Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Meet The (Inactive) Local Punk Bands!! Part 2

It's now about time for our second feature on defunct and inactive local punk bands to roll into our coverage (more specifically, punk bands with surviving and substantial online pages), and we have much more to come from here! Like our Facebook-centered first installment on Brain Tuel, The Fever Tops, For July, and The Inner City Surfers from Sunday, today's punk band feature focuses on bands with primary pages on specific sites (Reverbnation and Tripod today), and another theme emerged as we wrote this, as all 4 bands are successors to more successful local bands, so read on below for what you should know on each! Like before, the bands are listed in alphabetical order.

First up, we're adding defunct local ska punk band Break The Violence to our links, and they may be familiar as the likely predecessors of dormant local hardcore quintet As It Stands! Visibly only active in early 2005, their lineup includes current(?) A.I.S. bandmates Garrett Masters, Angelo Huckson, and John Mignacca on guitar, bass, and drums respectively, alongside saxophonist Nathan Bouliane (As It Stands' old emo-era bassist) and trumpet player Ryan Van Scoy, while a drummer named Keith (last name not given) played with them at one point as well. There's not a lot of concrete bio information on their Tripod page, and I don't think Break The Violence ever played live, but Garrett, Angelo, and John had previously played together in a band named Second Guess. Four songs were posted on their page too, but none can be played because the files are apparently all corrupt (which could be for the best, as the songs are labelled as "bad recordings".)

It's near impossible to know how Break The Violence would have sounded, but seeing as they had horn instruments, they were definitely going all in with the ska punk theme! While we know now the talents of most of the members (Ryan's a wild card), this was early in their local music runs, so they can be forgiven for any shakiness if media ever turns up. Interesting to see how things stood before As It Stands, so check out Break The Violence above!

Next to add to the site is Mayadevi, a defunct local punk band that some of you may remember from their 2005-2007 run! Their lineup always included now-Elliot Lake based solo musician Darren MacDonald on vocals & guitar, while lineups included current Shit Liver bassist Mike Kyle and drummer Kristan Surge in late 2006 & early 2007, later to be replaced by Joey Graham and Don Henderson respectively, while Joey's former Undead Warriors guitarist Aaron Gasparetto played with Mayadevi at one point. Originally founded as Darren's solo project, the band had plans for a CD named "The Great Panic Attack", and had teased upcoming appearances at The Oddfellows Hall and at school concerts, though it's unclear if any of the Oddfellows gigs took place. Though Darren's solo acoustic music is quite prolific, I've only found one video of Mayadevi themselves, from one of their last sets at a CASS Cafe event in December 2007, and it captures their cover of Fall Out Boy's "Dance, Dance", so how do they sound?

While I'm not a Fall Out Boy fan, Darren, Joey, and Don show some good skill here, but the vocals are a bit wavery, and their stage presences weren't too established yet. Darren's music has matured and improved over the years, but it's nice to see where things began! For reference, many of the above musicians have also played with Darren in his later acoustic band Ashoka At The Show, which he resurrected last year as well. Check out the Mayadevi video below, and read more on the guys at their Tripod pages (here & here!)

Closing with some more familiar local punk bands, let's mention Mayadevi bandmates Mike Kyle and Kristan Surge's later band OBCD, a late 2000s local punk band that could be considered the predecessors to local/St. Catharine's death metal trio Shit Liver! Though musically very different (OBCD played alternative/ska punk with no known growling), their lineup featured the entire current Shit Liver lineup, with bassist Mike being joined by Josh Penno & Matt Baic (both on guitar and vocals), and only Kristan didn't follow to the later band. Though only active for about a year from 2007-2008, OBCD were a frequent sight as openers at all ages shows during their run, including sets opening for The Rebel Spell, The UK Subs, and The Flatliners, last being seen opening for The Farrell Brothers at The Speak Easy in July 2008, with Shit Liver launching two years later. There's no surviving media of OBCD that I've heard of, but I remember them having a good punk intensity, and it'd be nice to come across some videos or audio from their short run! Check out more from OBCD at their Reverbnation page!

Finally for today's punk band showcase are local punk quartet The Scary Uncles, who were among the more successful new punk bands from 2007-2010 in the Soo area! Essentially predecessors to Redundant, both bands featured singer/guitarist Justin Langlois (also of The Thrill Junkies), with their lineup rounded out by bassist Andrew MacDonald (Fitswitch, Glunk!), and drummer Mark Mullin, though their earlier lineup included second guitarist Matt Sibilo (Redefined). Runners up in the 2008 Skid Row Battle of the Bands, The Scary Uncles opened for notable bands like SNFU, Reel Big Fish, and Less Than Jake during their run, along with playing at the Foggy Notions' re-opening concert in December 2009, featuring at events like Froshapalooza & Skate 4 Cancer, and opening for The Mark Rand Band in their last show at the end of 2010. Though studio recordings were undertaken during their run towards a debut CD, I don't think it was ever released, but Justin's current band Redundant plays some Scary Uncles-era tracks like their original "Labatt 50".

On the surface, there's not a lot of major differences between The Scary Uncles and Redundant beyond the absence of the White brothers, but that's definitely not a bad thing, as the guys have a lively Green Day-inspired punk sound that fans of traditional punk will love, and some of the Uncles' songs even have a more aggressive bite (like on "Cripple" embedded below), and more spread out vocal roles, as seen on the appropriately named "Andrew's Song". Check out more from The Scary Uncles at their MySpace, Reverbnation, and Supernova pages, and see videos of their trio lineup at Justin's YouTube channel!

I hope you guys liked our newest feature to roll in defunct punk bands to our links! Our next punk band feature will be later this week, and we'll likely focus on bands with primary surviving pages on CBC Music and Sonicbids, which will likely revolve around Burn The Past/Downshift, Glunk!, Nebraska Arms, and The 12 Gauge Ready, so look out for that, more news, and concert previews soon! Thanks everyone!

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