Whenever we have friends visiting from abroad they ask us where to go to buy punk, hardcore or metal vinyl records. We thought we would write down our list of suggestions to share it with you guys.
This is by no means a definitive list so feel free to suggest more places in the comments so we can update the article (especially if you have hidden gems for other music genres).
4486 Coloniale Ave. – (514) 393-4495 – soundcentralstore.com
If you’re looking for cheap / decently priced records, this is the place to go. The store is pretty small but they have a nice punk/hardcore section, a lot of 7 inches and a couple of great hiphop records. There is also a decent amount of French classics. If you’re lucky they’ll have some kind of sale or promo. Last time I went if you got two 7inch records you got the third one for free!
In addition to that you’ll find a couple of second hand shirts and books and a couple of cd’s. Soundcentral is a good place to go for most punk/hardcore shows tickets too. They also host shows once in a while. Definitely a must if you’re around Mont-Royal (it’s even at a walkable distance from downtown).
I don’t go to Cheap Thrills that often because it’s not really close to home (you might want to check that store out when you’re downtown). However, I rarely get out of there without buying anything. I usually go there for post rock, sludge or black metal records. Although they also have jazz, avant garde, experimental and blues. They also have a little section with cheap second-hand books with a very nice collection of authors (most of my Bukowski and Vonnegut books come from there).
Definitely worth checking out. Especially if you’re downtown and/or looking for obscure questionable black metal bands or zines!
Aux 33 Tours
1373 Mont-Royal Avenue East – (514) 524-7397 – www.aux33tours.com
Let me get this out of the way. Aux 33 Tours is probably the most expensive record store in town. However, it’s also the most professional and diverse one. They have a vast collection of new or used records and a lot of new releases too. They have pretty much any genre you might need, including a lot of punk, hardcore and metal. You can also find a nice Hip Hop section. One thing I really like is that everything is ordered and clearly labelled (which isn’t always the case everywhere).
If you’re around Mont-Royal and looking for recent releases, Aux 33 Tours is the place!
207 rue Bernard O. – (514) 270-4442 – online.phonopolis.ca
Last but not lease, here is another tiny packed record store. If you get in there you’ll probably stay at least an hour to browse through all the records as they’re not really sorted by genre. You’ll need to dig to find punk and hardcore bands but you might be surprised by the gems you could score there. I found an old Dead Stop record and a couple of epic french hip-hop records from Assassin, NTM and IAM. I think they specialize more in indie, folk, world music and that kind of stuff.
If you’re in the Mile-End give Phonopolis a shot and while you’re at it, check out their neighbours Drawn & Quarterly bookstore for amazing comics and art books!
Those are the stores I buy most of my records at, feel free to drop a comment with other suggestions!