Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Blind Baby & Squirrelboy And The Smiling Giraffes

Before we get our review of the Dayglo Abortions concert on here, we have this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles! This monthly series looks at 1-2 defunct or inactive local bands (as randomly selected from our band links), so we can profile them and jog memories on their run, material, and successes for interested readers! This month marks our first two-band profile since May (as the first band didn't have enough surviving information), so we randomly picked another band, with both covering each side of the Soo border, so read on below for this month's profiles!
Blind Baby

Genre: Modern Hard Rock

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan


Tadd "Booze" Gravelle, vocals
Darian Causley (River Witch), guitar
Bill Ogston (Dirtbag In A Dress), guitar
Chris "Crib Bisque" Leask (Power Slug, Kilacel, River Witch), bass
Ivan Schliska (Scofflaw, River Witch), drums 

Info/Analysis: Originally named Stone Circle, Blind Baby were a short lived hard rock band that was active in the Eastern U.P. circa late 2009-mid 2010. Frequently seen at local bars on weekends (including The Rapids Lounge & The Bird, among others), Blind Baby played a mix of covers & varying originals during their run, but they quietly dissolved circa July 2010. Their members (sans Tadd Gravelle & Bill Ogston) formed the similar new band River Witch the following month, and took on existing Blind Baby bookings in the process, before they evolved into Power Slug (with only Chris Leask remaining) in late 2011. Though surviving online information on Blind Baby is minimal, they have 8 original songs on their Reverbnation page that I recently posted on our YouTube channel, and they show a diverse gritty sound that has a lot of softer & mellower moments! Tadd's vocals remind me of Erik Rintamaki's, and they're an interesting contrast on ballads like "Someday", but there's a lot of visible talent, and on heavier tracks like "2 Blind 2 C", they show a solid groove that hopefully carried over to their successor bands! I've embedded one of my favourites "In Spite Of You" below, but stream more at the above links!

Squirrelboy & The Smiling Giraffes

Genre: Experimental/Industrial Metal

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Members: (E-mail me at robertfigures@outlook.com if you have any additions or corrections!)

Chase James Wigmore, all instruments

(Note that the band's MySpace page credited "Squirrelboy", "Chase Cox", and "Neuroma Fay" as their respective singer, guitarist, and programmer, but this was very likely a solo project.)

Info/Analysis: Squirrelboy & The Smiling Giraffes was a rather unique solo project maintained by local solo musician Chase Wigmore from 2007-2009, operating under a creative alias & theme, which included describing themselves as "the infectious & pointless waste of human flesh" and comparing their sound to "Yoko Ono, if she was a squirrel". Their 6 MySpace songs (which are also now on our YouTube channel) include frequent use of effects, samples, sped-up "squirrel" vocals, extreme metal screaming, and solid guitar work, to create a sound that's honestly hard to describe in text. There's a lot of originality & humourous moments, but I have a feeling The Smiling Giraffes won't be everyone's cup of tea, so it depends on if you like the included elements. Myself, I appreciate what Chase did, but some songs are better than others ("Pretty Baby" stands out, for example.) Hopefully he keeps up his talents in his current solo work (which does feature & acknowledge some Squirrelboy material), and here's one of their more popular songs "Mr. Chik'n"!

I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles! So, who's up for October in this series? After random selection, we'll again be looking at two bands on each side of the border, as the first band I picked definitely doesn't have enough surviving information. With that said, next month's bands will be inactive Sault Michigan hard rock trio Elements of Madness & the former Sault Ontario comedy metal band No More Landmines, so watch out for them on or around October 10th! That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Dayglo Abortions concert review later today! Thanks everyone!

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