The Bare Minimum
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The Bare Minimum

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Punk




"Ballistic and Bombastic: Bare Minimum’s Hit After Hit"

Bare Minimum’s Hit After Hit does exactly what the album title suggests: it pummels the sh*t out of you. Despite having eleven tracks, the Toronto group’s record clocks in at about twenty-seven minutes, which, if you do the math means that the average song length is just a little under two-and-a-half minutes per track. Heart-thumping drum beats, rapid guitar riffs, some desperate and aggressive vocal work driven with a Four-Year-Strongesque swagger make this one hell of an album that fans of the rock genre will swallow with pleasure. If you like it fast and hard, Hit After Hit will make you moan until your jaw hurts and your body is numb but still wanting more.

The lead track “Party Alarm” is misleading because it comes in at lightning speed and is barely an alarm for the incoming record. Clocking in at just over one minute, this intro is anything but gimmicky, hit-and-run punk. It does the job of taking the listener by the collar and dragging him through a rough patch of violently exploding drum kicks and fast guitar licks, all while making them want more of the record at the same time.

“Sheets In The Wind” has the potential to be a fan favourite, being one of the more melodic tracks on the record and is reminiscent of Four Year Strong’s “Wasting Time.” Slick guitar work and great vocal melodies elevate this fast number to pleasurable heights. “Mucho Frio” might also be a fan favourite, one of the more memorable guitar riffs on the record singing loudly here.

“Destroy The Human Race” is one of the slower and mellower songs on the record, a good place to catch your breath if you’re shaken up real hard at this point of the album, even though it’s a song about aliens decimating humans. A catchy chorus and some more fine production quality makes this track another highlight on the record.

“Circus Tiger” smashes through with animalistic ferocity right after the melancholic alien song, followed by the rowdier “Dead In The Dirt.” Both tracks continue the unrestrained fun of the record, but both also end a little too abruptly. The sudden endings of both songs might be a little disappointing to some listeners, especially since the melodic “Dead In The Dirt” has the potential to be a real favourite for listeners.

“Body And Soul” is possibly one of the more contemplative tracks of the record, an upbeat head-bobber rounded out by some conventional guitar melodies and a sweet chorus. Again, this is a track that fans may wish could have been longer, being one of the slower songs despite clocking in at only two minutes and thirty-two seconds.

“All Is All” is a great ending to the record, opting to finish the album as unceremoniously as it began. The longest of the eleven tracks, clocking in at just under four minutes, is a treat for more conventional listeners who may not have a sweet tooth for the faster punk tracks that the record holds in abundance, as well compensating for those who wish “Body And Soul” was a little longer. The track has a hopeful and sunny edge about it, leaving the listener on a high note and perhaps make them glad that they decided to roll through this quick barrage of well-produced rock music. Speaking of which, the production quality on this record is astounding, especially for an album whose genre includes the characteristics of loudness and speed. The guitars sound crisp, the bass warm, the drums clear and the vocals not too drowned out. All in all, this record has amazing mixing and sound quality.

Hit After Hit will deliver one blow after another, each hit not being too much like the other, although a little more variety in sounds wouldn’t hurt. The record is fun and fast, its energy an inspiration for listeners who are craving something a little more loose and unrestrained. Without spiraling out into gimmicky fast rock that is simply too loud and obnoxious to handle, Bare Minimum does a stupendous job delivering fast and fun music without sacrificing quality and cohesion, their maturity surely showing here. Hit After Hit is a fantastic album that I absolutely recommend to rock fans seeking something fun and energetic. - 24OurMusic

"Review: The Bare Minimum – “Hit After Hit”"

Guitarist Mick Hutchinson of The Bare Minimum describes his band as “sounding like the Foo Fighters, but through cheap speakers.”

A surprisingly accurate description, the Toronto-based punk band have a lot in common with Dave Grohl’s post-Nirvana project. Like the Foos, The Bare Minimum have drawn inspiration from 90s alternative and punk rock and have a serious pop sensibility. Their record’s production and overall style is not so saccharine and polished as the Foo Fighters, hence the (much preferred) cheap speakers.
Hit After Hit is The Bare Minimum’s first full length album; its eleven songs speed by both due to tempo and brevity. It would seem the band’s goals are to: play fast songs, play clever songs, play catchy songs, and most often, all of the above. It should come as no surprise that skate punk mainstays like Face to Face and Lagwagon are influences.

The guys in The Bare Minimum exhibit more personality and tongue-in-cheek moments through their music than I often see in punk albums. I love their dig against DJs in “Laptop Jockey” using the classic phrasing from Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” singing, “Hey DJ, leave us kids alone!” It’s also pretty awesome that one of the album’s biggest hooks is about extraterrestrials destroying the human race. That’s not to say The Bare Minimum don’t have important messages in their music. “Nerd at the Punk Show” serves as a rally cry for reunifying the punk scene while a theme in many songs is disillusionment with social and political beliefs.
The Bare Minimum have crafted a solid punk album with the humor, hooks, and speed that many modern punk releases have eschewed. Judging from the self-deprecating nature of their interviews and their tendency to champion the music of others more often than their own on their social presences, I’d wager that they’re pretty cool people, too. - ForTheLoveOfPunk

"Something different and modern in the movement"

The Bare Minimum is a Punk band from Toronto Canada. This is a complete reversal in direction from what we usually see in that instead of bringing across an old school sound that reminds us of the raw foundation of Punk, these guys aim to create something different and modern in the movement. They have fused together Rock and Roll, Skate Punk and everything in between in a harmonious style that is influenced by bands like The Clash, Against Me!, The Bouncing Souls and The Kinks, just to name a few.

This EP, titled “Why Isn’t Allen Here?” and released in November of 2012, is very good quality both in terms of the recording and music. One word that comes to mind is “catchy” for this EP. The entirety of the album flows together very nicely from song to song with nice clean vocals and a very well rehearsed instrumental backing. It’s all very clean. Track 1: “Built To Break” starts off with the most intensity of the EP and each song gradually morphs the album from a harder edged Pop Punk sound to more of a Rock and Roll sound, and it does it so smoothly that when listening to the album in its entirety, it’s nearly undetectable without going back and comparing the first track to the last. The guitar work, the drums and the vocals are very well put together and give the band a sound that, while slightly reminiscent of bands such as Hot Water Music and The Living End, they certainly bring their own unique style to the game which makes The Bare Minimum far from bare. You can follow them on Twitter, on Facebook and on their website as well as listening to their album on Bandcamp… links are below. You can download the EP for only a dollar and we think that’s a pretty damn good deal. Check them out! - Apartment 18

"Meet Toronto Bands: #2 THE BARE MINIMUM"

Describe your band in 5 words.
concise energetic rock without gimmicks

What’s your favourite Toronto venue?
It's a tie between Lee's Palace and the Bovine Sex Club. We've had fun playing both. Both showcase a lot of our favourite touring bands as well as make space for local acts. I've seen the Briggs, Guitar Wolf, and Fountains of Wayne at Lee's and Creepshow and the Brains at the Bovine.

Name 3 other local bands right now that you would recommend listening to.
1. Burning Love
Burning love is probably my favourite Toronto punk band that is active right now. Their sound is in the tradition of Black Flag, Poison Idea, and Negative Approach but modernized. Their first album is absolutely solid, no filler. The 4th track "Gain" features my 5th favourite guitar solo ever! Due to the harsh nature of their music they're probably not for everyone, but if you're into the darker side of 80s hardcore you need to check this out. They have a new album dropping June 16th!
2. The Convoys
The Convoys sound like silent-alarm era Bloc Party screaming lyrics about robots over Alex Turner like riffs. We've been friends with them since sharing the stage with them at Lee's Palace. They have a great live show with lots of energy, and they have new recordings coming soon.
3. Careers in Science
I first heard of Careers in Science trolling the boards of I haven't had a chance to see them live yet, but they're recordings sound like a mix of Drive Like Jehu, Propagandhi, One Last Wish, and No Means No. I look forward to seeing them play, and would love to play a show with them.

So, you guys are fellow bloggers EH? How long have you been doing that? Is it a band thing collectively or do each of you/some of you just post whatever whenever?
Also, I love how many rants you have, and the top 5 video game soundtracks was my favourite, but I think you're forgetting Donkey Kong 2...
Haha, I'm not sure any Donkey Kong soundtrack, except maybe the rap from Donkey Kong 64, can compete with the likes of Mario, Zelda, or Megaman. We've been blogging for only a few months, but it's been a positive experience so far. We usually discuss the issues and I (Cam) put the ideas into writing. The blog kinda serves as an outlet for our thoughts about the current state of music, as well as a vehicle for us to explicate some of the decisions we make as a band; like why we like short songs, how we approach live shows, what kind of music influences us, etc. We find that the blog introduces people to our band through avenues other than shows and word of mouth… It's a great tool for getting the band out there.

You have a couple shows coming up, talk about them! Who else is playing, how much, why should we come?
We have a show Saturday, June 23rd at the Silver Dollar with Buddy Black and Wood Butcher. Daniel Boyd, the director of the cult horror film "The Chillers", will be there for a meet and greet. Tickets are $6 at the door. We also have a show July 5th, Thursday July 5th at the El Macambo with the Convoys, Skinny Bitches, and Let's Eat Alice. There's rumours that there will be cupcakes available! We don't know the ticket price yet. - Music She Blogged

"The Bare Minimum offer you way more than that in new EP"

I did an interview with a band called The Bare Minimum from Toronto earlier this year, and now it's time to review the poop out of them.
Word to the wise band: Sit on a toilet for this one. It's the best place to be when the poop drops.
Here goes nothing!
With a name like 'The Bare Minimum' I feel like I was subconsciously tricked into thinking that's all I would get out of their music when I first listened to it.
It's a pretty genius concept actually. When I heard the first song on their 4 track EP Why Isn't Allen Here (I hope it's referring to Tim Allen, in which case he's at the North Pole by now getting Santa'd out for Xmas. Duh.) I was actually pleasantly surprised. But why? I had no indication that the band would suck, and considering I interviewed them I must have known back then that I liked them.. whatever I had heard at that point anyway. Yet here I was not expecting much. And what I got was a huge fat Santa cock slap to my subconsciously assuming asshole.
Within 30 seconds of the first track I was head over butt in love. All it took was a few punktastic 'hey's shouted out of my speakers and some tight not-too-poppy-but-poppy-enough riffs accompanying them. That's when I realized that the name had psyched me into thinking that they only could offer 'the bare minimum' when it came to their music. And how wrong that assumption was!
Tricky bastards!
Love the EP. Love the name. - Music She Blogged

"Guitars, drums, bass, axes, wenches, blood, battle and plunder."

Guitars, drums, bass, axes, wenches, blood, battle and plunder. These are the things that I live for. The Bare Minimum only has three of these things. That is still ok. This young punk band out of toronto has a significant lack of all things Viking but I can live with that, until I pillage their village. On to the album.
This is The Bare Minimum's second EP, and it's good. The guitar work is solid, and the lead singer has a set of pipes on him. It is labeled as punk rock on my iTunes, although I think it is more rock and roll than anything else.
I liked the opening track "Build to Break" and the third track "Neapolitan" which as a real old school pink feel to it. this is my first EP review (my first review at all) and I think this band has good things in their future. They describe themselves as "accessible", which means they wont give you the "I'm the rock star, get out of my face" when you ask them for an autograph.
Give this one a listen, it's got some good vibes (but a lamentable lack of Norse ass-kicking.) - Velvet Rope Magazine

"Catchy and Toe Tappable"

I’m pretty sure this was sent my way because The Bare Minimum claim to have some ‘pop-punk’ elements, which is true, but those elements are pretty minimal. There are a few moments in each song on the record (and for most of ‘Man of the People’ ) that you could imagine the band fitting in with some of the mid-nineties alternative-punk bands that were showing up on SST but they don’t hold that together all the way through. The Bare Minimum are definitely an alt-rock band who have done their homework when it comes to 80’s alternative pop. In ‘Saltwater’ when hands are clapping and voices are ‘oooo’-ing, for example, you could imagine that you’re listening to something produced for the Pretty In Pink set. Or for people who wanted catchy music but sure as hell didn’t want it to be coming from someone that EVERYONE was in to. ‘Off The Wagon’ actually starts out with the most punk part of the album, where it sounds like everyone is playing a different song, but then they pull it together just as the lyrics start. This song actually reminds me a lot of Firehose and for me it’s the best song on the EP. ‘Singing Silently’ feels more like a current indie rock track and though it still sounds like the same band, the song feels like they are trying to modernize their sound while retaining a hold of their beloved 80’s roots.

It seems The Bare Minimum are trying to bridge the 80’s, 90’s and 2010’s and they’re doing it fairly well. The songs are catchy and toe tappable, there is a lot of swing to what they are doing but it isn’t overly memorable. Since this is their debut EP, I commend them for capturing a solid sound; the production for this album is excellent. I do feel that some work could be done on honing their song writing and making their influences into a more cohesive sound, but all in all, not a bad 10 minute diversion.

By Jason Wellwood - earshot


This is the most punk-rock thing I have heard in a while. Well, the most GOOD punk-rock I have heard in a while. There is always someone who does not know what they are doing with an instrument claiming they are bad because they are “too punk” for any sort of teaching.

The Bare Minimum from Toronto is a four piece that has absolutely nothing to apologize for. The new album (which drops 3/28) reminds me of Offspring’s album Americana yet sounds nothing like that. Deft guitar solos and a beautiful rhythm section keeps the listener engaged.

Vocally is where the comparison to Offspring is most evident. Same kind of sing-screams and harmonies. Unlike Offspring, he does not sound like his testicles are being crushed at the time of recording.

What I enjoy most about the recordings is that everything sounds like it belongs. Do I recommend this album? Very much.

I would make a paragraph saying some sort of pretentious crap about how they sound like this band from this era and whatever, but I already did something like that above when I compared them to Offspring. Really, saying something pretentious in this case is more ironic than I feel like being. This is one of the most honest recordings I have come across. - Mind the music

"Album Review: Sink To The Top by The Bare Minimum"

Canada is a punk rock band making factory at the moment. It seems like every other week I'm reviewing another band from Montreal or Vancouver or Toronto or anywhere else in Canada. This time it's The Bare Minimum from Toronto who release a brand new album named Sink To The Top on March 28th.

Sink To The Top starts with the song Loaded Dice. From the outset there is an obvious blending of the punk rock and metal genres that should make this a hard and ferocious listen. Loaded Dice is a relentless barrage of angry punk rock talking about the odds always being stacked against you when it comes with dealing with "the man." The second track, Last Call, has a great guitar riff to open the song. It got me nodding my head and tapping my foot from the beginning. The vocal delivery on the track is fast paced and adds so much energy to the track. There is a great sense of the 90s melodic punk sound that I loved so much on Last Call that it instantly makes me love the song. It's about making that make or break decision in your life that could change everything. Garbage Lungs in nowhere near as hard hitting as the first two tracks. Instead The Bare Minimum switch to a more funky, danceable beat but keeping with the heaviness of their sound. So in short, it's heavy funk - in my mind at least. This is one hell of a song that will keep you hooked from the first second to the last. The melody, the tempo, the pacing are all excellent! The fourth song is named Pyyrhic Victory. The fast paced anger and intensity of the opening two songs returns here It's a song about struggling to get over a past lover and how no matter what you try and do "Everything In Life Comes Back To You."

Sink To The Top's fifth song is named Conspiracy. With that title I'm sure you can have a guess what the track is about - conspiracy theories. It feels like the band are poking a little bit of fun at conspiracy theorists with lyrics such as "I'm Pretty Sure That The Pyramids Were Put There By Aliens, Fossils Were Found Of Man Like Amphibians." It's a fast and fun punk rock jam that will get a crowd singing along and smiling away in no time at all. The sixth song, Comfortable Cages, could be my favourite song on the album. There is an uplifting quality about the song - I like when my punk rock lifts me up (figuratively, not literally, as I'm not a fan of being crowd surfed). One verse in particular really stood out on Comfortable Cages, "When The Days Start To Feel Like Defeat, Bruised On Your Soul, Scar You Can't See, Remember The Pain, Forget That You're Free, I Only Remember That We Die." I realise that this doesn't sound especially uplifting but the way in which is delivered is near on perfect. The Only Thing You Can Keep is a shorter track that hits you like a bullet. It seemingly comes out of nowhere, hits you and is gone again before you know what's happened. Everything in this track is done at 100mph, it's just an unstoppable assault of hardcore punk rock. This is followed up by Please Sir, I Want Some More. Here The Bare Minimum revert back to a sound that focuses more on melody rather than ferocity. As much as I enjoy a fast hardcore track, I think this is where The Bare Minimum are at their very best. Please Sir, I Want Some More is about being stuck in a life that you don't want to be part of and wanting more. The lyrics "Do Not Grow, Do Not Collect, Do Not Grow, Do Not Reflect" really stood out to me.

The ninth song on Sink To The Top is Coward Heart. Sticking with the melodic style, this song made me realise just what a strong vocalist the lead singer of The Bare Minimum is. I can't think of many singers in the world of punk rock that sing anywhere near as well as this. Coward Heart is about not being strong enough to cope when times become tough. Tourist follows on and the intensity levels are raised again. This is a mosh pit inducing song if ever there was one. There is a lot of genre crossover appeal in the song as well - there's an energy to keep punk fans happy, the anger for the metal kids and I'm sure all the hardcore screamo kids will love the primal screams that happen throughout the duration of the track. The penultimate song on Sink To The Top is named Felt Like An Actor. Here The Bare Minimum really show off their ability as musicians, particularly towards the end of the song with and an extended musical outro. You think that it's all a build to one last big finale for the song but it in fact brings us to the end of the song. The final track on the album was a nice surprise with an acoustic led track. This was really something that I wasn't expecting and a brilliant change of pace. It is named History Is Small and is a great piece of sing-a-long punk rock. The type that gets you arm in arm with a stranger at a gig whilst you sing with the band at the top of your voice. I bloody love it.

Sink To The Top is another top quality album from another top quality Canadian band. The Bare Minimum have written and recorded an album with as much intensity as it has melody. It will exhaust you but also leave you wanting much more! - Colin's Punk Rock World

"The Bare Minimum – Sink To The Top [Album Review]"

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of punk. That said, I haven’t been hugely impressed with many punk releases over the last decade. Sure there are some bands who have been around for decades, such as NoFX and The Descendents, who never let their old fans down, but most promising newer punk bands end up being a let down.

If you share this same opinion, then you need to check the fuck out of The Bare Minimum. Sink To The Top is a catchy, upbeat punk rock album that does not fail to satisfy from start to finish. The sound is similar to that of older bands, such as The Bouncing Souls, combined with fresher faced punks like Get Dead. The guitars are thrashy as hell and full of some insanely good riffs played with serious speed. At times the tones and rhythms clash into a bit of a mess, most notably for me in Please Sir, I Want Some More. But whenever this is the case, the chances are you ears are being distracted by the vocals.

I could pretty much just pick out any song from the album as being a highlight, the quality is fairly consistent throughout. There some moments, most notably with The Only Thing You Can Keep, where things step up into the realms of Hardcore, but the staple sound of the band is almost always present.

One thing that really gets me going about an album is the closing songs, and Sink To The Top does things to me in that respect. Felt Like An Actor does that whole penultimate, taken down a notch thing so well, then History Is Small blasts out a sort of punk-ballad that, although the sound of the rhythm guitar doesn’t really appeal to me on its own, the whole package makes for the perfect closer.

The Bare Minimum aren’t necessarily doing anything unique here, but what they pull off is an amazing punk rock album full of great music, catchy choruses and zero let downs. And that is a rarity in the genre these days. Plus, they included a really adorable photo of a dog in the press pack (I’m assuming who belongs to one of the band members?) Totally no bias there…

Check out Garbage Lungs. If you like what you hear, you will love the full album! I can give you 100% guarantee on that (and this is coming from a realist (or a pessimist, if you’re an optimist)).

Rating: 8.1/10 - The Cauteriser


Sink to the Top - 2017
Hit After Hit - 2014
Why Isn't Allen Here? - 2012
The Bare Minimum EP - 2011



The Bare Minimum are a Toronto skate-punk band in the tradition of S.N.F.U, Propagandhi, and Belvedere with video game inspired riffs and a self-heckling sense of humour. Their wide stylistic range, from thrash ragers to acoustic scream-a-longs, is threaded together by their catchy, frantic delivery. Somewhere between irony and nihilism, The Bare Minimum subvert pop songs into meditations on bar culture, post-everything boredom, and scene politics.

Besides haunting basement bars and house parties, The Bare Minimum have played CMW, NXNE, Pouzza Fest and toured Ontario in a hilariously tiny car. ‘Sink to the Top’ (2017) is the follow up album to their debut full length ‘Hit After Hit’ (2014).

Band Members