As the last week of February winds down, we have more news and notes to get to at the SMS, and in today's post, we have new videos from a pair of recently prolific bands, the identity of our next CD review at the site, and leading off, a local metal group's new member search! Here's what you need to know!
Winkstinger have apparently parted ways with bassist Ryan Sherman. The news was revealed on their Facebook page last night, and while the band stated that "it's time to do a shuffle, unfortunately", a direct reason for Ryan's departure hasn't been announced. Ryan joined the Battle for the Blood winners in 2010 to replace another Ryan (Disano) as their bassist, and had played at every Winkstinger show through their most recent live appearances last summer, along with the recording sessions towards their yet-released EP. This is disappointing news, but hopefully the split was amicable, and best of luck to Ryan in the future, as he's a talented bassist that would be an asset down the road! With that in mind, Winkstinger are looking for a new bassist, and have a lot of new songs to unload, so message the band on Facebook at this location if you're interested in trying out.
This could be a huge opportunity for any aspiring local metal bassists, so I encourage you guys to give Winkstinger a shout! I have no idea why they've been so quiet in recent months, but maybe a new bassist will spark the guys back onto the stage sooner rather than later, so keep this in mind, and stay tuned for updates!
Banned's new lineup, and potentially, a sign of their current/future sound? Uploaded to the band's brand new YouTube channel on Friday (no word if they're now formally abandoning Ashley Traynor's channel for new videos as a result), this is of Banned covering the Carrie Underwood song "Blown Away" at Todd's Tavern in Moran (presumably on February 16th), but how does the new lineup sound? I expected some female-sung covers now that Tara Starr's in the fold, and while Carrie Underwood seems like a jump from their classic/hard rock base, she does have a good voice that seems adaptable for varying material! New rhythm guitarist Denny Smith fits well too, but I'd like to see them play some more challenging covers. Plus, Tara needs to loosen up her stage presence a bit (though she's more active than Mike Straw was in their older videos), and the angle of the camera barely shows bassist Jim Pentland behind the one speaker.
It remains to be seen if they're going a lighter and more accessible path (a'la the original Turner Up becoming Full Circle in 2011), or if this is just some diversification given their new singer, but Banned still have a lot of visible talent and chemistry, so give their cover of "Blown Away" a look below, and no matter where they're uploaded, stay tuned for more Banned videos when they roll in!
Also in new videos, Sault Ontario grunge rockers Haggith have uploaded a pair of new studio versions of their song "75" onto their YouTube channel! Posted yesterday, the files are of the normal version (as embedded below) for their third album "Deuce", and a radio edit with muted explicit lyrics. A composition by drummer Mike Haggith & featuring backing vocals by guest performer Kristi-Lee Marshall, it's a medium rocker that fans of Haggith should gravitate to, so check out the links above and the embedded file below to hear "75"! I won't fully review it yet, as I'm still waiting for our next Haggith album review in the spring.
And finally for today, I wanted to announce the identity of this month's CD review at The Sault Metal Scene! With no new local metal/hard rock album releases that I know of (free online postings don't count), I've decided to dip into the archives for the first time since September, and for this next review, we'll be looking at defunct local hard/alternative rock quartet Aftersight's 2003 debut (and only) album "Waiting For Lightning"! As I generally like to link archive reviews in with recent concerts featuring band members, this is tied in with frontman Ed Vowels' recent gigs with his current band Lucky 13, who share a similar (albeit covers-centric) sound with Aftersight. Recent local metal/hard rock fans may not be entirely familiar with Aftersight, but they remained scatteredly active through the late 2000s with occasional concert appearances (including at the Sick Jams For Sick Kids benefit in late 2008), and their sound will be familiar to many. Watch out for this review by Thursday, and to bone up on "Waiting For Lightning", check it out online at this location!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week, including a brand new local metal act, as well as this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on The Line Drawn tomorrow! Thanks everyone!