Junior Battles / Bong Mountain Digital / Sound Of The Skull Series #4


Junior Battles bio:

Junior Battles like the following: ‘90s CanRock, the Back to the Future trilogy, old pop-punk, The Wire, post-hardcore, and the works of Mike Judge. Formed in 2007, this Toronto punk band is the unexpected offspring a successful off-off-Broadway musical version of Jaws. They also moonlight as a Drake cover band called Thirst Behaviour. Two full-length albums, two dead vans, and approximately 4,276 energy drinks later, you can still find them in basements, dive bars, and (probably) at your local Dave & Buster’s owning the claw machine. At this point, Junior Battles will probably be a band forever.

Bong Mountain bio:

Roughly some time ago, the nexus that would become Bong Mountain packed their first communal bowl. Pulling from each of their collective stashes, scraping the oldest of their scorched pipes, emptying the last of their reserved reserves, the group first began assembling what would become their impressive debut. It features the trademark gruffness that Michigan’s basement dwelling punks have come to love, as well as a level of self-awareness only available to those who have been around the block a time or two.

The story behind the Junior Battles/Bong Mountain Split:

We’ve known the guys in Bong Mountain for a while now, by way of playing with their singer Chris Lidstone’s old band, Cain Marko. A few years ago, after we played a show at Mulligan’s in Grand Rapids, we had a simultaneously memorable and hazy after-party at Chris’ house, involving duty-free whiskey, a late night scream-along dance party, and a viewing of the classic film Money Train on laser disc. Life-affirming shit.

A few weeks later, an acoustic demo showed up in our inbox. Chris had written a song about that night, like some kind of brilliant, nostalgic sonic time capsule. The first time Bong Mountain came to Canada, we decided to be slick and cover it, as a kind of tribute to good times with Cain Marko/Bong Mountain past, present, and future. It turns out that the Bongy Boys had the same idea. Every time we’ve shared the stage with them since, we’ve both played our respective versions.

Their take on it is called “Chouse Party” (a nod to Canadian House, the garbage whiskey we were drinking), and ours is called “American Nights” (a nod to...nights...in America). We’ve always wanted to capture both iterations of that song on a split for posterity, and now teamwork makes the dreamwork via a limited cassette release by GTG Records and digital release by Paper + Plastick.