Art Bergmann: Entropy
Acerbic vocals, searing guitar and a razor-sharp polemic combine compellingly.
By Kerry Doole
Art Bergmann - Entropy (weewerk): The enfant terrible of Canadian rock made headlines recently with his well-deserved but somewhat shocking appointment to The Order of Canada. That was a reminder of his important and potent musical accomplishments, but he's not resting on any laurels or toning down his razor-edged polemic.
A new album, Late Stage Empire Dementia, is coming out on May 21, and is his first full-length since 2016's The Apostate. We've previewed the record and can testify it ranks with his very best.
The latest single, Entropy came out last week. The track features Art’s signature acerbic vocals perfectly complemented by a jackhammer rhythm section and searing guitar. It tackles the present-day refugee crisis (“there’s a baby on the beach, we refuse to reach"), one also depicted on the graphic for the lyric video. "Each discarded life jacket represents a North African, Afghan, Iraqi, or Syrian refugee who braved the waters for freedom at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek Island of Lesbos." Bergmann explains.
Discussing his recent work in a press release, he states “The Apostate was more a long view of human history, whereas this new record is a reflection of what’s occurred over the past four years in terms of the masks of fascism being stripped off. These songs say, here it is folks, your history is right in front of you and these are the reasons why. Since the advent of social media, and with cameras everywhere, everybody now knows about police killings, the plague and climate catastrophe, and who these purveyors of this nightmare are. Who needs sci-fi anymore when we're living in the best Philip K. Dick novel ever?”
Late Stage Empire Dementia was recorded throughout 2020, with basic tracks laid down in Calgary at Lorrie Matheson’s studio Arch Audio and most other tracks completed at Russell Broom’s studio, Broom Closet. Although Broom and longtime Neko Case collaborator Paul Rigby handle the bulk of the guitar playing, the song Christo-Fascists features a rare guest appearance by legendary MC5 co-founder Wayne Kramer, who kicks out the jams on the cut.
Bergmann's formidable body of work now spans six decades. A true pioneer of the Vancouver punk rock scene in the late '70s, he later found Juno-winning success, though his talent was never properly harnessed by Canadian record labels back then. He remains a true original, one worthy of your attention.
Publicity: Jason Schneider
Label/Management: Phil Klygo, weewerk