Ugly Pop Records
ZOOM "Sweet Desperation" LP
Bored of cover bands and Toronto's stagnant bar scene, Chris Haight and John Hamilton formed ZOOM in 1976, inspired by such pre-punk touchstones as the Velvet Underground, Roxy Music, Bowie and Sparks. The band quickly set to gigging locally, but were soon caught up in the punk scene that exploded to life around them. An obscure but seminal 1976 45 -- arguably Toronto's first punk record-- was their sole release before the band dissolved as Haight joined the Viletones and Hamilton began drumming for the Diodes. Despite their duties in two of Canada's leading punk bands, however, the pair didn't want great songs like "Schoolgirl Hitch Hiker", "My Baby's Got No Brains" and "They Only Come Out At Night" to go undocumented, so they entered the studio to get this stuff on tape. Produced by Bob Segarini and BB Gabor, and with musical contributions from members of The Ugly, The B-Girls and The Curse, the session captured a pretty special time in Toronto music history. It seems especially poignant that it would then remain unheard for decades. In 2014, Hamilton, who had gone on to an illustrious career of his own but had never entirely forgotten Zoom, located the tapes and had them professionally baked and restored. A trove of photographs, flyers and graphics was similarly uncovered, and now Ugly Pop is very pleased to announce a 13-track LP due for release in early 2016. Superb pressing with full insert featuring extensive new liner notes and unseen pictures, and this one won't be staying in print.