Friday, February 28, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Lucky 13) & More Of This Weekend's Metal/Hard Rock Concert Previews!!

In another busy local concert weekend at the SMS, we're actually gonna have to bring this to a third post to cover all the hard rock shows due to another SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, so with that in mind, I'll postpone our preview of tomorrow's Slopefest 2014 to a second post later today along with some other news items (unless a recent note concerning a member departure leads to their withdrawal, but we'll elaborate on that tonight.) Check out the post below for our first of the weekend previews, and now, let's tackle the next hard rock shows this weekend!

Local alternative/hard rock quartet Lucky 13 will return to The Rockstar Bar for a one-nighter TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this concert was only just announced on Monday via it's Facebook event page, though I only first heard about it yesterday. After an off weekend, this will be the third weekend out of five to feature Ed, Jeremey, Jeff, and Roger at The Rockstar Bar for at least one night, so things must be going well for their recent Algonquin Hotel appearances, and hopefully their gritty alt-rock covers get a solid turnout once again! Note that they're not playing tomorrow night due to the previously announced Suicide Kings show that we'll touch on next. Admission should be about $5 for this 19+ show, and a 10:30 PM start time is advertised. For more details, check the above links! Should be a solid night of entertaining hard rock covers, so don't miss Lucky 13 at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT, and for a preview, here's the guys covering a pair of songs at the first Toystock!

Moving to previously announced concerts, the aforementioned Suicide Kings will return to the site of last year's battle of the bands victory when they rock The Rockstar Bar TONIGHT for their own one-night-only appearance! Last seen at The Marquee at Bon Soo two weeks ago, this will be their first stop at The Rockstar Bar in almost six months, so tomorrow's show has definitely been a long time coming, but sadly, they'll be sans bassist Mitch Sirie tonight, as per their Facebook page yesterday. Though the band gave a joking reason for his absence, his personal page confirms that he has an ear infection, and I know how painful that can be, so get well soon, Mitch! According to guitarist Steven Flint's personal Facebook page last night, his and drummer Ben Boudreau's Punch bandmate Daniel Horton will fill in for Mitch tonight, and knowing their chemistry, Daniel will be a solid fill-in, so fingers crossed everything goes great in honour of frontman Mike Gaetano's 30th birthday!

Likely The Suicide Kings' last show before they open for Anvil at The Canadian on March 15th (remember, they replaced Pillory on the lineup last month), these local hard rock favourites will be on at 10:00 PM tonight, a $5 cover charge is likely, and you must be 19 to enter. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Hopefully the remaining Suicide Kings & Daniel paint it red as advertised with their hard hitting originals and covers, so don't miss out, and for a preview, here's the guys at the last year's battle!

Closing this preview post are some two night runs in the area, including the return of Charlevoix metal trio Peril to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Their second concert weekend of the month at a regional Kewadin Casino branch, these will be Peril's first St. Ignace shows in almost two months, and as they won't be back to the U.P. until May, why not consider a run down to see Jeff Hudson and company tear through some classic metal covers this weekend? Like usual for Peril, this weekend's shows have 21+ age limits, no announced cover charge, and 9:00 PM start times. For more details, visit the above links! It's always nice to see Peril back up in our area, so be sure to check out their diverse metal attack TONIGHT & TOMORROW, as they always bring a good time when they play at one of the Kewadin Casinos! For a preview, here's the guys live in Vanderbilt in 2012!

Finally for this post, Sault Ontario all-female hard rock quartet The Danger Cats will make their official Docks Riverfront Grill debuts TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Fresh off a successful set at last week's Late & Loud reunion show, these won't be the girls' first experience at Docks, having been a surprise guest at a Stiffler's Mom gig there in October, but now the spotlight is theirs in the Docks' Playroom performance area, so don't miss their ever improving originals and covers this weekend! Remember, these will be just their second and third shows since ex-singer Summer Snow-Leopard's departure, but if the reception they got last weekend is any indication, their current lineup shouldn't have much to worry about over the next two nights! Admission is FREE both nights, you must be 19 to attend, and 10:00 PM start times are advertised. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, definitely think about checking out The Danger Cats this weekend, and here are the girls at The Algonquin Pub last year!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our SlopeFest preview and more TONIGHT! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe EP Review!!

It's now time for our 56th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene (and second of the year), and this month, we'll be taking a look at the self-titled debut EP from local/London instrumental metal solo project The Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe! Suddenly released in December, this album is a collection of some of their best and recent original material from between 2011 & 2013. Self-recorded and produced, the Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe is represented by guitarist Matthew Parr (who also supplies drum programming), while Ree Zheng is credited as providing guest vocals on the first track. A short EP with just 7 songs at 20 minutes in length, this EP is only available digitally via their BandCamp page on a "name your price" model (similarly to Insipid Brutality & The Strange Coyotes' albums), so while you can download it free, buy the whole thing to support Matt's work! Also, each song title below is linked to it's direct BandCamp link. Now, let's begin this month's CD review with a look at the first song!

Named "Chugga Chugga Woo Woo", this is the H.M.M. EP's shortest song at just 33 seconds in length. The title is screamed by guest Ree Zheng on two occasions, but the rest is a short djent metal original that has a nice technical crunch to it that reminds me of bands like Meshuggah, but it's too short to stand on it's own as more than just a preview of later songs on the EP. "All Roams Lead To Roads" follows it as a longer and more substantial start to this album, maintaining a slower but still heavy pace with it's djent/technical metal sound. More melodic with the guitar work, Matt's skills are on nice display here, and the drum programming adds well to everything! If anything, this song is also shorter than it could be too, and it ends somewhat abruptly, but it's got more of what you'd expect musically, and his guitar skills are very hard to question!

Third is another brief track, the 0:49 second version of "Backpack", which has a lower groove that gives this song a darker and more driving feel, but just when it seems to be gaining traction, it fades away out of nowhere. I would have been curious to see where "Backpack" went had it been longer, but as it sits, it's also too short to stand alone despite how well it was doing. Fourth is "Whatever", which makes the most of it's added length with some extra dramatic flourish and quality djent riffing, but for almost the whole time, the song felt like it was bridging to vocal verses that weren't there, and at times, the song was slightly repetitive. Maybe throw in more of a guitar solo? Matt's guitar skills are still on solid display, the drum track fits, and the ending made sense compared to the song's structure, so it's definitely a highlight mid-way through this EP!

Song #5 is "Summit", which has a more upbeat heaviness while still employing the chugging djent riffs, and I really like the faster riffing and groove in the middle! This song doesn't rock the boat from what we experienced earlier, but the progressive metal attack flows well, and as there's similar satisfaction from the prior tracks, it's hard to say too much bad about it! If anything, the ending comes from out of nowhere again, but "Summit" is definitely one of this EP's better tracks! That's followed by an untitled track (co-written by ex-Crimson Crusade guitarist Brock Pinder) which is also the longest on the EP, and it opens with a melodic waving guitar riff that helps separate it from earlier tracks, before unleashing into a hard charging riff with more of a general melodic sound with djent riffs more muted. I like the variance here to separate it from it's surrounding songs, and the added melody is welcome (including the closest yet to an actual guitar solo), but it's unclear how much Brock's input gave to the differences. Myself, I think I prefer the longer djent tracks, but I welcome the change!

The H.M.M. EP closes with the second version of "Decadent & Depraved", which starts with a soft building intro that's led by the programmed drums (which sound good, but are the only time on the EP that they sound fake.) In fact, the whole song takes on this low and more reserved tone, and it strikes me as a song that would be a drummer showcase if there was one, as the guitar work and melodies are too laid back and muted to have a large impact. Overall, it's a well composed song, but it doesn't end the EP with a bang, and it's somewhat anticlimactic. So, what are my final thoughts on the Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe's EP? I think it's a very promising first foray into album releases from this very talented local guitarist, and if Matt Parr can build on what he did here, he'll be a guitarist to watch no matter where he's based out of! Djent isn't a style we've gotten a lot of in the Soo, and he handles the chugging progression of it very well on his originals, putting time signatures to solid use, and his drum programming was solid!

However, the H.M.M. EP did have repetitive stretches, too many songs with abrupt endings, and the two sub-1:00 songs felt like unfinished tracks left in for the final product. Also, guitar solos would have been nice to contrast everything, and I am curious to hear how this material would sound with a full singer and/or bassist. It should be noted that earlier this month, Matt moved back to his hometown of London, and that's a loss of a diamond in the rough for the Soo, as he has real gifts as a guitarist, and I hope he can get into a band and take his skills and The Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe to the next level! As it stands though, this EP is a successful toe in the water for his album release output, so pick it up at the above links, and hear more newer material at this link! As for our next CD review, we might actually have to review an archive CD next month for the first time since last April due to a dry slate of major new hard rock/metal albums (unless I get a copy of Telephone & Address' EP in the next few weeks), but a few heavier bands with album sessions in the works are playing live next month.

If I don't have a brand new metal/hard rock album available for review by the end of next month, I'm leaning towards a long overdue review of Woods of Ypres' "Allure of the Earth" vinyl single from 2009, but I'll note that regardless of if a new album from them comes out in March, we won't review a new album from either Mike Haggith or SweetKenny, as it's too soon from our last CD review of theirs, but both are likely for the spring, and Woods will be out if another performer with an archive metal album that we haven't reviewed plays locally next month. Regardless, stay tuned for our next CD review next month, and for concert previews TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Nudge & Griphook) And The First Of This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

We have another busy concert weekend on the horizon, so I've been forced to break this weekend's hard rock/metal show previews up into two posts. We'll tackle late notice announcements, tomorrow's Heavy Thursday, and one Friday nighter below, and we'll get to the rest of the Friday-Saturday shows tomorrow, so if it's not addressed here and it's heavy, it's coming! Let's start our first of the weekend previews with some SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

Marquette hard rock favourites Nudge will make their first local concert appearances of 2014 TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT when they return to The Satisfied Frog in Sault Michigan! Apologies for the short notice, I only just heard about these shows on Tuesday. Last seen there over 4 months ago, it's awesome to see the guys back in the Eastern U.P. for another weekend of hard hitting covers, so definitely keep these shows in mind for this weekend! Note as well that this weekend's shows will feature returning drummer Eric Schlumpf (who replaced Scott Kusmirek earlier this year), while frontman Danzo McCracken's Thursday solo acoustic set returns TONIGHT to The Frog as well, which should be fun if you're up for a softer night of music! Nudge's return shows this weekend have 10:00 PM start times, 21+ age limits, and no announced cover charge, so click here for more details, don't miss Nudge's first 2014 local stops THIS WEEKEND, and for a preview, here's the guys covering Ugly Kid Joe in Gwinn!

Also in new concert announcements, Sault Ontario classic/hard rock quartet Griphook will return to The Roosevelt Hotel for two shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT as well! Apologies for the short notice, these gigs were only just announced on Tuesday. To be Griphook's second concert weekend with new singer/guitarist Joel Syrette (ex-100 Gran) following his addition to the band in December, it's nice to see this talented veteran band back at it after an almost 2 month break, and hopefully there's a solid crowd both nights at The Rosie this weekend for their diverse and often heavy covers! Admission should be free this weekend, you must be 19 to attend, and there is a 10:30 PM start time in effect. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a good time this weekend, so if you've missed Griphook in recent weeks, be at The Rosie tomorrow or Saturday! For a preview, here's the band last year covering AC/DC!

Moving to previously announced concerts, the third installment of the new Heavy Thursday series at The Roosevelt Hotel goes down TONIGHT, and after a week off to focus on promoter J.D. Pearce's Late & Loud reunion show on Friday, things are back in full force with a punk-themed night of action that will see local guitarist/drummer Rick White play in all three bands in his first show at The Rosie since August! Metal fans will get their fix with the return of metal/punk cover quartet T-Rex Manning in their first live date of 2014 (and first with Rick on drums since May), and their fun and explosive sound should be welcomed back to the stage tonight, so don't miss them! The other bands include resurgent local punk trio Redundant (4 time veterans of the original Rosie metal night series) in their first Rosie stop since last summer, while Rick's new old school punk quartet Fist Fighting Stephen Hawking will make just their second live appearance tonight, and with a lineup also including punk veterans Jeff De Rose, Clint Wilson, and Ryan McLaughlin, there should be a lot of good things to come from them!

A $5 cover charge is in effect for this 19+ concert, and everything starts at 10:00 PM TONIGHT, so for more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a fun night of live music for you punk fans, and with a dash of metal to boot, so don't miss the third Heavy Thursday TONIGHT, kudos to Rick for this triple threat event, and for a preview, here's T-Rex Manning (as "The Fiend Brigade") covering The Misfits last year!

Finally for today's previews, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will continue his weekly concert arrangement at The Harp Pub & Grill for a lucky thirteenth installment TOMORROW NIGHT! Now back in his usual Friday night placement for a second straight week, this currently sits as Tym's last scheduled night of his current acoustic show/jam night run at the former Madison's Pub, but he tends to announce shows on his website's calendar a month at a time, so I would expect announcements of his 14th-17th dates in March for this arrangement in the near future. Whether you're a fan of Tym's prolific covers or a prospective jam night performer, everything should start at 10:00 PM tomorrow, you must be 19 to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. For more details, visit the above links! This should be another entertaining night of talented and proficient covers from this noted hard rock favourite, so keep it in mind for your Friday night plans, and here's Tym covering Metallica live at Bossy's!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's CD review either today or tomorrow, and the rest of this weekend's metal/hard rock concert previews tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Chainbreaker

It's now time for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, our second-last monthly feature post of the month! As usual, this monthly feature series looks at a metal or hard rock band that, though not based locally, has a Sault Ste. Marie area native in any of their lineups from the past or present, so that local readers and fans can learn more about them and check them out! This month's selection is very new, but with an EP already out, I thought it'd be a good time to tackle them, so read on below for this month's profile! (Updated on November 27th)
Chainbreaker (Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics. This information is incomplete. E-mail me at if you have any additions or corrections!)

Rob Ouellette (vocals)
Ian "Chains" Kilpatrick (guitar)
Curtis Faux (bass)
Al "Artillery" Biddle (drums)

Official Facebook page:
Official Bandcamp page:
Local Info: Bassist Curtis Faux is bound to be a familiar sight for many local metal & punk fans from both past local bands and his more recent Toronto work, joining the two in the inactive hardcore punk quartet Detroit in the late 2000s! Curtis and Detroit frontman/fellow Saultite Brenton Ellis have been longtime bandmates as well, joining forces in projects like The Labour Of..., The Sexual Vigilantes, and (most recently) cult Toronto favourites Maximum RNR, while you may also recognize Curt from a long stint as a guitarist with Toronto stoner rockers Sin Dealer, and currently with the garage rock outfit The Cola Heads. When not playing live with Maximum RNR, look for Curtis' newest project Chainbreaker in Southern Ontario!

Band Bio: Formed late last year, Chainbreaker united members of prominent Toronto bands like Maximum RNR, Cauldron, and Burn To Black into a new speed/thrash metal quartet, with the new band quickly releasing their debut EP "Constant Graving" on cassette and digitally last month. Chainbreaker made their live public debut on January 4th at the Izakaya Sushi House, later opening for guitarist Ian Chains' other band Cauldron last Friday at Sneaky Dees, and playing shows alongside bands like IDNS and Bat throughout 2014. More dates and material are sure to be in the pipeline, so be on the lookout! I don't usually feature such a new band in this series, but after playing live and releasing an EP already, I couldn't pass up the chance, so what can you expect from Chainbreaker? A blistering thrash attack, and if they keep on the same path as on "Constant Graving", they'll be a band to watch in the mid-2010s! Solid heavy groove and nice production abound on their studio tracks, Rob Ouellette's vocals (which sound punk influenced) suit the material, and Curtis' bass work compliments everything pretty well!

It'll be interesting to see how far Chainbreaker go (and if they come up here for a show), but check out their studio material and EP at the above links, and there is one live video of theirs on YouTube from their second show! Shaky camera, but it's effective to capture their sound, so check it out below!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we'll be looking at The Howling Bullets, the Toronto horror hard rock band featuring Sault native Dan Gingras (a.k.a. Dano Villano) on lead vocals & guitar, and some of you may recognize him as Frightlight bassist Mike "Eddie Fright" Gingras' brother! Watch out for that on or around March 26th, and stay tuned for weekend concert previews and this month's CD review soon! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Facebook Concert Videos From Heavy North Entertainment!!

Today's post is devoted to some new Facebook video postings from new local concert promotion agency Heavy North Entertainment, who recently shared some short videos from a recent private event and a house party gig from last year on their Facebook page! We'll start with the "Grinded Live In Your Ears" house party event that Blood Shed Productions hosted last summer on the night of the third Sewer Swampstravaganza on August 10th, as H.N.E. owner Tyler St. Amour's brother Travis (a.k.a. Bring The Fallen's drummer) was on hand to film some videos, including one of surprise late performers Warsenal! The Montreal thrash trio had just headlined the Swampstravaganza at The Oddfellows Hall, and it was cool of them to head to this event as well, which looks like it went well! That said, the video is in the vertical cell phone angle, and the lighting's very red & green, but the quality's decent otherwise, so check out Warsenal's speed metal fury below!

Next up, and also from Travis' filming from that show, is this 57 second clip of local/Central Algoma death metal quartet Crimson Crusade's set! It's of the same visual quality as Travis' Warsenal clip, and while I can't remember the song name offhand, this is a solid look at one of Crimson Crusade's more recent sets! While we're on the subject, I should address their status (especially as they haven't played live in three months), so where have they been? A band member confirmed in a comment reply on their Facebook page on February 10th that they've been "on a hiatus" since November, and while a reason for the break wasn't given, they will let fans know when/if they start jamming again. For reference, the comment was to answer a question from Re-Born frontman Austin McRae on if they'd want to play a yet-announced Oddfellows Hall concert for Heavy North Entertainment next month, but this show hasn't been otherwise elaborated on publically.

Regardless of if this is a rest or if it will lead to the band's second breakup, this is definitely disappointing for Crimson Crusade fans, especially knowing the traction they'd gained in the past year! Hopefully things are amicable in their camp though, and unless most of the band joins new primary bands (or they firmly say they're done), we won't consider them an inactive band on the SMS, as a hiatus can last anywhere from a few weeks to forever. Fingers crossed we see the guys back soon though, check out this "new" video below, and stay tuned for updates on the teased Oddfellows show next month!

We'll close this post with new videos from a private Blood Shed Productions event at (I believe) the same location, this time from this past Friday. There are more videos than these on Heavy North owner Tyler St. Amour's personal Facebook page, but I'm just sharing ones that are completely public via the H.N.E. page. One is this 94 second clip of local goregrind duo Rotopsy at the event, and it's consistent with earlier videos of theirs, but like before, Dylan Taylor needs to diversify his growls, and the minimalist nature might not be for everyone. The camera's in a better angle though, and while there are some focus issues (and the angle's mirrored), fans should enjoy this, so check it out below!

Finally, here's a new video of Rotopsy bassist/Blood Shed owner Tyler "Ringsnaps" Gibson's solo project Crucify The Whore playing their original "Bunk, Shake, and Headache"! Barely crossing 100 seconds, this sadly reverts to the vertical camera angle (and has similar mirroring/focus issues as before), but it's a solid rendition of this goregrind track, which has became a favourite among C.T.W. fans! I like the crowd enthusiasm too, nice to see, so give this other new Blood Shed Productions clip a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Danger Cats Lineup News, The Full Bon Soo Marquee Schedule, And Much More!!

As we continue clearing out backlogged news stories the SMS, this post is full of stuff we've missed over the past week, including the full schedule from Bon Soo's outdoor stage, a lineup change for a rising local band, and much more, so read on below for what you need to know! (Updated on Tuesday at 5:38 PM)

Firstly, here's a lineup confirmation for local all female hard rock band The Danger Cats, as they have indeed parted ways with singer Summer Stevens, a.k.a. Summer Snow-Leopard. According to members Kate Kougar and Paula Panther in recent Facebook e-mails, Summer left for medical reasons, but while I'm not at liberty to go into further details, her departure is 100% amicable. There wasn't a public confirmation of her status until just the last few days (hence the confusion by her absence from band photos), and while she had missed a few dates last fall while out of town, she did return for their X-Mess set at LopLops in December. Disappointing news, and she has a nice voice, but hopefully Summer gets better soon! As you saw on Friday, Kate is now handling most lead vocals for The Danger Cats, though both Paula and bassist Jamie Jaguar do a few songs too at their shows, and after their great reception at The Rockstar Bar that night, hopefully they get similar results this weekend at Docks, so stay tuned for our previews of those shows later this week!

Next up, I wanted to acknowledge the full schedule for the Bon Soo Winter Carnival's Marquee, their outdoor performance stage at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion. I know we're very late for this, but I wanted to share a full copy of the schedule so you guys can see the full performer lineup, as the only public schedules were given out at Bon Soo and weren't posted online. In terms of the days with metal bands, you can see that the only actual bands on the Wednesday were The Suicide Kings & new punk quartet Fist Fighting Stephen Hawking, while Jack Spades' set on the Friday followed the still unknown Foreign A Chord and sets by members of The Salty Mollies. Also, this schedule copy shows that the SooToday press release about The Marquee only listed performers on the last four days, and of them, a plugged set by former Chronic Demonic singer Sabrina Strange did not make the final schedule (unless she performed with someone or under an alias.) For earlier days, you can also sense themes, like many indie/folk bands on the 8th, while the Monday schedule lacked any musical performers.

The Marquee's schedule also didn't show performers Maria Parella or the Davey Dance Company that were on other advertising at Bon Soo, while some of the short-formed names didn't detail the performers a lot (i.e. "EMP" are The Enigmatic Monster Project writing collective, and "Mitch Acoustic Set" was a set by performers Mitchell Nielsen & David Williams.) I appreciate that there were schedules available at Bon Soo, but for next year, Marquee organizers really need to expand their social media presence and get schedules online and in the program (a'la Rotaryfest's advertising for their stages.) Fingers crossed, but give the full schedule a look above!

Finally for today, here's eight assorted shorter news stories from the last while, as we're badly overdue for most of these. Like usual, these items are in alphabetical order by artist or company name:

  • These Sins of Time frontwoman Alexa LeClair is looking for a drummer for a rock music project, though it's unclear whether it's to replace Ben Boudreau in T.S.O.T. or for a new band. If you're interested in trying out, message Alexa at this link or via her Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from last Tuesday. She's a very good singer, we'll have to see where this goes!
  • Garden of Bedlam's song "Around The Bend" is featured in this new video for the Algoma Autism Foundation, which is a nice surprise for this well done clip! Fittingly co-produced by drummer Derek Turner, the softer song fits the mood, though sections with lyrics aren't included, probably as the original song's not about autism. Note that the video's host doesn't allow external embedding, but give it a look at the above links!
  • According to their newest Facebook page post, local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades' upcoming debut EP will be mixed by Cross Dog bassist/prolific local musician Mark Rand! Vocal recordings have just finished, and the tracks will be sent to Mark after some additional tweaking. This marks the second local metal CD that Mark is mixing (after AlgomA's "Reclaimed By The Forest"), and I can't wait to hear how things turn out! Stay tuned for updates!
  • Frightlight bassist Mike "Eddie Fright" Gingras was interviewed by SooToday's Donna Hopper for this article posted on Thursday concerning his short film "The Kid Who Made The Face", which will be screened at The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival in April! A local screening in March is planned (alongside a film by AlgomA's Boyd Rendell), while the article plugs the fundraiser show for Mike's short film that took place last summer at The Rosie. Great interview, give it a look above!
  • I have switched the link for defunct band management/promotion company New Era Design & Developments in our Other Local Metal Links section to an updated link, as the link we previously had is now "frozen" according to it's hosting company, though the new link is very similar (if not the same) to the old page. Owned by Derek Pearce, the company once worked with Stillbroke, but focused it's early 2010s work on digital media.
  • A new setlist from Sault Michigan metal band One Hour Till Dawn (formerly The Eleventh Hour) was posted on their Facebook page on February 15th, and it includes covers of bands like Pierce The Veil, Wolfmother, Atreyu, and The Strokes, among others. Interesting mix, hopefully they can get off the ground where other young Sault Michigan metal bands of recent years have fell short!
  • A new video discovery from local goregrind duo Rotopsy is on singer Dylan Taylor's YouTube channel, as uploaded last October, but due to it's non musical-content (including pipe usage), I won't link to it here just in case some readers view it as offensive. If you give it a look, there is some solid bass work in the background from Tyler "Ringsnaps" Gibson though!
  • Local hard rock quartet The Suicide Kings have indeed replaced Pillory on the lineup for the Anvil concert on March 15th at The Canadian, following their late notice replacement at the most recent Heavy Thursday at The Rosie. This is disappointing for Pillory fans, but don't miss them at Dank Fest in April, and The Suicide Kings should fit in nicely like they did at last August's Airbourne show!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes this week, along with our last monthly features of February! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (T-Rex Manning), Jack Spades EP News, And More!!

Congratulations go out to the Canadian men's hockey team on winning gold this morning (and for our Yooper readers, the Americans put up a great game in the semifinals!) Today's second post features a new cover video, the latest from a returned local metal band, and some overdue notes on an upcoming CD release, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for later this week (and check out this month's YouTube Channel Profile in the post below this one!)

The next Heavy Thursday at The Roosevelt Hotel will indeed have a metal-featured band, as local punk/metal quartet T-Rex Manning have been added to THIS THURSDAY'S lineup! This will be the band's first live appearance of 2014, and it will also mark their first show with drummer Rick White since May of last year (he missed their two late 2013 dates during his injury recovery), so it's awesome to see the full lineup back together finally for the third Heavy Thursday! In fact, Rick will be pulling triple duty on Thursday, as his local punk bands Redundant and Fist Fighting Stephen Hawking will also be playing this show, so fans of Rick and his music will definitely not want to miss this show! This will be Redundant's first Rosie appearance in 6 months, while Fist Fighting Stephen Hawking (featuring Rick on guitar alongside alumni of Frightlight, Northwest, and As It Stands) will be playing their second ever live show following their debut at the Bon Soo Marquee

Admission will be $5 on Thursday night, you must be 19 to attend, and a 10:00 PM start time is expected. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Very solid lineup, and while Rick will be busy in his Rosie return, I know he'll handle everything nicely despite the workload, so keep the third Heavy Thursday in mind for later this week!

Next up, we have some long overdue updates concerning T-Rex Manning members J.D. Pearce & Tiffany Stocco's other punk/metal band Jack Spades, as they've began work on their debut EP! According to their Facebook page, they've been working on it since at least last Monday (when guitarist Jesse Cook & drummer Johnny Belanger completed tracking), with Tiffany recording guitar parts last Thursday, bassist Justin Lam finishing bass parts today, and J.D. waiting until instrument tracking is finished before recording vocals (Johnny & Tiffany will handle backing vocals then too.) Indications point to the EP having 5 original songs, but details on the name, artwork, formats, release date, and such are not out yet. The EP news seemed to come out of nowhere unless you're close to the band, but I'm very curious to hear what's in store for this one! If The Bear Hunters' album finally comes out this year too, it'll prove to be a huge year for Justin and Johnny musically, so fingers crossed everything works out, and stay tuned for updates as they roll in!

Also today, here's the latest from Sault Ontario "derd rock" project The Issues, who recently came back from a 9 month public hiatus! On the lineup side of things, the band has quietly parted ways with singer Velvit Bretfield and guitarist Robbie Rockit (a.k.a. Pillory's Bret Shuttleworth & Robert Sartini) for unannounced reasons, as per their removal from their Facebook page's lineup. Disappointing news, especially with no media to show from their tenure, but hopefully things were amicable, as drummer Mullet Studborne did a solid job producing Pillory's EP! However, the band's remaining members (including bassist Vinyl Muto) are back working on at least 3 new studio tracks as per their Facebook page on Friday, and to go along with it, the band uploaded four old tracks as Facebook videos there as well! Three ("Dirty Baby", "Lambs to the Slaughter", and "That's When She Calls") are re-posts of songs from their MySpace page, but one named "In The Past" is new to either page.

The songs are all very different, with "Dirty Baby" having a punk feel, "Lambs to the Slaughter" benefiting from then-singer (and Winkstinger frontman) Alan "Power" Wells, and "That's When She Calls" having more of a folksy laid back sound (featuring ex-guitarist "Leather Luc", who I believe is Bankshot alum Lucas Schmiedendorf.) I've always enjoyed The Issues and their sense of humour, and I'd like to see them finally get a full lineup and play some real live dates, so hopefully the recent news helps with that! Check out their old/new hard rocker "In The Past" (featuring late founding guitarist Andres "Denim" Duchesne) below!

Finally for today, we have another solo cover video from Ashes To Dust guitarist Alex Hemy's YouTube channel, this time a cover of Passenger's "Let Her Go"! Uploaded last Monday, this returns to his recent trend of softer rock covers, but I like his continually improving skills at multiple instruments and at video editing (including a greater use of panning and zooming!) I'm not familiar with Passenger, but he does a good job for this style of song, so give Alex's newest solo cover a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news tomorrow as we clear out our news cache! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: END OF EXISTENCE (Official)

After a day's delay, it's now time for this month's YouTube Channel Profile, our monthly look at a YouTube channel with at least a 50% concentration of local metal-relevant videos! As randomly selected from our 173 current channel subscriptions, this month's featured channel is once again based across the river, and they have a lot of solid footage to look at from them, so read on below for this month's YouTube Channel Profile!

Owner: An original member of defunct Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids epic death metal band End of Existence (identity unclear, but likely guitarist Steve Giles or drummer Greg Giles)

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 17th, 2010; Videos posted from September 2010 through January 2013

Channel Summary: End of Existence maintained their official YouTube channel for most of their run together, uploading 16 videos there, mostly comprising of their original material set to effective slideshows of dark imagery and the band members, with credits & links at the end of each. The videos include copies of most of the songs from their 2012 self-titled CD (except "The Elements", "Inside You", and "12.21.12"), along with two copies of their "Sun is Gone" music video with different colours, five promotional trailer/preview videos for their album, and one cover song.

Why Should You Watch: Mainly because this is the best source for videos of End of Existence, who were one of the most talented new metal bands out of Sault Michigan in the early 2010s, and it's a shame they never played a live concert! Their videos are all well put together and definitely fit the band's material, so be sure to watch them, not just listen to them. Fans of their predecessor local band Integrated System of Machines may also want to check out the E.O.E. channel, but keep in mind that the band has not used this channel actively since their early 2013 breakup, though 3/5ths of their lineup remain active in the local classical/metal project Theatre of Night, who feature similar videos at their YouTube channel.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

SUN IS GONE: Considered End of Existence's only full "music video", this March 2011 clip for their song "Sun is Gone" shares visual similarities with their more prolific slideshow videos, but it features more live video of the band's then-trio lineup performing this brutal song, which is one of the highlights of their album! I would argue that the heavy filters don't lend themselves perfectly to video of this kind, and the spoken word section is a bit over the top (despite Bob Helsten's very presidential setup in the video), but the Giles brothers show off their skills well, and it's an interesting clip to get more of an angle of End of Existence as a band! Note that this video was later re-posted in January 2013 as their last channel upload, albeit in black & white for one reason or another.

Crying Tomorrow - END OF EXISTENCE: Uploaded in November 2010, this early YouTube copy of the E.O.E. original "Crying Tomorrow" is the channel's most popular upload, with over 2,600 views at present. It follows the general template visually of most of their other videos, using heavy orange/red filters, panning & zooming pictures & video footage, and imagery of nature, the Earth, and the environment, which is very effective, and lends well to the still shots! Featuring backing vocals from Bob's former Elipzis bandmate Rachel Kiger, this is a nice slower song, but it is often heavier than required given the tone and lyrics.

Ghost Riders - END OF EXISTENCE: The last new song uploaded to End of Existence's YouTube channel is (curiously) a cover of the country music standard "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend". Uploaded in October 2011, the video teases that this song would be included on their self-titled CD to be released that fall, but I don't believe it made the final cut of the album, which didn't come out until February 2012. A far cry from Johnny Cash's version, End of Existence definitely metallized this song and made it their own, including slowing down the tempo, but country fans may want to be careful just in case. Note as well that this song features later additions Bryan Kindel on bass and Craig Harrison on keyboard, and watch for assorted credits, information, and lyrics scrolling along the bottom of the screen!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! For next month's installment of this monthly feature series, I have randomly selected three channels for the first time in 2014, as the first channel we picked only had three audio recordings from the same band, so I picked two single video channels to fill everything out. As a result, we'll be looking at the channels of YouTube users flangel22 (featuring three Stillbroke songs), Alanoth (featuring a live video of the former half-local project 2wo Man Baand), and pearls666 (featuring the only public video of Unbound's original lineup), so watch out for these on or around March 22nd! That's all for now, but stay tuned for a new news post either tonight or tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Late & Loud Reunion Concert Review!!

Hey guys, it's now about time for our second post of the day, that being our review of last night's Late & Loud reunion show at The Rockstar Bar! Before we get to the events of the night, I just want to acknowledge a late report from our Facebook page last night, as local indie/punk quintet Northwest did not play this show despite being added late after the Tidal Records show's cancellation. A public reason for their withdrawal was not announced, but I know there was a lot of confusion regarding the lineup. For fans though, don't miss Northwest at Slopefest in Searchmont next weekend, and now, let's take a look at the show as it happened!

Last night's opening band was local punk trio Redundant in what might as well have been their first live concert in 6 months (Bon Soo almost felt like an outdoor jam session that I happened to be at), so it was great to see the guys playing to a crowd again! Their set was longer and more lively too, and when you're not battling the freezing cold, you'll naturally show your skills better, so all around, they delivered a fun set! Originals like "That December" and "Miles Apart" joined many familiar covers, and everyone played to their strengths (frontman Justin Langlois was on fire especially), but the crowd could have been more of a constant presence for every song on the floor. Redundant's last two songs featured guest singers too, with drummer Rick White's Fist Fighting Stephen Hawking bandmate Jeff De Rose showing his vocal ability on a Rancid cover, with Late & Loud bassist Benn Garside chiming in for a cover of Poison's "Fallen Angel". They added a fun vibe to the end of a solid real return set for Redundant, and don't miss them on Thursday!

Next up on the bill were local all-female hard rockers The Danger Cats, who definitely left another big impression with the fans in their Rockstar Bar debut! In terms of their lineup, singer Summer Snow-Leopard was absent again (like in recent official band photos), but there has still been no official confirmation as to whether she's left the band or not. What we did get though was a solid and entertaining set of covers and originals, and the girls are definitely improving their set and range! Their surprisingly long set included some very fun covers from bands like Great White, AC/DC, and The Runaways that got a great reception, and their skills as musicians are either very good or improving fast! The vocal spread was nice to see again too, with Kate Kougar handling most lead vocals, though Paula Panther did 4 on lead vocals mid-set, and Jamie Jaguar sang the encore songs. I'd recommend they loosen up their stage presences somewhat, but the girls are on the rise, and hopefully The Danger Cats keep up the good work at Docks next weekend! (Also, where were the cat ears?)

And finally on the bill was the return of local classic metal favourites Late & Loud, in their one-off reunion 10 months after their farewell as an active band! I'm glad to say that they actually outperformed their Rockstar Bar Battle finals appearance last spring, showing the energy, talent, and swagger that gained them such a following in the early 2010s! Their setlist included every song from their EPs (except "Live For Excess") and 4 covers of everyone from Judas Priest to White Wizzard, and fans definitely ate it up (and I'm sure some didn't mind when all 4 members ditched their shirts early on!) I couldn't stay for the whole set, so I'm unsure if anything was said relating to if this was indeed their last show or if there'd be future reunions, but what we got lived up to Late & Loud's standards, and from Brendan Christie's ripping guitar solos to Josh Hatherley's hard hitting drumwork, the guys left it all on the stage (and it was great to see Jon Tiberi back in town!) Awesome return, and hopefully this won't be the absolute last time on stage for Late & Loud!

Overall, this was a great show for classic metal and punk fans, and kudos to J.D. Pearce for putting this on (and remember to hit the next Heavy Thursday at The Rosie next week!) Check out my photos from the show at this link or via our Facebook page (along with a "Tag Yourself!" crowd shot), and as for videos, here's Redundant covering Green Day's "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?", The Danger Cats playing their original (I think) "Give Me", and Late & Loud covering White Wizzard's "High Speed GTO"! (And just in case people are wondering about the Redundant video, I'm trying to film videos of more bands at each show, including punk/alternative bands, just to keep things fair. Yes, this might be leading somewhere!)

That's all for today, but stay tuned tomorrow morning for this month's YouTube Channel Profile, and GO TEAM CANADA! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Strange Coyotes & Banned) And Highest Of Fives Updates!!

Before we get to our review of last night's Late & Loud reunion concert, we have a new news post to get to as we slowly clear out our news cache! For reference, I've postponed this month's YouTube Channel Profile to tomorrow to help keep the news rolling, so I would expect that and another news post then! Now, we have a bunch of updates & a new video from a rising Sault Michigan outfit and LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next weekend and this summer, so here's what you need to know!

Local funk/metal trio The Strange Coyotes will apparently be heading north to play at Slopefest 2014, a freestyle skiing & snowboarding/music festival at the Searchmont Resort on Saturday, March 1st (one week from tomorrow!) An official confirmation of the full performer lineup has yet to be made beyond the Facebook event page confirming that local indie/punk quintet Northwest will be playing (along with "support"), but Strange Coyotes drummer Mike Haggith confirmed the band's participation on the event page on Thursday. The music stage will be outdoors at the base of the mountain, and while the outdoor winter setting is similar to The Marquee at Bon Soo, I assume there will be a lot more people for Slopefest, which has open registration for interested skiiers and snowboarders to compete for $300 in first prize cash in their events! For all non-musical details, check the above links, and while I assume this is all ages, I have not heard of a spectator entry fee (though the listed event timeframe is 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.)

I'm very curious to hear the full lineup, but Northwest have the veteran skill to provide a solid punk set, and The Strange Coyotes have been making steady fans since their fall launch, so keep your eyes peeled for Slopefest updates, as this could be a very exciting event for sports and music fans if all goes well!

Next up, and rounding out yesterday's new hard rock show announcements from Kewadin Casino's concert calendar, Kinross hard/classic rock trio Banned will return to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan branch for an additional weekend on Friday, August 22nd & Saturday, August 23rd! Coming over 4 months after their next Soo Kewadin dates, these add to Alex, Jim, and Don's surely busy slate of regional concerts in 2014, which should reassure fans who haven't heard of any pre-April dates on the horizon! Their diverse and often heavy covers & originals will be on display that weekend at 9:00 PM each night, you must be 21 to attend, and there's no announced cover charges. For more details, check the above links! It's nice to get lots of advance word for these upcoming Banned concerts, and hopefully they're a blast, so stay tuned for updates from their camp as they roll in!

Lastly for this post, here's a long awaited new video from Sault Michigan hard rockers The Highest of Fives! Posted to guitarist/drummer Devin Anderson's YouTube channel last week, it's a music video for their original "The U.P. Song" (as composed by members Travis Theel & Marcel Grengs), and Devin has asked me to include this press release on the SMS, so read on below for official direct word from the band on this new song & video:

Hello, friends. Travis Theel, Mitch Goetz, Marcel Grengs, and Devin Anderson are proud to present their newest original material from their debut album, BANG. This song is a tribute to our roots here in Northern Michigan.

Travis, Mitch, Marcel, and Devin are currently the main lineup of The Highest of Fives, but there are many more members. In the coming months, you'll see the group collaborating with various members including stars of the upcoming BANG film: Crusty Puck, Jack Slater, and Mike Pascoe. So think of The Highest of Fives not as a band but as more of a production collective.

In addition to "The U.P. Song," another single from BANG called
"Take My Time" will be released to iTunes on Valentines Day.

Make sure to follow
@HighestFives on Twitter and subscribe to our Youtube channel to stay in the loop. ENJOY.

Thanks to Devin for the above information! In terms of the video, it's self-described as "a farcical interpretation of our homeland", and it includes numerous amusing clips of the group members in such activities as frisbee golf, and while the audio sync isn't perfect, it has a likable quality and easy going nature! Assuming we'll be reviewing "Bang!" upon it's release, I won't comment too much on the song itself, but it has more of a rock base than some of Travis' earlier solo songs, though it remains to be seen how many of the clips in the video will be expanded on for the teased "Bang!" short film. It's also interesting to see that The Highest of Fives are identifying themselves more as a collective, but the fluidity of membership should be interesting for diversity, and hopefully we hear Mike and Jack on some new songs too (and remember that Crusty Puck is an alter ego of Marcel's.) As for the teased "Take My Time" iTunes release, the Valentine's Day plans don't appear to have went through, but you can stream the song above, and give "The U.P." song a look below! It's well done, hopefully they keep up the good work!

That's all for now, but stay tuned later today for our review of last night's Late & Loud reunion show! Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 21, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (415E, Peril, Driven, And RamWagon), Including Some Cancellations!!

First off, I just want to congratulate Team Jacobs on winning gold at the Olympics in Sochi this morning! You've done Sault Ste. Marie proud, we can't wait to see you guys get your medals! Now, today's post at the SMS is 100% devoted to LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS across the river at the Sault Michigan and St. Ignace Kewadin Casino branches, as the respective entertainment pages for each location (links here & here) are now updated for concerts at The Rapids Lounge & Northern Pines Lounge through the summer, and yes, a bunch of hard rock bands have new dates! Now, due to the amount, we'll save the two new shows from Banned (which are last chronologically) for another upcoming post just to spread things out, but they are coming! Also, if you look at the entertainment pages, you'll notice a new band named #YOLO (which did include the hashtag) that's playing three upcoming weekends through July, though another recent personal Facebook post credits them as No Decision.

While public updates are minimal on them, I can confirm that they're more or less the same as defunct rock cover band Toast's late-era acoustic lineup, just with former Shift frontwoman Amy Beairl on vocals instead of the now relocated Melissa Strand (and I believe their name was once Pushing Forward Back according to older Kewadin schedules.) Promising, we'll have to see how they sound, and thanks to guitarist Mike Libertoski for the info!

We'll start our verified hard rock cover announcements with Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E, who will apparently play their second through fourth concert weekends of the year at the local Kewadin branches, including their long awaited returns to St. Ignace on March 21st & 22nd and on May 30th & 31st! The March weekend will be the former Hubbard-Menard Band's first shows at The Northern Pines Lounge in 8 months (barring interim announcements), while they'll also return to the Sault Kewadin for the first time in almost 5 months with a weekend there on June 13th & 14th. Nice to see the guys playing more following their late-2013 hiatus, so hopefully they get a solid turnout for these dates, sporadic as they may be! Again, I can't verify if their lineup as the same as last year though, but in this case, no news might mean no change. Like usual, these shows have 21+ age limits, no announced cover charge, and 9:00 PM start times, so check the above links for more details, and don't miss 415E's Van Halen-influenced intensity later this year!

Also with three upcoming Kewadin concert weekend to add to their schedule is Charlevoix classic metal trio Peril, who will return to The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace for shows on May 23rd & 24th and on July 25th & 26th, which sandwich a Rapids Lounge return in the Soo on June 6th & 7th! For upcoming concerts, these join their already announced St. Ignace gigs next weekend, while the June stops in Sault Michigan will be their first there in over 4 months. Peril's entertaining metal covers should fit in nicely again as they return to the Eastern U.P. in mid-2014, so if you're up for some live heavy action, you know where to be! For the record, no new dates for frontman Jeff Hudson's other metal band Scarkazm were among the recent announcements at the regional Kewadin branches, but hopefully their April shows go well so they come back up here! Like the 415E shows, expect 21+ age limits, no cover, and 9:00 PM start times, so check the above links for more details, and be there for Peril's next U.P. shows!

Now to some summer exclusives, Cheboygan classic hard rock trio Driven will make their long awaited return to the Upper Peninsula for a concert weekend on Friday, June 27th & Saturday, June 28th at The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace! These will be this skilled veteran band's first Kewadin Casino dates in 9 months, so it's been a long time coming for the regional return of Driven, who have carved out a very solid reputation for themselves! I just wish there was more media online to check out of theirs. As above, you must be 21 to see Driven in June, there's no announced cover charge, and everything starts at or after 9:00 PM. Check the above links for more details, and fingers crossed these aren't Driven's only Eastern U.P. stops of the year, as fans will know how good they are!

Finally for today's new shows, Sault Michigan hard rock quartet RamWagon have a new Kewadin concert weekend announced, as they'll apparently return to The Rapids Lounge on Friday, August 8th & Saturday, August 9th! Promising sign for this rising newer quartet (featuring Monkey's Uncle and Full Throttle alumni), but there have been a ton of cancellations too. Aside from the above shows and their scheduled Sault Kewadin weekends on March 28th & 29th, October 24th & 25th, and November 28th & 29th, Kewadin's entertainment pages no longer list other announced RamWagon dates that were confirmed on their Facebook page last month, with it's schedule being refined on Sunday. Their March 14th & 15th Soo shows are now divided between Banned alum Alex Schrovenwever's current cover rock band Ricochet and a live UFC 171 broadcast, while their May 9th & 10th dates in St. Ignace and August 1st & 2nd shows in the Soo are now slotted for local acoustic rock duo The London Gentlemen (though the latter shows are still listed on RamWagon's Facebook page.)

Also, the shows on July 11th & 12th, October 17th & 18th, and December 19th & 20th have replacements to be announced, and the cancellations leave RamWagon with no upcoming St. Ignace dates in 2014, or anywhere for a four month stretch starting in April. A reason for the cancellations (or withdrawals?) has not been publicized, but something big must have happened to suddenly lose 6 concert weekends. Hopefully all's well in their camp though, and hopefully their modern hard rock covers go over well next month! The new August shows also have a 21+ age limit, no cover, and 9:00 PM start times, and check the above links for more details!

That's all for today, but I'll see you guys TONIGHT at The Rockstar Bar for Late & Loud's reunion show! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (That's Chester) & Weekend Concert Previews, Including A Cancellation!!

For today at the SMS, we're focusing on previews of this weekend's metal & hard rock schedule in the area, which is thankfully lighter than last weekend's busy slate! Though I can't verify any 100% heavier shows in Sault Michigan over the next few days, there's some big stuff going on in Sault Ontario (albeit with a pair of Rockstar Bar cancellations and related lineup changes), so read on below for what you should know, starting with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!! (Edited at 2:25 PM)

Local classic hard rock quintet That's Chester will fill in on short notice for a concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT at The Rockstar Bar! Apologies for the short notice, this show was was only just announced this afternoon via this Facebook event page. Originally, frontman Greg Simpson's other hard rock band Stiffler's Mom were slated to play there on Saturday, but due to a family emergency concerning another band member (source here), That's Chester will take over the Saturday night booking instead. Fitting change, and either way, Greg will get to celebrate before his upcoming wedding in style (congratulations in advance!) Remember, this is not a double weekend booking due to the Late & Loud show tomorrow night that we're previewing next. Their often heavy show goes down Saturday night at 10:30 PM, you must be 19 to attend, and there's a $5 cover in effect. For more details, check the above links!

It's great to see That's Chester jump in on even shorter notice to play at The Rockstar Bar on Saturday night, and in case it's of note, I believe this will be their first concert at this venue since 2011, so it's been a long time coming either way! Don't miss the return of That's Chester on Saturday night, and for a preview, here's the guys live at Rotaryfest!

Moving to previously announced shows, and for ONE NIGHT ONLY, inactive local classic metal favourites Late & Loud will reunite to headline at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT! Yes, it has moved back upstairs, we'll address that in a bit. 10 months after the guys' last show at the same venue's battle of the bands finals, this energetic and proficient quartet will return for this one-off gig that should give the Loudmouths another rush of live original metal, and if you've missed seeing the guys on stage, you won't wanna miss this one! Three active local bands are opening, including one late notice addition, and they include all female hard rockers The Danger Cats in their Rockstar Bar debut! Note that their own advertising for the event shows them as a quartet minus singer Summer Snow-Leopard, but I have yet to confirm whether she's out of the band or just missed that photo shoot. Either way, they should entertain with their developing and diverse sound! Also joining in will be local punk trio Redundant in just their second show since their return from hiatus, and with a 100% guarantee of a bigger crowd than at Bon Soo, they should deliver some solid originals in their own right tomorrow!

The other band that's been added to the lineup is newer local indie/punk quintet Northwest (which is spelled as one word now), but wait a minute, weren't they playing a separate Tidal Records gig at The Rockstar Bar that same night? They were, but that show has quietly been cancelled in recent days, so the Late & Loud show (which was bumped downstairs to The Algonquin Pub to accommodate it) is back upstairs and has added Northwest to the bill. Nice to see this experienced newer band (featuring Bankshot, Terminal, and Nebraska Arms alumni) jumping on board with this show so they can still play tomorrow night, they should fit in! A reason for the Tidal Records show's cancellation hasn't been publicized, but it was to have also featured local hard rock quartet Late Shift and fellow punk rockers The Wing-Its, and very little publically remains on Tidal Records-linked pages acknowledging the show. Hopefully nothing bad happened, and fingers crossed we see the other bands live soon! For reference sake, remember that this concert is the reason why there's not a Heavy Thursday at The Rosie tonight, as promoter J.D. Pearce is handling tomorrow's show instead, which was booked before that series' launch.

Admission for TOMORROW NIGHT is $5 at the door, you must be 19 to attend, a 10:00 PM start time is in effect, and as stated above, this show is taking place UPSTAIRS at The Rockstar Bar once again, so don't go downstairs. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Very solid lineup for punk and metal fans, especially with Northwest's addition, and you know that Late & Loud's reunion (and perhaps last show ever?) will be an event not to miss, so I'll see you guys there tomorrow! For a preview, here's Late & Loud at The Rockstar Bar last year!

Lastly for today's hard rock/metal previews, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's ongoing weekly run at The Harp Pub & Grill returns to it's usual Friday night placement TOMORROW! After a temporary two week stay on Saturday nights, his twelfth straight weekly concert/hosted jam night at the former Madison's Pub returns to normal tomorrow, and for an entertaining evening of diverse and often hard rocking covers, plus some possible open mic performers, a trip to The Harp (in the Food Basics plaza on Pine Street) wouldn't be a bad idea! Like usual for Tym's solo shows, there's no announced cover charge, a 10:00 PM start time, and a 19+ age limit in effect. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be another solid night of covers and entertainment from Tym Morrison, so keep it in mind for your Friday night plans, and here he is at The Big Cheese a few years back!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow, likely featuring a bunch of new Sault Michigan shows! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Last Month's Poll Results & This Month's Poll!!

It's now time to shut down last month's poll and launch our newest one at the SMS today! Remember, last month's poll ran until the 19th of this month so we can slowly acclimate back to the 18th following the vote limit screw-up in December. As you may recall, last month's poll posed this question to you guys: What was your favourite new local metal/hard rock album of 2013? An impressive 51 votes came in, so thanks to everyone for voting, and now, here are your final results!

Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe - Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe (17 votes, 33%)
Late & Loud - Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal: Still Hard (13 votes, 25%)
Pillory - Cringe at the Cross (11 votes, 22%)
Haggith - Deuce (3 votes, 6%)
Telephone & Address - Rotten EP (2 votes, 4%)
Various Artists - Heart of Gold: A Tribute to Woods of Ypres (2 votes, 4%)
Any of Blood Shed Productions' 2013 demos (1 vote, 2%)
Crimson Crusade - Upon the Eve of War (1 vote, 2%)
Other (1 vote, 2%)
Bring the Fallen - Stand Before (0 votes)
Mike Haggith - Neighbourhood Watch II (0 votes)
Sailor's Tongue - Pierced (0 votes)
Strange Coyotes - Strange Coyotes (0 votes)
Any of SweetKenny's three 2013 albums (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, the 0 vote choices aren't huge surprises given the general release spread they had in Sault Ontario, but I did assume that Mike Haggith's newest solo album would get at least one vote. I can't speak for the "Other" voter, but for the single vote-getting albums, I did assume that Blood Shed Productions' demos would get more votes, at least to better reflect the amount of CDs and artists they handled in 2013. The 2 vote albums were encouraging, especially given Telephone & Address' late 2013 EP release and the lack of local performers on "Heart of Gold", and it was good to see Haggith get 3 votes for their last album "Deuce"! As you can see though, 80% of voters populated the top 3 choices (albeit with some blame on Facebook campaigns), but Pillory's EP got some solid support late last year, and Late & Loud's EP rerelease was a nice surprise last year!

But the surprise winner of the poll with 17 votes (a third of the total) was local technical metal solo project Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe's self-titled digital album! Though not in our consciousness for all that long, Matt Parr's a talented musician, and it shows on his progressive originals that both made this album and will be included in future projects! Recently, Matt actually moved back to London, but once a local band, always a local band, so follow H.M.M. for new material & updates, and I'll confirm right now that this EP will be this month's CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, so watch out for it in the next two weeks!

Thanks to everyone for voting! As for this month's poll, we're again resurrecting another "favourite _____ of 2013" poll topic, as this month, the question is "What was the biggest local metal news story of 2013?" Like past installments of this question, I'm curious to see what readers consider to be the most notable, interesting, and newsworthy topics and events of the past year, and I've carefully selected 25 choices for your consideration (plus "Other") to vote for this month. Remember, this poll only includes events that took place in the calendar year of 2013, not in late 2012 or since 2014 began, and like in prior versions, this is about newsworthy topics, not necessarily the best, happiest, or most popular (so I discourage personal Facebook campaigns to drive up votes for X topic in order for X band to "win", as that's not the point here.) With that said, what was the biggest local metal news story of last year? Read on below for more info on your choices!

Airbourne run wild at The Canadian in August: Hyped as the biggest rock show to hit Sault Ontario since Kiss, Australian hard rock notables Airbourne headlined this huge Canadian Nightclub show on August 19th of last year, with Bleeker Ridge and locals Garden of Bedlam & The Suicide Kings opening for an explosive and high impact night of hard rock! The Canadian was packed for this show, but were you there to vouch for it as the biggest event of any kind around here in 2013?

Bam Margera plays at The Canadian Nightclub: On December 14th, Jackass star and skateboarder Bam Margera brought his band Fuckface Unstoppable to The Canadian for a wild and intense concert that felt like a party from start to finish! Joined by fellow touring standouts Wilson, and local favourites Destroilet, Jack Spades, and The Bear Hunters, this concert was (in my opinion) one of the most fun of 2013, but was it the biggest single metal event last year?

Blood Shed Productions continue local growth: With a defiant, unwavering, and independent attitude, Tyler Gibson's goregrind/rap label Blood Shed Productions has steadily grown in prominence over the past year, including the release of numerous demo CDs from acts like Crucify The Whore, and the commencement of live concert dates booked by collaborator Tyler St. Amour of Heavy North Entertainment. Is the emergence of the Blood Shed the most notable of 2013 to you?

Bring The Fallen reunite for Oddzfest & release EP: After a 2 year breakup, local death metal quintet Bring The Fallen returned for one last time in July to co-headline singer Josh Stephney's farewell concert Oddzfest 2013 Metal Mash-Up, even finally releasing their "Stand Before" EP that night! Despite a major rainstorm, the show went on and helped give much needed closure to Bring The Fallen's successful local run, but was this your top story of the past 12 months?

The Canadian Nightclub floods again in September: It was deja vu all over again for The Canadian Nightclub last fall when the Pim Street concert venue was hit with major flooding again, after previously dealing with it in the summer of 2011. Despite forcing the relocation of the Ray Brown benefit show, the newly renovated bar (complete with a newer and more rustic interior) returned with a vengenace only a few weeks later, but was the newest flooding incident the big story of 2013?

The Dayglo Abortions overcome rain for local return: After their successful late-notice local show in 2011, Victoria hardcore punk legends The Dayglo Abortions finally came back to The Roosevelt Hotel over two years later in September, but the same rainstorm that flooded The Canadian took place the night of this concert, severely cutting attendance despite more notice. It was a great show though (and also featured Cross Dog's local debut), but was this your top event of last year?

Destroilet returns to the stage after 2 year break: Though they never broke up or officially declared a hiatus, hardcore punk veterans Destroilet took more than two years (and two CD releases) to return to the stage, but when they did (to open for The Ripcordz last April), they never let up! They've since opened for numerous prominent bands, made plenty of new fans, and began new songwriting sessions, so they've made a triumphant return, but was this a huge news item?

Echo Bay welcomes The Big Loonie Bus Show: Unlike in Sault Michigan, we don't typically see frequent metal shows in the outskirts of Sault Ontario (aside from Hempfest), so the Oh! Right Arm!-promoted Big Loonie Bus Show at La Cucina in Echo Bay last October was a nice change of pace, especially with the chartered bus to bring fans to and from! Headlined by newer sludge metal trio AlgomA, this show got a solid reception from fans, but did it top the events of the last 12 months?

For All That Is Lost surprisingly disband: Though they had only played live once since the summer of 2012, Central Algoma death metal favourites For All That Is Lost's sudden breakup last February caught a lot of people off guard, and their improving brutality is missed at local concerts! It's also really surprising that none of F.A.T.I.L.'s last 4 members have turned up in new bands yet, but was their end the biggest story of 2013?

Garden of Bedlam play live in Quebec: Usually when you think of a local metal band playing live, they usually head to another city in Ontario, but that wasn't the case for Garden of Bedlam, who brought their exciting modern metal sound to the Quebec City area on June 8th for a set at last year's NissanFest, earning new fans in a new province in one of their highlights of the past year! Though not a local show, this was huge exposure, but was it newsworthy around here?

Haggith's breakup & farewell show: Despite being at the peak of their success, local grunge/alternative quartet Haggith stunned their fans by announcing their impending breakup last fall for personal reasons, concluding with a farewell headlining concert at The Algonquin Pub in December. Though members remain active with Punch, Project 421, The Strange Coyotes, and solo projects, Haggith are still missed locally, but was their breakup the top hard rock story of 2013?

"Heart of Gold" tribute CD honours Woods of Ypres: A year and a half after the sudden passing of Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold, the double album "Heart of Gold" was released to pay tribute to his music and legacy, including 19 covers of Woods of Ypres songs. Though no local bands made the final product, this release got great reviews for both it's content & intent, and I can vouch for it's success, but would you put it the highest?

Late & Loud part ways after April battle of the bands: Though they're holding a one-off reunion show THIS FRIDAY at The Algonquin Pub, their last show as an active band was upstairs at The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands, where they rocked hard with a stylish finals set (and EP re-release) last April before falling inactive. Band activity had slowed in the previous year anyway, but are you among the Loudmouths that found their functional end to be the biggest event?

Pop Evil headline Team Jessica benefit at Kewadin: Similarly to the prior Kim Rogers/Kelsey Raffaele benefit in 2010, Grand Rapids modern rock standouts Pop Evil hit The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on August 14th to help raise money for local student Jessica Jorgensen's battle with leukemia. Featuring local support from The London Gentlemen and Missy & Chelsea, this event was a big success, but would you concur with that?

Queensryche play at Kewadin Casino in January: The first major hard rock concert of the year at the Soo Kewadin went down on January 12th, when Washington progressive metal legends Queensryche (the original version now fronted by Todd La Torre) delivered a well recieved night of their classic originals to their U.P. fans! A nice change from the usual hair metal/classic rock bands, but was Queensryche's local stop the biggest event of 2013 in the area?

Ray Brown honoured with benefit concert: Though we lost an unusually high number of metal/hard rock musicians in 2013, arguably the most attention went to veteran local drummer Ray Brown, whose brave cancer fight last year peaked with an emotional benefit concert at The Verdi Hall on October 11th that he was luckily able to attend, albeit just a month before his sudden passing at just 41 years of age. Ray is still missed, but were his benefit & tributes most significant to you last year?

The Ripcordz make long awaited returns to the Soo: Almost 6 years after their last local date at The Speak Easy, Montreal hardcore punk legends The Ripcordz finally came back to Sault Ste. Marie on April 13th for a well attended headlining show at The Algonquin Pub, with locals Destroilet and T-Rex Manning opening for good measure! This was an explosive and very fun concert, but was it the top event of any kind of the previous year?

Sebastian Bach rocks Sault Michigan in January: A rare non-modern rock show from Allstar Promotions, they kicked off 2013 in style by bringing ex-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach to Kewadin Casino after a prior swing through the area to shoot parts in the Swearnet move, and lots of fans were eager for this one! Featuring local support from the live concert debut of 415E, this concert was a big hit with Hair Scare fans, but can you vouch for it yourself above other 2013 events?

Shinedown rock Kewadin Casino: Speaking of big Allstar Promotions shows at The Dreammaker's Theater, multi-platinum Jacksonville hard rockers Shinedown blew the roof off the joint with their headlining concert at Kewadin Casino on July 21st, and even if you only saw the videos, you'd know how big this one was! Joined by Memphis rockers Prosevere, this was definitely a big show for many local hard rock fans, but was it the biggest show/news event of 2013 in the Soo?

Soo Zombie Walk moves to the Bushplane Museum: After spending it's first years at The Grand Theater (and hosting live bands there for most of that stretch), the fifth annual Soo Zombie Walk moved to a new date (Halloween weekend) and location (the Bushplane museum), which included a drastic change to the band schedule, with most bands now playing in the afternoon before the walk, turning the afterparty into an all acoustic event at Coch's Corner. The walk got mixed reviews, but did all the changes top the year?

SooToday buys Local2: The news media in Sault Ontario was changed last September when SooToday parent company Village Media bought fellow local news site Local2 (the former, while refocusing it on local internet television and news broadcasting. Reactions were mixed, but the increased attention on local TV is great, and it could be beneficial for local metal bands going forward! Was this 2013's biggest news story?

The Suicide Kings win Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands: As part of the biggest local battle of the bands since the Kiss battle, local hard rock quartet The Suicide Kings defeated 8 other bands (including spirited wild card runs by Haggith & The Pesto Shirts) with strong semifinal and final round performances to claim first place, furthering their climb up the local ladder! This was definitely a big event, but was the battle (And the winners) the top story of 2013 to you?

Woods of Ypres win Juno Award for Best Metal Album: It was a big enough story when local doom metal quartet Woods of Ypres recieved a posthumous Juno Award nomination for their last CD "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light", but then in April, they won it, with late frontman David Gold's mom Esther giving an emotional acceptance speech on her son's behalf. This is definitely the biggest local metal story on the national stage from last year, but is it the biggest for you?

Other: What did we miss that you thought was a bigger event? Perhaps the biggest show of 2013 was another Kewadin Casino date, LemmaFest, Hempfest, or Rotaryfest? Maybe a new band launch like Jack Spades or AlgomA topped your year? Did you consider a venue closure or renaming to be the biggest, or maybe a band's lineup changes? Or maybe you an album release we didn't cover above was the single top story last year? If your preferred top story of 2013 isn't included in this poll, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You have until March 18th (normal schedule again) to vote, so what was the biggest local metal/hard rock news story of 2013? Cast your votes A.S.A.P. to find out, and stay tuned for this weekend's concert previews TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!