In March of 1994, the only line up Edmonton, Alberta's choke would ever know was assembled for the first time. Two short months later, they played their first shows around town and began developing a strong reputation. Their immediate success with live audiences was quickly followed by the release of their first album, 'Lotion', in August of that year. The debut album and its supporting tours were extremely successful, with 'Lotion' selling out in less than six months. Ready to expand and grow as a band, the group's second album, 'Give'er' was completed and released in September of 1996. Through a period of heavy touring, playing with such bands as Trigger Happy, Good Riddance, Diesel Boy and Jughead's Revenge, choke managed to carve out an undeniably strong following in cities large and small across western Canada.
'Needless To Say' captures the intensity and depth of a band that just keeps on improving...13 angst ridden anthems that gleefully defy the parameters of modern-day pop punk...a great record that will set the standard by which the rest of Canada's punk bands will be judged.
Exclaim magazine - Toronto - March 1998
In response to their growing popularity, choke teamed up with Winnipeg based Smallman Records to release their third album, 'Needless to Say'. Arguably one of the most intense and innovative bands in Canada, choke finally had the opportunity to have their music heard nation wide. The album hit stores across Canada in January, 1998, and went on to sell out of it's first pressing of 1000 copies within 6 weeks. The album was also well received by media and radio, as it stayed on the National College Radio Charts (EARSHOT!) for four months, peaking at #15. In support of 'Needless to Say', choke played on a number of tours across North America including slots on Sno-Jam, dates with Bad Religion, and a cross Canada tour with California's No Use For A Name.
[foreword] continues the band's blinded drive into the musical abyss where nothing is as it sounds… a genre-busting combination of searing punk energy, complicated jazz signatures… and mature, insightful lyrics.
Exclaim magazine - Toronto - November 1999
[foreword], the follow up to 'Needless to Say' was recorded in late August 1999 by Blair Calibaba, responsible for recent albums by Gob, Brand New Unit and By a Thread. Touring for the new album began in September 1999, when Choke hooked up with Fat Wreckchords bands Strung Out and Mad Caddies for shows across North America. These were followed by their own sold out shows as far from home as Halifax, NS. The album met favorable reviews form small and large publications across the country hitting #30 on Chart Magazine's top 50 for February 2000 and spending 12 weeks on Earshot!'s loud Chart peaking at #2. They continued to push [foreword] on a cross Canada tour with AFI as well as North American dates on their own. In 2001, choke decided it was time to break into the USA through six weeks of exploratory surgery across the mid-west and up the east coast. There they stumbled upon a few pockets of super fans as far as Fort Walton, Fl. and Detroit, Mi, as well as more than favorable responses in all other cities. A 40 date Canadian tour with fellow Smallman Records bands Moneen and Layaway Plan, followed the American stint securing their following across Canada. They then headed to Quebec City to headline Exo-fest, a 2000 person outdoor festival. After scampering across the continent, Choke will be buckling down to write and record the next chapter of their life to begin early 2002. If the response to Needless to Say and [foreword] is any indication, 2002 should be a year in which Choke becomes a mainstay in punk music.
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