Secret Life LP

Mutators lie at the heart of Vancouver's resurrection, spreading the word via multiple North American tours and a variety of releases. Now Secret Life captures them at their most effective and exacting. This set of 13 tightly structured songs is full of venom and surprising hooks. Influences exist without mimicry. Attack and release proves more powerful than unrelenting scree. Sing along at your own peril.

Initial pressing of 820: 408 on blue; 412 on red. Includes full-size, double-sided insert with full color photo printed on recycled paper at Hemlock Printers.

23 of the blue vinyl copies are full blue & white marble. SOLD OUT!

Side A:
1. Trick Animals
2. People
3. Black Room
4. Psychic Tapes
5. Hidden Place
6. Get It Clean
7. Bourgeois Fantasy

Side B:
1. Police Eyelash
2. Bent Backwards
3. Soft Pyramid
4. Youth
5. Siamese Skulls
6. Instinct


this record is to document a year of one of the best alternative spaces currently operating in canada. THE EMERGENCY ROOM is located in vancouver’s rat and drug infested downtown eastside. a literal underground, this basement warehouse is an indestructible fortress of creation, destruction and repair with a philosophy of DANCE or DIE, piss your pants and puke on yourself!!!

from its origins as a free, D.I.Y. all-ages noise/performance art gathering in the basement of the emily carr arts institute parkade, to its current existence in a former fish processing factory, the E.R. has consistently put on some of the weirdest, most elaborate, entertaining and ridiculous art and music shows in vancouver’s recent underground history.

after a year of spray-painted walls, bizarre installations and art works, blood, fights, broken glass, punk rock, noise, art, make-outs and more, here is EMERGENCY ROOM VOL. 1.

- Justin Gradin

1. DEFEKTORS-Burning Light
2. DEFEKTORS-Kick First One
5. VAPID-Sex Stain
6. VAPID-Die
7. WHITE LUNG-Therapy

1. MUTATORS-Instinct
5. NU SENSAE-Graceland
6. NU SENSAE-Don't Panic
7. NU SENSAE-Peter Tripp
8. SICK BUILDINGS-The Commuter

One time pressing of 924.

Includes full-size, 20 page book of photos, art and text printed on recycled paper at Hemlock Printers.



Vancouver BC's punk trio Mutators aren't your average post-everything screamers punx, though they are of that generation...and what i mean by that (in case you are not getting the grandma lexicon) is those younger adults known as "kids" who are into really cool shit that used to be hella obscure but in the past 10-15 years got integrated into the cool shit underground music canon, ie no wave, avant garde classical music, noise, industrial music, post-punk and just in general regional groups that never toured or put records out so remained unknown to those of us who grew up before the obscure history of everything was so instantly accessible ..(in this case the SCREAMERS are the example of this salvaged punk band that was so obscure that, if i remember correctly, they didn't release anything besides a demo tape and a Target video, which was supposedly their album, and so while their name was fairly well known on the west coast, most people didn't hear them until the late 90's when a well circulated bootleg was released on vinyl; if you wanna google them you'll know more about it than me because untill right now i never did that, but here you go)....well enough about generation gaps...this is all to say that in many ways, most of them formal, punk is better now than it used to be, but it sometimes means less and just seems like pastiche. mutators are one of those groups, but they have amazing energy, presence and possibly the best punk girl singer-i-mean-screamer of all time. you might trace it back to Lydia Lunch's early group, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks or a more recent reference like VIKI (LOAD RECORDS/ANIMAL DISGUISE RECORDINGS) from detroit but that's not why you would care.
last night i listened to this record twice in a row, lying on the floor, not doing anything else. this is how i used to listen to music all the time, but rarely does something command my full attention these days. having seen mutators live a few times, i was pleased to be able to hear lief's vocals full force. so many times i have wanted to hear a sound like her make that sound come out of my own is a monstrosity, but so familiar in feeling as to make you wonder where all the other bands are that make rad sounds like this. to be fair, the other musicians in the group are wild and furious too. the music is minimal (a two piece?) noise-core with echoes of black flag my war era type abandon; but with no wave/noise leanings and minus the metal. fucking rad. i wish there was a lyric sheet. this is the best sounding record in awhile, so i wanna know what the songs are about, if they are about more than sound, that would be killer, but if not, this sound itself means a lot to me; it replaces the silence of my own unrecorded screams....which is incredibly comforting. it hurts to make this sound, but it also sucks to never be in a situation where making noise like this is a could go in the woods or get on stage and i don't really wanna do either of those things right now, but i do feel like making this sound, or attempting to rather, almost every day all day. ok go listen to them now and try not to be as cynical as i sound about 'the kids these days' because this is an awesome record.


STILL SINGLE: VOL. 4, NO. 14, September 22, 2008

Secret Life LP

Part of the nth-gen No Wave movement, which crazily enough has survived this long, from a few dozen people milling about downtown New York in the very late ‘70s and very early ‘80s, into the same, and often even smaller, numbers in various patches of youth around the globe. Canada in particular houses a lot of these types of bands, some better than others, and some just not good at all. Mutators, from Vancouver, buck this trend, kids who take this sound from a predominantly punk/agitated perspective, and who don’t rely on weirdness, antics, or obtuse musicianship. They get their punk from geographic proclivities, the guitars, synths, and caffeinated drumming all hand-me-downs from Olympia riot peeps of the ‘90s (everything from Heavens to Betsy’s seasick protests to Unwound’s SY-detuned detournments is accounted for on Secret Life, album #1 following a healthy dose of singles and splits). But the most noticeable aspect of their sound is the harsh, screamy attack of vocalist Lief Hall, who can go from stormy art-school chanteuse to slasher victim like she’s flipping a switch. Those vocals can sometimes overpower the music, and have been a barrier of entry on previous efforts, but here things manage to blend in more successfully, due in no small part to the band learning more about how to groove, and finding joys in syncopation, not just dissonance and squalor. Really good stuff from a band that keeps getting better. Less than 1000 copies pressed, roughly half on red vinyl and the other half on blue.


DISCORDER Vancouver Best of the Decade

8. Mutators
In the annals of No Wave-revivalist noise music, the Mutators exploits are writ large. Coming into their terrifying own with the addition of singer Lief Hall, the trio’s 2008 full length Secret Life is perhaps the most fully-realized statement of the scene that emerged from the East Side’s fly-by-night Emergency Room. They called it quits in 2009, much to the chagrin of the rest of us; during their run, they were the best band in Vancouver. There, I said it. The Mutators were without comparison in their ferocious energy, combining ear-shattering blasts of noise with remarkable songwriting, and Hall’s Lydia Lunch-on-steroids bellowing was both genuinely frightening and kind of mind-blowing, given her small stature. With several North American tours under their belts, the Mutators were like noise-punk evangelists, preaching from ratty basement pulpits across the continent. Drummer Justin Gradin’s new project, Random Cuts, is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
—Al Smith