WHOOP-Szo don't ever really rest — barely long enough for new records even. For the past two years, the London-based psych folk collective has toured almost constantly, splitting sweaty gigs with vital social work missions and activism all across Turtle Island.
After a month-long residency in Fredericton, working with nearby First Nations communities, and another circuit around various parts of the country this summer and fall, the band realized that though it'd been nearly two years since Niizhwaaswo, their last LP, they'd accumulated an album's worth of material in compilation tracks and one-off singles. WHOOP-Szo decided to collect the work and release it as Citizen's Ban(ne)d Radio.
The seven-song album catalogues the many flavours of the band's hybrid, experimental aesthetic — freak folk, post-metal, grunge, noise pop, and neo-psychedelia — and demonstrates how, curiously, under their command each piece interlocks to build WHOOP-Szo's distinctive worldview.
"This record became a reality only very recently," bandleader Adam Sturgeon says. "The idea and theme that’s played out really just came out of nowhere, but we realized we had all these compilation releases and singles that we’ve been dropping in line with extensive tours. It became fairly apparent that they all kind of fit together…in our own weird sort of a way of creating an atmosphere within a body of work.
In some respects this album is a compilation, but we feel like maybe it’s the closest thing we’ve released that represents the entirety of our recording ideals. While we’re quite heavy and loud live, homelife and songwriting becomes more of a reflective process, and in this, we’ve found the theme for Citizen’s Ban(ne)d Radio to suit us just fine. Folk, sludge, lots of riffs and improvisations all rolled into these seven songs".