Friday, May 13, 2011

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: The Harsh Heads

Our post marathon continues today, and leading from this afternoon's Destroilet EP review, this month's latest Defunct Local Band Profile actually features a Destroilet member from one of his old bands! Is it fitting for Friday the 13th, or just a coincidence? As always, this band was randomly chosen from our extensive local metal and hard rock band links, with NO biases towards success, genre, membership, talent, or personal preferences. So before we hop to Sault Michigan for a profile next month, here's this month's defunct profile! (Edited on July 29th, 2012)
The Harsh Heads

Genre: Hardcore Punk

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Members: (If there are any errors or omissions to the band's lineup, let me know!)

John Conway (Destroilet, The Billy Bastards), vocals/bass
Bob Bromley Jr. (Gatgas, A-Null Seepage), lead guitar
Hugh Merz, rhythm guitar
Aaron Gibbs (The Billy Bastards), drums
Audio/Video: The Harsh Heads may have broken up 16 years ago, but there is still some media to share! The band recorded two unreleased demos in the mid-1990s, but the band members sat on the recordings until around 2005, when John Conway & Aaron Gibbs packaged the demos into the posthumous CD "First Hated, Then Forgotten", which was then given a free physical distribution. Personal inquiries can probably score you at least the mp3s from this now out-of-print CD, but if you want to check out the songs now, visit the SMS' YouTube channel, where I have uploaded the whole album! Just search for "Harsh Heads" and you'll find the tracks! For video footage, all I've found is this clip from an early 1990s local public-access TV show, which features an interview with Hugh Merz & Bob Bromley Jr. & concert footage from a Club Princess show! I uploaded it to the SMS, but here's the original video, straight from The Billy Bastards' Photobucket page, so give it a look below!

Info/Analysis: The Harsh Heads were active in the local scene from 1991 to 1995, playing numerous concerts in Sault Ontario during that time in venues ranging from The Canadian Nightclub to The Windsor Hotel. Sharing the stage with many well respected bands from that time, the band had some notable successes during their run, including some TV exposure & a victory at a major local battle of the bands in 1995 not long before their breakup. Aside from the posthumous distribution of their 1994-1995 demos in 2005, The Harsh Heads have long since ended, though John & Aaron still play together in the country punk outfit The Billy Bastards. I was way too young to have enjoyed The Harsh Heads in their heyday, but from what I've heard, they had a ton of energy and aggression, playing a fast paced and balls to the wall style of hardcore punk not unlike John's later Destroilet work! John's rapid fire yelling suits the material, and the band, though not playing to impeccable standards, put forth a lot of attitude and heavy moshable material that should entertain punk & metal fans! If you don't wanna read my review of their album, note that The Harsh Heads played this stuff the way they wanted to, and it clearly shows! Definitely check out their material at the above links to enjoy a blast from the old school hardcore past!
There we go, I hope you all liked this month's profile! Makes me wish I was my age now in 1991, not 2011, so I could enjoy bands like The Harsh Heads in their prime! Next month, we'll return to Sault Michigan for our next Defunct Local Band Profile, but which band is up for a profiling? After a completely random selection, we've picked a huge band for next month, as we'll profile defunct local classic hard rock band Bad Side! How's that for a quality random choice for the series? Watch out for our Bad Side profile between June 6th & 12th! Now, stay tuned for a new news post later today, along with our Gravity Crash profile, the March Mayhem winner, our Going Underground review, and much more this weekend! Thanks everyone!

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