpetually.
Pale Lips (http://palelips.bandcamp.com) AAA-quality Nikki-and-the-Corvettes nocturnal park blanket switchblade girls-in-the-garage aggressive types. Not to be missed. From Montreal.
PRIORS (http://priorsmtl.bandcamp.com) are both Drew Demers' other band and the only non-Famines band to ever have a Pentagon Black release to themselves. File under "five-headed noisy punk gestalt from down the road (ie. Montreal).”
Property// (http://prprty.bandcamp.com) are thoughtful and sometimes pensive electric pop boops, beeps and strings, formerly of Fredericton and currently of Montreal. Not to be confused with the Newfoundland act called Property, who are great, too. Oh, and Charles Harding from this also contributed "Unit Circle" to our fifth compilation.
respectfulchild (http://respectfulchild.com) from Treaty 6 Territory (aka Saskatoon) uses looping pedals and non-musical objects to wring sound from the violin, exploring sonic limits like others can only pretend to.
Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs (http://samcoffeyandtheironlungs.bandcamp.com) are denim vested rock quarry truants from TO with mixed intentions, most of them having to do with shredding and hitting. They promised to let us mop their floors whence fame scoops them up.
Skin Tone (http://soundcloud.com/skin0tone) is Montreal avant-poetry sax-and-thoughts experimental music without desire for convention. Just hear "Your Call is Important to Us" on our fourth compilation and you'll know exactly what we're talking about.
Smokey & The Feeelings (http://smokeysings.bandcamp.com) play modern bush hippie folk rock. They also probably find their songs by digging themselves into the depths of northern forests and entering a maybe-hibernating-but-probably-conjuring-wendigos trance. And yes, their name has the letter "e" five times in total.
Special Costello (http://specialcostello.bandcamp.com) is from Halifax and has the voice of 29 angels chorusing over top of dreamlike drone. His song on compilation four involves these angels singing about love while audibly driving a car around rural Nova Scotia. Dreamy and impossible.
Strange Attractor (http://strangeattractor.bandcamp.com) have cruised the mean streets since 2008 in a car made of destructively lo-fi basement-recorded tapes and a double-rare bootleg LP of the Smoke. Includes members of Tommy & the Commies and a giant chunk of everything else that's ever had a pulse in Sudbury.
Sunforger (http://stereonoaware.bandcamp.com) formerly Mono No Aware, currently filed under "experimental downer emo post-grunge post-punk semimonastic uplifting Montreal."
Sweet Dave & the Shallow Graves (http://sweetdaveandtheshallowgraves.bandcamp.com) are a Hamilton export that sounds remarkably like seven heavy-hitting punks playing soul music in a graveyard. Of note: the acoustics in the mausoleum are absolutely perfect. Every song a hit, every hit a kill. Shares all kinds of members with TV Freaks.
Tamayugé (http://tamayuge.bandcamp.com) are nominally an experimental electronic Montreal duo but are actually multi-ethnic spirit auras from an ever-widening void of mystery and kitsch.
TV Freaks (http://teeveefreakzz.bandcamp.com) are a Hamilton object so loved by Pentagon Black's Drew that he can't even write about them. He's probably paralyzed by their heavy thoughts, abuse of amplifiers, and their 401-sized shortcut into his primal animal psyche. Shares many members with Sweet Dave & the Shallow Graves.
Usse (http://usse.bandcamp.com) are one of two acts that have been on every Pentagon Black compilation ever, and they're single-handedly responsible for Saint John being known as the Krautrock free art improv music concrete capital of the world. Everyone needs to visit once.
Whoop-Szo (http://www.facebook.com/WHOOPszo) are from London, are next in line for a Polaris Prize, and Exclaim! mag says "a vicious rock assault, inspired by metal, prog, post-hardcore, and grunge-y folk for a truly stirring, overwhelming and raging roar. It's scary how good this band is."
Klarka Weinwurm (http://klarkaweinwurm.bandcamp.com) is sometimes an artistic and occasionally eerie DIY folk performer, sometimes an alternative rock three-piece, sometimes a person, sometimes a band, always what we think of as the beating heart of Sackville.
Steph Yates (http://stephyates.com) of Guelph recorded the first song on our fourth compilation just before naming the musical project "Cots." It's still early days, but so far you could call it blue-shaded and carefully-stripped melancholic neo-bossa nova. Formerly of Esther Grey and Cupcake Ductape.
YlangYlang (http://ylangylangylang.com) makes us self-conscious of how we've used the word "experimental" our entire lives; we should've been holding it in reserve for her. Dream path explorations requiring much more intelligent prose than we can assemble. Put on some tea and listen. Again and again.
*we've also put out songs by Beat Cops, Betrayers, Century Palm, Cold Warps, Couleur Dessin, Don’t Bother, Esther Grey, the Famines, Fashionism, Haunted Souls, Heathers, I Smell Blood, Kappa Chow, Kiddo, the Lonely Parade, Mauno, Microdot, No Pussyfooting, Not You, Phern, Protruders, Spationauts, Teledrome, and the Yips, but our best info says those acts aren't active anymore