Corey White thanks the peelers at No. Five Orange for shakin’ it to “Bonecracker”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 24, 2003

By Steve Newton

Anyone who’s spent time ogling female flesh down at No. Five Orange in the past couple of years has probably heard some of Shocore’s music. In the liner notes to the local hard-rock act’s new CD, Evilution, vocalist Corey White thanks “all the talented dancers” who use his band’s songs in their nightly sets.

“It’s funny,” the affable singer and songwriter says from his Burnaby home. “When we were touring for the last record, you’d walk on-stage and notice the crowd is predominantly males—but then there’s a covey of really well dressed, really big-breasted women standing in the corner! And apparently there was a time last year—or year before last, I guess—when ‘Bonecracker’ was like the number one dance-to song by strippers in Canada. And I don’t know how they come up with that statistic—somebody just told it to me—but hey, fair enough! Thanks to them for dancing to it.”

In addition to being the peelers’ tune of choice off Shocore’s 2001 debut CD, Devil Rock Disco, “Bonecracker” showed up on an Xbox video-game. Judging by the raucously infectious sound of Evilution, White’s band will again hit a nerve with pole straddlers and joystick boys everywhere.

“Production-wise it’s quite a bit different, a lot fuller,” the former DDT frontman says, comparing the new disc to its predecessor. “And as far as the songwriting goes, I tried to sing more on this record and rap less. Through the DDT years, and up to recently, I’ve been known for a little more rapping, and I just wanted to try something new.”

Evilution was recorded by Sho Murray—the Sho to White’s Core—at Vancouver’s Profile Studio, with Murray handling guitar and bass on most tracks.

“We have a band,” White notes, “but basically we change members quite a bit. We have a kind of open-door policy, just ’cause people have their own projects, they do other things. Basically the writing and creating of the music has always been Sho and I, but if somebody has an idea, you know, it’s like, ‘Feel free to contribute.’ But we’re still gonna work it the way we want, to make it fit our idea of what Shocore is.”

Most of the drumming on Evilution was performed by Bob Wagner, with Andy Simpson slamming the skins on two tracks. Dave Devindisch played bass on a couple of songs, and Jed Simon of Strapping Young Lad brought the six-string noise to “Skyjacker” and “Road to Destruction”.

“It was the same thing we did last time,” White recalls. “If we thought that one of our friends would be suited to play that kind of part in that sort of song, then we just phoned them up and said, ‘Hey, would you want to come down to the studio and play that part?’ So it worked out really good, ’cause we had guys like Jed Simon from Strapping come in, you know, to play some fast solo stuff—and some rhythmic stuff as well.”

Out-of-town guests on Evilution include Headstones bassist Tim White and that Toronto band’s lead singer, Hugh Dillon, who sang with Corey on “Fist Fight at Dawn”, a tune they cowrote.

“You know how people always just talk about stuff and it never ends up happening?,” White asks. “Well, we wanted to actually do something, so we just said, ‘Let’s just do it, man, and then let management figure out the logistics of it all afterwards.”

White says the last CD he actually went out and purchased with his own hard-earned cash was Waylon Jennings’s Greatest Hits, which he picked up two weeks ago. He won’t claim that Evilution offers anything as timeless as “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”, but he does have some fave tracks on the new disc.

“I like the song ‘March’ a lot,” he says, “just ’cause it’s close to the heaviest one on the record. And I like ‘Good Talk’ a lot, just ’cause it’s the exact opposite—it’s just kinda groovin’ and moves, and has that dance-y sort of feel, which I like.”

Dance-y, eh? Hmm. So does that mean that “Good Talk”—which includes an appearance by local pop crooner Holly McNarland—could take over from “Bonecracker” and become the next Canadian stripper anthem?

“I don’t know,” White ponders. “Maybe, I guess, yeah. I certainly don’t write songs with that in mind, but if there’s somethin’ that works, right on!”

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