ImagePunknews is a proud sponsor of this year's Pouzza Fest taking place May 17-19 in Montreal. We know everyone is excited for bands like Braid, American Steel, Saves the Day, Me First and The Gimme Gimmes, and Crime In Stereo, but there are also a ton of fantastic lesser-known bands performing at this year's annual romp in Montreal. We've curated a small list of bands we think are worth your while. Below is a brief description of each band, their set time and a taste of their music. It was hard to narrow this down to just ten, so who do you think we should have highlighted instead? Share your thoughts in the comments.


FRIDAY, MAY 17

Bathurst

Bathurst

Hometown: Toronto, ON
Latest Release: Bathurst (Safe Haven)
Set Time: Friday, May 17 at 11:15-11:45, Quai Des Brumes, 4481 Rue Saint-Denis

If you needed to sum up the bravado and charisma of the Toronto punk scene, then look no further than Bathurst. Their energy, as seen on their self-titled record last year, is leaps and bounds ahead of an already impressive Canadian punk landscape. Expect big things from them this year. (Renaldo Matadeen)



Run, Forever

Run, Forever

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Latest Release: Settling (Tiny Engines)
Set Time: Friday, May 17 at 11:00-11:45, Théatre Ste-Catherine, 264 Rue Sainte-Catherine Est

The best 45 minutes of your Friday night of Pouzza (and maybe the whole weekend) are going to be spent at Théatre Ste-Catherine for Pittsburgh, PA??s Run, Forever. Grab your closest friends, a tall can and get ready to dance and spill that fresh beer because Run, Forever??s energized, fist-pumping, crowd-singing set is going to knock your Vans out from under you. With a 2012 full-length release, Settling (via Tiny Engines), the trio has an arsenal of gritty, charismatic anthems about everything you and me have ever experienced as we navigate our angsty youth. Never heard of them? You can download their EP here for free/donation, trust me, this is a set that??ll stand out against the rest of the festival. (Britt Reiser)



The Sky We Scrape

The Sky We Scrape

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Latest Release: Divides (Self-Released)
Set Time: Friday, May 17, 00:15-1:00, Pub St-Ciboire, 1693, rue Saint-Denis

They may just be one of the best kept secrets around. Divides was the freshest way to open 2013 and the road looks bright for this Chicago quartet. They've got something special that I can't quite put my finger on...but whatever it is, it's marvelous. (Renaldo Matadeen)



This Is Your Life

This Is Your Life

Hometown: Richmond, VA
Latest Release: Before We Fade Away (Reveille Records)
Set Time: Friday, May 17, 10:30-11:00 at L'esco, 4467 Rue Saint-Denis

Richmond, VA is, of course, well known for having a rather prolific punk scene. This Is Your Life hail from that city and are steeped in the illustrious history of RVA. The melodic hardcore band delivers impassioned performances, and catchy-as-hell songs that never skimp on either the melody or the hardcore. The band's 2012 full-length, Before We Fade Away, bursts out of the gate with energy and hooks, delivering 12 fist-pumping anthems that never let up. Not to be missed. (John Flynn)



SATUDAY, MAY 18

Careers in Science

Careers in Science

Hometown: Toronto, ON
Latest Release: Foreverwolf (Self-released)
Set Time: Saturday, May 18 at 11:45-00:30 at Pub St-Ciboire, 1693, rue Saint-Denis

With a name like Careers in Science one might be tempted to think of a band full of nerds, and to be honest, that might well be the case having never met any of the Toronto quartet. However, the one thing that these possible nerds do have in their favour is that they take a fairly simplistic but hugely effective thumping approach to punk rock and attach this to a knack for writing catchy, funny, and at times, hard hitting songs: basically a concoction that leads me to being jealous of anyone who has or will witness this band in a live setting. Dave Proctor??s vocals have a little bit of the Jeff Pezzati (Naked Raygun) about them and with the rest of the band providing an impressive musical background. For me, the Careers in Science set at Pouzza would be a no brainer if I could scrabble together the funds to travel from the UK. With a new EP recently released to follow the debut LP, Foreverwolf (my album of the year in 2012), one should expect some strong, guitar-driven punk rock and a few laughs both with and at the band. If you go see Careers in Science (and I??ve checked the schedule - the only band you might feel sorry at missing is A Wilhelm Scream) make sure you yell for "Elizabeth Brown" and ask them to ??play it for Rich.?? (Rich Cocksedge)



Diamond Youth

Diamond Youth

Hometown: Baltimore/Chicago/Richmond
Latest Release: Orange (Topshelf Records)
Set Time: Saturday, May 18 at 8:45-9:15, Club Soda, 1225 Saint-Laurent Boul

With members from prominent hardcore bands such as Trapped Under Ice and Down To Nothing, one would think Diamond Youth would fall in line with those bands?? influences. However, Diamond Youth incorporate the driving tempos of 90s alternative rock, powerpop harmonies and punk sensibility to create extremely catchy songs. Forming in 2010, the band has released two EPs and most recently, its debut full-length, Orange, recorded by Brian McTernan (Hot Water Music, The Movielife) and released by Topshelf Records. (Gregg Harrington)



School Damage

School Damage

Hometown: Toronto, ON
Latest Release:School Damage EP (My Fingers! My Brain! Records)
Set Time: Saturday, May 18 at 9:30-10:00, Piranha, 680 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest

Snotty, speedy pop-punk of the 80s Californian variety, transplanted to modern day Toronto. This will absolutely appeal to the same crowd that ate up The Briefs and freaks out to Teenage Bottlerocket, although you'll hear more Adolescents under the hood than the Buzzcocks or the Ramones. Three-piece, no bullshit punk rock the way it should be. (Adam White)



The Stereo State

The Stereo State

Hometown: Holyoke, MA
Latest Release: Crossing Canyons (Creator-Destructor Records)
Set Time: Saturday, May 18 at 11:15-00:00, L'Esco, 4467 Rue Saint-Denis

If you love sing-alongs with heartfelt lyrics and melodies, then The Stereo State are the band you need to see at Pouzza Fest. The Stereo State are a melodic punk band from Massachusetts that harken influences of the 90s punk sound. Their latest EP, Crossing Canyons, perfects their own technical, fast paced and clean sound. Catchy tracks like "Across the Susquehanna" and "American Bones" will get stuck in your head for days. Catch their set at L??Esco, you definitely won??t regret it. (Samantha Barrett)



SUNDAY, MAY 19

Pkew Pkew Pkew (Gunshots)

Pkew Pkew Pkew (Gunshots)

Hometown: Toronto, ON
Latest Release: Red Ass 7" (N.C.J.T. Records)
Set Time: Sunday May 19 at 11:15-00:00, L'esco, 4467 Rue Saint-Denis

This is the party. Toronto's Pkew Pkew Pkew, as if living up to the challenge presented by their stupid name, play absolutely riotous sets of goofy shout-along punk rock. In a weekend where plenty of beer will be flowing, this may be its debaucherous heart. If you're looking for the unabashed silly fun of early Bouncing Souls coupled with a sliver of Bomb The Music Industry's mania and a heavy dose of brazen frat boy parody, you'll find it soaking up all the liquor at L'esco on Sunday night. (Adam White)



Timeshares

Timeshares

Hometown: Oneonta, NY
Latest Release: All-in-Vinyl Series 3 Split 7 (All-in-Vinyl Records)
Set Time: Sunday, May 19 at 11:35-00 :35, Underworld, 1403 Rue Sainte ?lisabeth

The best way to end your weekend at Pouzza Fest is with Timeshares on Sunday at Underworld. I saw the band for the first time last year at Fest 11 and was actually thrown off my feet within the first three beats of their introductory jam. This upstate NY-based band entered the scene with vengeance with their first full-length Bearable in 2011 and made sure not to be forgotten with a 7-inch split with Dividers in 2012. The foursome combine catchy riffs, gruff melodies and gang-backed choruses into songs that encourage becoming best friends with everyone in the crowd, crowd-surfing and dancing. Sharing that sweaty goodness that we all love from a good set. This will be the capstone of the weekend, don't miss Timeshares! (Britt Reiser)