Saturday, March 29, 2014

Shit Liver's Album Release, More Recent Updates, And The End Of RamWagon?

Returning to all news today after this weekend's concert previews, we have new videos from a young local metal band, big updates concerning an out of town trip that could pay big dividends, what looks like a band falling inactive, and first, a long awaited CD release, so here's what you need to know!

Local/Toronto grindcore trio Shit Liver have finally announced a release date for their debut album, complete with a commercial for it! Nearing two years after recording sessions began, the band announced on their Facebook page on Wednesday that the album (which will be self-titled) is scheduled to come out on Sunday, April 20th! The commercial (which is the first upload to their YouTube channel since 2011) is mostly text overtop of audio samples, but it does include this image (likely the album cover, I await a higher-res copy), a movie trailer rating card at the beginning, and references to the long delay in a release as it awaited mastering. The video confirms that upon release, Shit Liver's album will be available for a free stream on YouTube (it's already on their Reverberation page), while the album will be available online via this BandCamp link in three weeks on a "pay what you want" digital model (a'la the Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe's album), though there will be hard copies and merchandise for sale there as well.

Note however that the video doesn't confirm concert availability, or if there will be a release party here or in Southern Ontario, but they will be back home to open for Fuck The Facts on May 4th, so they could have hard copies then. It's great to finally see Shit Liver release their album (even if after they moved), so stay tuned for updates as we near April 20th, and check out the full trailer below!

Next up, remember how we reported earlier this month that a new country rock band named Highway 63 had replaced local hard rockers RamWagon for this weekend's gigs at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino? Well, it looks like a replacement for more than just those gigs, as their lineup is almost exactly the same as RamWagon's most recent full incarnation. Only bassist George Belleau is not a part of Highway 63, with Ryan Kitzmiller, Nathan Switzer (now on bass), and Ron Suchey all joining frontman Henry Switzer (Nathan's dad and Ron's former Monkey's Uncle bandmate) in this new project, while this past weekend's shows were considered a "test run". Highway 63's lineup has a solid level of talent and experience, so country and classic rock fans should enjoy them, but what does this mean for RamWagon? Given that Highway 63 features most of their last lineup, and has taken over this past weekend's dates (and presumably more), I'll reluctantly consider RamWagon to be inactive for our purposes.

Active for just a year, RamWagon became a popular sight from numerous Kewadin Casino gigs and other assorted events (like their LemmaFest debut) throughout 2013, but an ambitious 2014 concert lineup was slashed to only a few scattered dates last month, and both George and Ron were removed from their Facebook page's lineup around then, with no updates following. If RamWagon are done as an independent band, it's definitely disappointing, as they had been growing fast in prominence, but I wish the guys well with Highway 63, and the same goes for George, Cody, and Marcel in the future!

Also in the news, local hard rock quartet The Suicide Kings and some other notable local bands have applied a big upcoming concert event a few hours east of the Soo! As announced on their Facebook page on Thursday, they'll be among the competitiors at the fourth annual battle of the bands in Spanish next Saturday to determine openers for this year's Rock 'N Roar festival, where the top 5 bands (out of 14 this year) will win cash ($1,000 for first, $500 for second-fifth) and opening slots for Randy Bachman & Honeymoon Suite on Saturday, August 16th! I can also confirm that reunited local rock band Wishbone are joining them this year, and that their new lineup is almost a reunion of their late 2009 incarnation (longtime frontman Dennis Duguay, returning guitarist & drummer Jeremey Salatuk & Brent Royer, and Jeremey's Lucky 13 bandmate Jeff Gray in place of Chris Smith.) The official performer lineup has not been announced yet, but Saultites are no stranger to the Rock N' Roar battle, as Havadder & The Thrill Junkies both made the top 5 in the last two years, and Griphook also competed last year.

Both The Suicide Kings and Wishbone have made the podium of recent local battles (The Suicide Kings' Steven Flint even played with Wishbone at the Humane Society Battle), but will their local good luck translate to Spanish next weekend? We'll keep you guys posted if and when we hear more, but good luck to the local competitors, do us proud!

Finally for today, here's some new video footage from local goregrind duo Rotopsy! One is a new upload to the Blood Shed Productions YouTube channel, and it's their new studio track "Your Blood on my JR Shooz", though viewer discretion is advised due to the adult content on the pictured artwork. To be included on Rotopsy's upcoming solo demo, it has the needed heaviness and will entertain fans, but those not acclimated to the grind on display will find it to be rough sledding. The other new video is from the Commencing Human Desperation concert at The Oddfellows Hall last weekend, though it was oddly shared on bassist Tyler Gibson's main band Crucify The Whore's Facebook page rather than Rotopsy's. Originally shot by promoter Tyler St. Amour and uploaded to his personal Facebook page last Saturday, this is of Rotopsy playing their original "T.F.T.", and though the video has dark lighting and is often blurry, it captures the extra spontaneity of the live setting well, so check it out below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and this month's CD review shortly! Thanks everyone!

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