22.86 Centimetre Nails

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22.86 Centimetre Nails is a Canadian band—in actuality, just one Canadian guy masquerading as a band—popularly abbreviated as 2286CMN. While labelled by some critics label as a blatant rip off of Nine Inch Nails, the band has sold well in Canada. However, this may be due to a nationwide drought in musical talent, paired with regulations by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) which mandate a minimum of 35% Canadian content on the public airwaves.

Formation[edit]

2286CMN's Brent Razor: Brooding, intoxicated, falling out of shot. The alternative rock universe's everyman.

2286CMN is the product of one man, Brent Belzer, after he received notification from the Government of Canada that his federal Employment Insurance benefits were about to run out. At this point, Brent decided that real and decisive action was called for. So, he applied for welfare down at City Hall, while simultaneously trying to establish eligibility for permanent disability benefits through the provincial government.

It was during this period, in lucid moments between cases of beer and Coronation Street re-runs on CBC, that he gave serious thought to starting up a band. Not one to rush into anything too hastily, Brent considered his options for an additional 11 months until his municipal welfare cheques were about to be suspended. Then, after an all-night brainstorming session about his band—including a name, some song titles, potential album themes, logo ideas, and a new stage personae—Brent said, "That's it! I've got it!" And so he immediately redoubled his efforts to obtain permanent disability status by writing a letter to the Premier of Manitoba every other day.

When this ultimately proved unsuccessful, Brent reluctantly compiled all of his government correspondence, fortified and distilled them with all the rage and hate he could muster, and penned the lyrics to an entire album's worth of material. However, being Canadian, the mood and edginess of the material was somewhat lacking with the tone varying somewhere between mild annoyance and genuine bewilderedness. However, with the invaluable assistance of fellow Canadian and producer Bob Rock, "Frickin' Government Pinheads" was released to mild critical acclaim.

Sound[edit]

Music journalists have pissed away entire forests worth of pages, debating the influences that comprise the 2286CMN sound. Amongst the most widely published:

   
22.86 Centimetre Nails
Imagine Gordon Lightfoot strolling through a majestic field of wheat, then violently chewed to pieces by a John Deere combine, and you have some idea of the 2286CMN signature sound...
   
22.86 Centimetre Nails
~ Shanda Lear, Moosejaw Daily Droppings
   
22.86 Centimetre Nails
Brent Razor [real name: Brent Belzer] is a new twist on old-school. If Ann Murray dropped barbiturates, then started plucking her Snowbird's feathers out one at a time, on some urban thoroughfare undergoing major construction with loaders, Bobcats, jackhammers and concrete saws—we'd have something akin to what 2286CMN produces on this new album.
   
22.86 Centimetre Nails
~ Dick Hertz, Saskatoon News & Views
   
22.86 Centimetre Nails
Now seriously, is this really industrial music, or just some lazy-assed bum bemoaning the non-fruits of his non-labours while his employed buddies renovate his basement den into a bar, lounge and home theatre, with an assortment of noisy power tools? No, really. Tell me, because I don't know.
   
22.86 Centimetre Nails
~ Eve Hill, Winnipeg Wiccan Weekly

Themes[edit]

Most, if not all of 22.86 Centimetre Nails are protest songs, decrying social injustices—perceived or actual. Amongst the recurring tirades:

  • Rising food prices
  • Laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sundays
  • Too many weeks of full time employment required to be eligible for Employment Insurance
  • Decreases in the wild Ptarmigan population / expensive hunting licenses
  • Long lineups at the free clinic

However, some of the more recent albums contain hints of real joy, albeit alcohol induced.

Discography[edit]

Year Title Chart peak positions Album
US US Mod AUS AUT CAN DEN FIN IRL SWE UK
1989 "Loan Me A Loonie" 112 Frickin' Government Pinheads
1990 "Them Bastards Cut Me Off" 98
"Me Like Hockey" 24
1992 "Frickin' Ice Hole" 9 Gun Control = Fun Control
"A BB In The Head" 59
1993 "Uh, How's It Goin', Eh?" 22
1994 "O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial Police)" 3 The Moose Is Loose
"My Coleman Got Stolen" 2
"Hurt (Feels Like The Clap)" 196
"Let's Drink Until You're Pretty" Molson Canadian Beer Commercial
1995 "Got Pogey? Let's Party!" 1 Dole
1997 "Lemme Bum A Toonie (I Need A Pack of Smokes)" 28 I'm Just Here Cuz My Welfare Worker Said I Had To Be
1999 "They Always Triple-Book At This Clinic" 21 Brutal
"Like, Who Stuck Their Cigarette Butt In My Beer? (I Wasn't Finished, Eh?)" 7
2000 "Beer, Back Bacon, Beauty" 33
"I'm Afraid of Americans" 43
2001 "Toronto Sucks, The Leafs Suck, You Suck" 11 TO Thinks It's NY
2005 "I Chainsawed The Mayor's Office" 1 Jail Sure Beats Rent
"What's A Guy Gotta Do (To Get Disability)" 4
2007 "Let's Build An Igloo (The Eviction Song)" 2
2009 "Whaddaya Mean Pemmican Is Whale Blubber?" 1 Let's Get Hosed
"I Bought The Last Round, You Hosehead" 39
2011 "Where The Hell Did We Park?" 14 DUI
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Future[edit]

Brent Razor is reportedly hard at work on the next studio album, tentatively called "More Songs About Beer And Snowmobiling". For the first time in group history, it will contain substantial contributions and brief cameos by other artists, all claiming to be 2286CMN fans.

The first confirmed collaborator will be was to be Amy Winehouse, though recent sightings of John Frusciante around the studio is fueling speculation that he's fallen off the wagon again.

Phil Spector was slated to guest produce, but his freedom availability has since changed, making this likely yet another self-produced Razor outing.