Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Redundant EP Review!!

Here's our 112th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're taking a look at local punk Redundant's self-titled debut EP! We waited to tie this review into Redundant's return to the local stage on Thursday at the Ten Foot Pole concert (preview forthcoming), which could be seen as the EP's de facto local release party. Recorded earlier this year at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones (after earlier recording sessions dating to 2012 stalled), "Redundant" was independently released on July 17th when the guys played the final Vans Warped Tour stop in Toronto, but an online release didn't occur until August 10th. The band is represented here by their current lineup, including singer/guitarist Justin Langlois, bassist James White, and his brother Rick on drums. You can buy their debut EP for $4.95 on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon, and presumably for a similar price at their concerts, while you can stream it for free on Spotify & Apple Music.

With 5 songs running for about 15 minutes in length, this will be a short review by design, so let's take a look at the first track, "By Myself"! A very traditional skate punk song in structure, this song almost has a folksy-bent to it's laid back vocals, almost like Justin took some Inner City Surfers inspiration here. The driving guitar has a nice hook to it, and James' bass is a strong presence, and while I prefer Redundant's more intense and faster paced performances, this gets the job done for fans of contemporary punk rock, and it's a solid opener! "Miles Apart" brings the quicker aggression with a harder charging vibe that would be perfectly suited to a mosh pit if the crowd was willing! Rick's galloping drums suit this song really well, and the chorus has a nice sing-along quality, but I wish Justin had put a little more bite into the singing, as the contrast in tone is a little too noticeable. For my money, the EP's on an upward trajectory!

Third on the EP is it's shortest track, "Should've Known", which was originally performed by Justin's late 2000s punk band The Scary Uncles. After a gradual opening with members jumping in, this has a Ramones-esque structure and melody, and even a solo of sorts, which is nice to hear! The vocals are perfectly matched to the song's overall theme and melody, and everyone compliments each other well, but the song seemed to end a little too soon, almost like there was a key change that they dropped. Fun song (while it lasts) for fans of Redudnant's casual and laid back side! The last two songs are arguably the most familiar to Redundant fans, starting with "That December", which is arguably the best showcase yet for Justin's melodic vocals, and I like that they complete the "deep inside" lyric throughout the song. This has a nice catchy melody and great bass work from James, but the repetitive chorus might not be to everyone's taste, and there are better showcases for the guitar here. Overall, a solid track though!

"Redundant" closes with "What Will You Do", which is arguably the band's signature song, and which also began life as a Scary Uncles original, under it's old name "Labatt 50". The only song on the EP to exceed 3 minutes in length, this returns to more of a hard-charging punk vibe like on "Miles Apart", albeit with a tinge of country in the riff, if that's fair to say. The familiar recurrence of lyrics here flows better than on the "That December" choruses, and Justin's pseudo-solo breaks things up well, with he and the White brothers showing really good chemistry on this one. This is definitely a CD highlight and is deserving one of Redundant's best known songs!

So, what are my final thoughts on Redundant's long awaited debut EP? Well, if you've been a patient fan of theirs since their 2011 debut, this should be everything you hoped for! Redundant have always shown a great chemistry and enthusiasm in their live show, and that translates intact onto their CD, with Justin Langlois' melodic and often folksy vocals matching well with his familiar punk riffs, James' strong bass playing, and Rick's suitably rhythmic and well timed drum work. The songs here all play to their strengths, and while I personally prefer their more aggressive songs like "What Will You Do" and "Miles Apart", the guys know to keep things varied, and there's a little something for any fan of modern punk rock. There was some minor repetition, and the singing didn't always match the music perfectly, but while it lasts, this is a fun batch of punk rock, and hopefully there's more to come! Buy or stream Redundant's debut EP at the above links!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, but what's coming next month? With our logjam of recent paid album releases (demos aside) almost cleaned out, I'm tentatively planning to review Dafter, Michigan hard rock solo artist SweetKenny's newest album "Management", as released in June, though if he releases a new album this month, we may change course based on whichever is heavier. In any event, look for a new CD review next month, and for more news and updates on the site soon! Thanks everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2018

New Solo Videos, And Much More Recent News & Notes!!

In what may be our last news post before kicking off Halloween concert previews on Thursday morning, we're covering some assorted recent updates (including the three bumped from Saturday's post), plus some new videos, so let's begin with a new guitar cover from Jack Spades/Stegadeth guitarist Tiffany Stocco's YouTube channel, notably her first posting on there since last year! This is a cover of The Distillers' "Dismantle Me", and while not stated there, this has to be a teaser for her upcoming sets at THIS FRIDAY'S Halloween Party concert at The Algonquin Pub, where she will channel Brody Dalle on guitar and vocals in a one-off Distillers tribute band. For what it's worth, personal Facebook postings indicate that Tiffany will be joined by current bandmate Johnny Belanger on drums, alongside A Dire Setback frontman Chris Nielsen on guitar & Destroilet bassist Adam Larocque, and the four will also serve as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and H.I.M. tributes that same night

This news surprises me, as that's a lot of work to put in for one concert, but everyone here is very talented, and it'll be interesting to see how each tribute set looks and sounds, especially with The Distillers and H.I.M. not being regular cover selections locally. As for Tiffany's Distillers cover video, it's a fine rendition with a good tone, and fans should enjoy her take, but does she have a handle on Brody's singing too? We'll find out on Friday, but give Tiffany's guitar cover a look below!

Next up, veteran local rock drummer Jeff Stuckenbrock is hoping to return to local music and has posted a handful of videos to the Musicians Wanted Facebook group since last month in the hopes of drumming up interest in jamming with like minded performers. Two videos feature him playing on a djembe & cajon, but the other three are of him on a full drumkit, including videos linked here & here, with the longest and most recent one below. Jeff hasn't been involved in local bands in a long while, but he showcases solid skill in the videos he's shared, and it'd be cool to see him back out there in a new project! Click here for more details, and here's Jeff in action this fall!

Finally for today, here's six shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist, event, or station name:

  • The all ages Devil's Night concert at The Oddfellows Hall on October 30th (next Tuesday) has quietly been cancelled, as per the deletion of it's Facebook event page earlier this month. A reason for the cancellation wasn't announced, but public updates were slow to nonexistent after the event page went online last month. Hopefully nothing too serious happened, I know many fans were eager to see a new Oddfellows metal show again after far too long!
  • In their first Facebook page posting since May, local/Toronto Celtic punk veterans Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide revealed that they are recording new material at Mission Control Studios, and that the songs are "guaranteed to put a pep in your step." No word on if this is towards their fourth studio album or not, but recent live drummer Chris Johns is tagged in the attached photo, implying that he's taking over for Mikey Hawdon behind the kit for at least these sessions. It's been over 6 years since the last new Rising Tide CD, so hopefully the new tracks prove to be worth the wait, and see above for more details as they roll in!
  • Local power rock quintet Re:Born have parted ways with singer Robert Nevitt, as per their Facebook page on Thursday. The split is 100% amicable, with the band citing "time commitments" for Robert's exit, though the door was left open for him to guest with the band in the future. Re:Born have only played three public concerts to date, but Robert was progressing well as a frontman, and hopefully he turns up in a new band down the line! No word yet on a potential singer search, but fans of their predecessors Project 421 know that guitarist Blair Burch can handle lead vocals if need be.
  • Shaw TV Sault Ste. Marie has changed it's name to Shaw Spotlight, which appears to be a nationwide change with the cable provider's local access channels, presumably as an acknowledgement of the stations "spotlighting" their communities. Despite teasers reflecting a new Facebook page, that is for the national Shaw Spotlight networks, and is not geared only to the Soo, so I won't update our link yet. Hopefully some more local music content finds it's way to channel 10 soon, they're a quality resource!
  • I have moved local Foo Fighters tribute quartet The Soo Fighters to our inactive band links. A Cherry Crush side project, this band played twice publically last fall, but were primarily formed to play at J.D. Pearce's annual Halloween party, and have not shown any public sign of life since. The one year mark from their last public update will be on Saturday, and despite launching a Facebook page at the time, it looks more & more apparent that their run was a short term thing for the season. Don't miss Jules & the Amendolas with Cherry Crush, and hopefully we hear more from Jeremey soon also!
  • Mik & Steve guitarist/Pixo Control alum Steve Edwards is again looking for a drummer "to form an original band", preferably between 18 and 30-something in age, and who "must be committed to practicing and playing." I don't know whether this it towards an expansion of Mik & Steve, a revival of Vol., or a new band entirely, but Steve's been looking for a while, and hopefully the right drummer comes along soon! Message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from yesterday if you're interested in trying out!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soundcheck), A Dire Setback Updates, And Much More!!

(Updated at 2:18 PM) Let's get a new news post up on this Saturday morning, with the latest from a prominent Sault Michigan act, a new album of sorts from a talented solo artist, and some long awaited updates from a fan favourite punk band. Thanks to a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT after this post went online, I have opted to move our shorter story block from this original post to our next news post, so that it doesn't become overly long. Don't worry, they will return, but for now, here's that new show!

There will indeed be one hard rock concert this weekend in the Sault area, as local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will return to The Esquire Club for one night only TONIGHT! Profuse apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced via it's Facebook event page this morning, and I wanted to ensure it was covered here, as we'd otherwise have had no hard rock show previews this weekend. This will be Soundcheck's first concert at The Esquire Club in over 2 months (and since the ace was caught), but the guys will be shorthanded, with bassist Paul Belair and drummer Glen Thomas not able to join Soundcheck TONIGHT. I don't know why Paul's missing out, but this show conflicts with Glen's previously announced Peace Vibe gig tonight at The Water Tower Pub. Mustang Heart's Dama Chindamo will handle bass TONIGHT, while former Soundcheck drummer Scott McLurg (who Glen replaced) will come out of retirement to fill in behind the kit.

Long-time Mustang Heart fans know that they can handle heavier covers, and Dama's a skilled bassist himself, while it's great to see Scott pause his retirement for one more gig! TONIGHT'S show has a 19+ age limit, no announced cover charge, and a 10:00 PM start time. For hard rock fans, this is basically the only show in town this weekend, so keep this one in mind for TONIGHT, and here's Soundcheck (with Scott) live earlier this year!

Next up, here's the latest from local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback, so what have they been up to lately? After a month's hiatus from public updates following their Oh!No set, bass recording teases, and the birth of drummer Nick Kainula's daughter (congratulations!), the guys resurfaced with a few new updates on their Facebook page last week from their ongoing recording sessions towards their long awaited debut CD. One is a link to a Patreon-exclusive video featuring frontman Chris Nielsen tracking guitar parts for the album (back them there for access to that clip and more), but the other is a 9 minute Facebook video available for all to see. In this one, you'll see Chris and sound engineer Dustin Goodall battling with "tone demons" as they search for the right tone for guitar tracking that was continued on the Patreon backer video. This will be of primary interest to fans familiar with studio recording, but the guitar snippets will help tide fans over for the album, so give everything a look!

Also, local experimental/folk/metal solo musician Chase Wigmore has released his new solo album "Seven Curses" as a free stream on his YouTube channel! If you count Coyote Speedfreaks and Black Lodge Masters releases under the same umbrella, this is officially Chase's seventh album and third of 2018, but online availability isn't consistent, with some as free streams only, while he only presses physical CDs based on "quality and level of interest." In this case, he's only referenced "Seven Curses" via this YouTube posting, and it features 10 songs. For his solo efforts under his own name, this is a huge departure, as it's heavily themed around black metal over acoustic folk, but he has the guitar chops to make this work, and his harsh vocals are a nice fit as well! Black metal is still not a common local genre, but the raw aggression, samples, and creativity help this stand out, and hopefully a sale copy turns up! Give "Seven Curses" a listen below!

Finally, here's some more updates from Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night, starting with some apparent clarification to dates of this year's Christmas tour. According to a comment reply by keyboardist Craig Harrison on their Facebook group last week, they're apparently only playing November 30th in Zeeland, with December 1st (and 2nd) gigs planned for Grand Rapids, plus a December 8th show in Holland, and a Sunday, December 16th show in Sault Michigan. None of these dates have Facebook event pages, and I don't know if that apparent Soo gig on the 16th is also at Kewadin Casino or not, but if we get clarification, we'll let you know! Their website also includes this poster for the Blanchard shows, which confirms their lineup for this year's tour, and while it's mostly identical to last year's, there is one absence, namely singer Stacie McCarthy. Hopefully nothing bad happened, as her vocal harmonies with Rachel were effective, but don't miss Theatre of Night's five-piece 2018 lineup over the holidays!

Audio recordings and Patreon teasers aside (more on those soon), Theatre of Night have one more proper video to acknowledge here, as live streamed to their Facebook page on October 7th, and it features Craig tracking an ominous instrumental piece on his keyboard. Not bad for what it is, especially given it's short length, so give it a look below, and stay tuned for more from Theatre of Night (in studio and on stage) soon!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site next week! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Banned & Tym Morrison), Plus Soo's Got Talent Videos!!

With an unusually quiet concert weekend giving us no announced hard rock shows this weekend (unless something on supremely short notice comes up), we'll press on with a new news post today, including more videos from an ongoing competition, and some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS on each side of the border! Here's what you should know!

Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock trio Banned will return to The Runway Bar in Hessel for their Halloween party on October 26th (a.k.a. next Friday!) Note that Banned have not confirmed this show publically at press time, but The Runway Bar confirmed the event on their Facebook page this morning. This fan favourite band has been laying low since the E.U.P. Kewadin Casinos went "in a different direction" last month, with singer/guitarist Alex Traynor working on his burgeoning solo project and debut album in the interim (plus, ironically enough, a St. Ignace Kewadin solo gig.) Banned regularly play somewhere over the Halloween weekend, and they'll head to Hessel this year for their first gig there since February, so look for more hard rocking covers from Alex, Don, and Wayne next week! No word on seasonal frills and/or drink specials for the occasion, but I'd have to assume costumes are welcome. This should be a 10:00 PM event with a 21+ age limit and no cover charge. Visit the above links for more details, and stay tuned for more from Banned (and Alex?) as it rolls in!

Next up, Sault Ontario hard rock solo musician Tym Morrison announced a couple of new gigs via Facebook event pages yesterday, but unfortunately, neither are for this weekend. One is a stag & doe next week, and if you've followed the SMS for years, you'll know that we traditionally don't cover stag & doe-hosted concerts on here due to that kind of event's personal nature, lest strangers show up just to see the band. However, the other show is fully public, as Tym will return to the relaunched Harp Pub & Grill for one night only on Friday, November 2nd! While this is another big event as "live music begins" at The Harp, Tym is no stranger to the venue, as he played there frequently from their fall 2013 re-opening through March 2016, including on a Gliss-esque weekly arrangement for a time. It's great to see Tym back at the former Madison's Pub, so don't miss out early next month for more unplugged hard rock classics! A 9:00 PM start time is in effect for this 19+ gig, with no announced cover charge.

Visit the official Facebook event page for details on Tym's Harp return, and as for the resumption of his weekly Gliss Steak & Seafood run, Tym has hinted on his personal Facebook page that he'll be back playing there regularly next week, but I'm taking that with a grain of salt for now, given that Gliss have not formally signalled their re-opening date yet. We'll let you know when things resume for Tym's weekly arrangement at Gliss' new Spring Street home when things are firmly public!

Also, here's some more relevant video content from the ongoing Soo's Got Talent competition at The W.W. Baldwin Auditorium at The Tech, as there is a qualifying round video on the event's Facebook page featuring the aforementioned Tym Morrison! Apologies for the belated write-up on this video (well after Tym's elimination), but we didn't get widespread word on The Soo's Got Talent until the second round lead-up. I watched all of The Soo's Got Talent first round qualifier videos (available at this link), and only two have an overt link to our covered genres. One starts with then-Re:Born singer Robert Nevitt & guitarist Rick Atkins covering Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" in their qualifying round performance from August (they were eliminated in the first round), though no word if they and the absent Randy Russon have a band in the works. Not a bad rendition of this southern rock classic! The other video is embedded below, and features 11 advancing acts from the qualifying round, so who and what can you see in this lengthy upload?

These performers are singers unless otherwise credited, with song covered in brackets where available. In performance order, you'll see Michaela Lynn ("A Million Dreams" from The Greatest Showman), Allie Bouchard (Sam Smith's "Stay With Me"), Daniella Brewer (Elle King's "Ex's & Oh's"), magician Darren Emond, juggler Kyle Hicks, pianist R.J. Renner (The Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris", I believe), Lori Bouchard (Patsy Cline's "Leavin' On Your Mind), Tym Morrison playing a newer original song, Bethany Pelletier (Rachel Platten's "Fight Song", same as round 1), The St. Mary's College Singers (Cyndi Lauper's "True Colours"), and Hope Connor (Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".)  For reference sake, Michaela, Daniella, Darren, and Bethany are all still in the competition and will be competing tomorrow at The Tech as part of the third round, while Kyle, Tym, and Hope were eliminated after last week's second round.

Lots of talent to find here, especially if you're a fan of modern top 40 music, and Tym's performance is solid as well, so this video is worth a watch to see what you missed during the private auditions last month and/or the first round competition! Remember, the remaining 7 acts compete tomorrow, with all 7 returning for the finale, whether still in the competition or not, so visit the above links for complete details, and here's this batch of round 1 performers, with Tym Morrison's song at 21:25!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Toystock VII & Theatre Of Night!!)

Today's post is full of the Christmas spirit, though out of early necessity, as we have some big LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS to touch on on this snowy Wednesday evening! We also have some videos to address regarding one half of these concert announcements, so here's what you should know!

The lineup for the seventh annual Toystock charity concert has been unveiled via promoters (Choose) Maxx Entertainment's Facebook page earlier today, so what should you know? Returning to the Grand Gardens North for it's fourth straight year on Sunday, November 25th, the format is very similar to past years, with 10 bands in 10 hours playing for the Christmas Cheer cause, and with admission via new/gently used toy, non-perishable food, or money donations, hopefully lots of good will come of Toystock VII next month! One assumes that the Stuff-A-Bus, family vendors, and Santa & Mrs. Claus will be back too, but the poster doesn't go into those specifics. Unusually for Toystock, this year's event primarily features returning bands from past years, where prior installments mostly had newcomers, so who all can you see this year? Two hard rock bands are on the bill, namely local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck (who also played last year) and acoustic hard rock/jam trio The Wyld Stallyns in their Toystock debut, though Rob & Jesse played with The Elements 2 years ago.

If the order on the poster is accurate, local country cover quartet Bone Yard will headline at 9:00 PM on November 25th, in their fifth straight Toystock set and sixth overall (each event records.) Soundcheck appear to be at 8:00 PM, while classic rock veterans Obsession will play Toystock for the third time and first since 2013 at 7:00 PM. New local acoustic quartet Chunks of Manh will being their tuba-infused sound to Toystock for the first time at 6:00 PM, with local country musician Brendan Hodgson also debuting at this event at 5:00 PM. Classic rock fan favourites The Algo Rhythms will make their third Toystock appearance in four years at 4:00 PM, while a Case's Music student group will play Toystock for a third straight year at 3:00 PM. The Wyld Stallyns are at 2:00 PM, and "Jeff & Friends" are advertised for 1:00 PM, and while I am not 100% positive, I believe this refers to country artist/local radio DJ Jeff McNeice, who also played last year in Jeff & Jeff.

Finally, the 12:00 PM opening set belongs to Bone Yard's acoustic country duo side project The Bearded Lounge, who also played last year. Though 2018's bill is more centered around returning bands than ever before, it's great to see so many performers jumping on board to help Christmas Cheer, and might Soundcheck drummer Glen Thomas donate another drumkit to a lucky young attendee? This is an ALL AGES event that will surely help kick off the holiday season in fine form, so visit the above links for more details!

Next up, the dates for Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night's second Christmas tour have been announced, so where can you see them over the holidays? Locally speaking, they will end the tour in the E.U.P., including a return to the Pickford United Methodist Church on Friday, December 14th, where they ended last year's tour at. This still may seem like an atypical venue, but remember that Theatre of Night specialize in metal versions of Christmas carols, more often biblical/nativity ones, so they fit that way. This year's tour will end on Saturday, December 15th in Sault Ste. Marie, but they're moving on up from The Soo Theater last year to The Dreammaker's Theater at Kewadin Casino in two months! It's rare when a local band headlines at this venue (as opposed to The Rapids Lounge), so expect a grand orchestral night there for your holiday entertainment! The tour will begin with four shows in the Lower Peninsula next month, similarly to their tour kickoff dates last year.

Those dates include two at the Blanchard Wesleyan Church (a half hour west of Mount Pleasant) from November 9th-10th, and two at The Foundry in Zeeland (just outside of Holland) from November 30th-December 1st, so keep those in mind if you'll be in Central Michigan then. The local dates in December are ALL AGES events with 6:00 & 7:00 PM start times respectively, and while the Pickford church show has no advertised admission fee, stay tuned for word on the Kewadin gig. It's great to see another run of Christmas concerts from this talented local outfit, so visit the Facebook event pages linked here for more details! We'll close today's post with some new videos from Theatre of Night, starting with this live video filmed by keyboardist Craig Harrison for their Facebook group on October 6th, where guitarist Steve Giles is playing guitar alongside an uncredited performer playing "drums" on an iPad application. Nice and heavy, if brief and not seasonal, but worth a watch for fans!

Embedded below is another live video, this time posted on their Facebook page the previous day, which features Steve and Craig playing what they called a "random ambient jam". Filmed similarly to the other clip in a vertical angle, this doesn't have the same heavy qualities, but it's effectively done and shows Steve & Craig's skill nicely! Give these videos a look above and below, and stay tuned for more from Theatre of Night soon!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site soon, including weekend concert previews if any hard rock shows surface! Thanks everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Lightmares & The Wyld Stallyns), Soo's Got Talent Updates, And More!!

With the snow coming down, here's a new news post for your Monday afternoon, and it includes some new videos, updates to a recent music competition, and leading off, some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the coming weeks! Here's what you should know!

Local acoustic hard rock trio The Wyld Stallyns will make their Harp Bar & Grill debut on Saturday, October 27th! No word on if this show will have a Halloween theme, but this will be their first announced show since their Tom Petty tribute-themed gig at Room 21 earlier this month. This event is part of the former Madison's Pub's return to live concert bookings, under the stewardship of recent Room 21 booker (and ex-Suicide Kings frontman) Mike Gaetano, complete with a brand new Facebook page and a refreshed Pizza King menu. They've been promoting the new music schedule by saying that "live music begins", and that The Harp is "the Sault's newest live music venue", despite Madison's hosting many concerts in the 2000s, and Tym Morrison performing there regularly from their 2013 relaunch through early 2016. Clearly, The Harp isn't counting the Madison's era, and aside from Tym's shows, they didn't really host live music at the time.

Among other concerts, open mic nights, and karaoke events, The Wyld Stallyns' fan-friendly hard rock covers should go over well in two weeks' time, so don't miss the Elements side project at 701 Pine Street then! This is a 19+ concert with a 9:00 PM start time and no announced cover charge, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for more from the Stallyns and the Harp's new concert calendar as it rolls in!

Next up, another out of town band from last month's Oh!No festival in Leeburn will make their way to our area again this fall, as Sudbury punk trio Lightmares will make their Sault Ste. Marie debut on Thursday, November 8th at LopLops Lounge! Fans of the annual Oh!No fest will be no strangers to Lightmares following their sets at both installments, but now fans can see them in the Soo proper, and with their upbeat yet edgy brand of "deadly rock & roll", fans should be eager for more original action from Lightmares next month! Two opening bands are to be announced, and while fellow Oh!No acts would seemingly make sense, none from this year are opening for The Therapists next month, so it's anyone's guess. A presentation of Six, Two, Oh. in what they advertise as their 90th concert to date, this 19+ concert has a $5 cover charge and a 9:00 PM start time Visit the Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for updates!

Also today, the results are in from Friday night's The Soo's Got Talent second round competition at The W.W. Baldwin Auditorium at The Tech, and unfortunately, local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison did not advance to this Friday's third round. As per the official Facebook page, judges chose singers Daniella Brewer and Michaela Lynn, rapper Tristan "Bold Noize" Goslow, acoustic rock quartet The Primarinas, and magician Darren Emond as the announced "top 5", while blues singer/guitarist Leon "Li'l Eagle" Kyle & singer Bethany Pelletier were also advanced as wild cards. You can see those 7 acts hit the stage again for the third of four rounds of this competition, and our best wishes go out to everyone as the showdown heats up! As they did for the prior rounds, video footage of the surviving acts was uploaded to Facebook yesterday, with all but Darren in the video below (his magic performance was posted separately due to technical difficulties.)

There are some hard rock covers from the musical acts, so what should you know there? After an introduction by co-organizer Barbara Rajnovich, you'll see Li'l Eagle playing an original song (I believe), Daniella covering Evanescence's "My Immortal (at 7:25), Bethany covering Katy Perry's "Roar", The Primarinas covering Nirvana's "All Apologies" (at 15:26), Michaela covering Meghan Trainor's "Better When I'm Dancing", and Bold Noize rapping an original composition. Best of luck to the talented lineup moving onto Friday's third round, so check everything out above and below, and we'll let you know if more hard rock performances surface!

Finally, here's a surprise find from a recent YouTube search: A rare live cover song by Woods of Ypres! In the defunct local black/doom metal band's final Toronto-era concerts from 2007, they added a cover of Katatonia's "Deadhouse" to their set, including at the January 2007 Moonsorrow concert there, as documented at the time via their old message board. Frontman David Gold even stated there in 2008 that they planned to record a studio version of "Deadhouse", but if it was ever completed, it was never released, much like their earlier cover of Bathory's "Lake of Fire". A prior live video of Woods' cover of "Deadhouse" has long since been taken off of YouTube (Toronto-era live videos are rare enough already), but YouTube user ruinedcities quietly uploaded an audio recording of this very cover last month from an unidentified concert, which appears to have circulated in Katatonia cover bootlegs. The audio quality isn't great, especially for vocal clarity, but how does this sound?

Woods of Ypres seem to do Katatonia justice with this rendition, and given that it's from Katatonia's first full doom metal album without death growling vocals, this could be seen as a bit of foreshadowing towards Woods' own shift to a more melodic doom metal sound from 2009 onward. I just wish the audio quality was better, but give this rare cover a listen below, and hopefully more media from Woods of Ypres' mid-2000s concerts surfaces down the line!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Two Long Overdue Additions To Our Band Links!!

After some computer issues yesterday, we're back with a new post today, entirely devoted to the long overdue addition of two local acts (one current, one defunct) to our band links going forward! Here's what you should know!

We are finally adding local alternative folk/experimental solo artist Chase Wigmore to our full coverage on the SMS! This may be long overdue for many readers, given Chase's long association with metal artists, but Chase has recently begun recording more black metal material under his own solo banner, so any ambiguity between his solo and band material is more blurred than ever. Long time readers will recognize Chase from his guitar roles in post-2012 bands like The Strange Coyotes, This Is Your Band On Drugs, Them, Project Legion, and The Autumn Roots, plus solo projects like The Black Lodge Masters, The Coyote Speedfreaks, & Squirrelboy & The Smiling Giraffes, while you may also know Chase from frequent Blood Shed Productions appearances and some dips into concert promotion this year. After a dormant period, Chase resurrected his own solo project with a new Facebook page in July, where he has posted solo material under his own name and as The Black Lodge Masters, so what should you know there?

Following the release of his 2011 debut solo album "The Good, The Bad, and The Strange", Chase has been posting a steady array of new videos and audio tracks onto Facebook and his YouTube channel, and has released the previously announced split demo "A Couple of Degenerate Bastards" with goregrind solo project Crucify the Whore. While a few other album names and covers were teased in the summer without a visible release, Chase has recently been focusing on "Seven Curses", a black metal-influenced concept CD that has been billed as both a Black Lodge Masters album & under his own name, while also working on a "rock opera" that I believe is separate based on it's preview video being more along his usual alt-folk lines. Chase Wigmore has been a fan favourite sight for years based on his intense live show, but his guitar abilities speak for themselves, and even on a fully acoustic set, he could slide into a death metal concert with ease and put on a captivating performance.

Be sure to check out the above links to hear Chase's diverse, creative, and often improvised solo material, and the many genres it encompasses, and here's Chase playing his new black metal instrumental "Dragon Coaster", to be included on "Seven Curses"! Sounds brutal with some solid melodies, it'll be interesting to hear how this album and the rock opera progress! Stay tuned for more on Chase as it rolls in!

Next up, here's a very belated addition to our inactive band links, namely mid-2000s alternative favourites The Crossed! Like with Chase above, some readers have questioned their absence from our links before, and while other fans wrote them off as just "emo" at the time, they did partially identify as a pop punk and post hardcore band. In songs like "Paid Programming" & "Videotape The Fall", those influences were very much at the forefront, so this is long overdue. Active from roughly 2002-2007 (with occasional reunions through 2010), The Crossed's most familiar lineup included singer/guitarist Jordan Flesher (later of Cowboys & Indians), bassist/vocalist Adam Piriano (Station), drummer Pat Chisholm, and keyboardist Dan Iannelli, while their lineup circa 2003-2004 also included singer Josh McNally (Deter) & guitarist Nathan Bouliane (SleepWellCity), and I may be missing other names. The Crossed were the most popular Sault Ontario band on the old PureVolume site, and that wasn't accidental!

A very strong following in their mid-2000s peak carried The Crossed to many major appearances opening for bands like Ten Second Epic, Crowned King, and Burn The Eight Track, as well as a CD release in March 2005. While I tended to skew heavier for bands of the era, The Crossed had impressive range, with a sound that adapted to alt-rock, punk, screamo, prog, and (yes) emo with ease, and they always had a talented lineup with good chemistry, and their large crowds at The Oddfellows Hall was honestly obtained! Give The Crossed's Tripod and MySpace pages a look for surviving information and media, and luckily, there are a fair amount of surviving YouTube videos of The Crossed on YouTube, primarily from their channel and from Pat Chisholm's channel, among others. Here's a video of The Crossed playing their song "Favous" at at one of the last Club Princess shows back in 2005, and while the quality is mixed given the age, this is a good showcase of their live show and crowd engagement, so give everything a look above & below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!