This morning marks our third and final post to "introduce" active local (non-hardcore) punk bands to our expanded coverage, and check out our feature on Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide, Gnaeus, Northwest, and the now-defunct Fist Fighting Stephen Hawking in the post below this one! Also, for clarity, I have not included the yet-to-debut Habitat Shuffle and the secretive ska-punk duo Them in these posts due to a lack of information and public appearances, but if either rectify that, they'll be on here! Now, for our last of the active punk bands, we have one that recently came back, one with out of town ties, and two with Inner City Surfers & Lion Ride alumni, so here's what you should know!
the former Foggy Notions in December 2006 (and possibly before), you may best remember this band from a string of 2011 appearances where they opened twice for The Saigon Hookers at The Rockstar Bar and played at the Tailfeathers Music Festival that fall, before falling dormant until last month's Public Animal concert, but I won't rehash that show's unfortunate ending. Similarly to Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide, The Role Models merge two members of The Inner City Surfers with known local artists, in this case featuring singer/bassist Brad "Example" Lacell and guitarist Dave Bahun alongside former Lion Ride bandmates Marco Pedalino (most recently of Glitch) and Marc Muto on guitar and drums, while the prolific Phil Greco was their former drummer, and I may be missing other ex-members.
I don't recall a public video existing from one of Brad and The Role Models' concerts, but Brad did recently tell me that they've been working on original material, so I don't believe last month's show was a one-off. Hopefully we see more of the guys soon, as I remember this band having a solid punk sound with occasional metal covers, effective vocals for the style, and clear on-stage chemistry! If you miss the Surfers, follow both The Role Models and The Rising Tide for their members' current collaborative work, and hopefully some online pages and media from the former turn up soon!
The Fury! Led & fronted by former Smeltzer bassist Paul Stanghetta (last seen with the never-launched Keep It Lit), you may remember The Fury best as the band with two bassists and no guitarists, and though they hated being classified into a genre, punk was an obvious match to their early sound, at least back then. Two time battle of the bands runners-up in 2009 and 2010, The Fury's old incarnation featured RedD Monkey's Joe Bumbacco on drums, while their second bassist was originally Josh McNally (ex-The Crossed) and later Tony Briglio (now of Sykotyk Rampage.) Writing original material and opening for the likes of Upheaval of an Exorcist, Blind Witness, and Broadcast Zero during their first run, The Fury originally disbanded in mid-2011, but after a three year breakup, Paul's working on a comeback, and was looking for a new drummer to join the new Fury (now with a DJ too) as of June 4th, so click here for more information!
It's hard to know how the new Fury will sound (Paul's hinted that they'll be "super heavy, fast, and fresh"), but in their original 2009-2011 run, they had an original yet familiar sound that fans of intense modern punk would have loved, even if they hated being classified as such! Paul's vocals were also a great fit when singing or even pseudo-rapping at times, and after a while, you forgot there wasn't a guitarist on stage with them! We'll let you know when their new lineup debuts or properly launches, but check out old material at their MySpace page, and here they are playing their song "Rebel Scum" at Foggy's in late 2010!
The Small Town Rivals, a partly local pop punk/alternative quartet that you may recognize as being either the predecessors to or the sister band of the all-local Northwest! Launched in 2010 as a studio project by frontman Wayne Watkins and Whistler, B.C. guitarist Jesse Nelson, The Small Town Rivals (who have also been billed from Toronto) released their debut (and only?) EP named "East Vs. West" in the fall of 2012, which you can buy at this link. Similarly to the partly local progressive rock band iT, The Small Town Rivals had separate lineups in two separate homebases, with Scott Phillips & Liam Murray playing bass and drums outside of the area, and Wayne's Northwest bandmates Mike Smykacz & Clint Wilson handling those roles in the Soo, while Wayne has played solo gigs under this band name as well. Opening for the likes of The Penske File & The Snips here and away, this band has not been visibly active since November 2013 plugs for a Hockey Night In Canada song contest, and Northwest may have replaced them since.
Fans of Wayne's local band projects should like The Small Town Rivals, who take on a lively pop punk sound with well composed original songs, nice vocal harmonies between Wayne & Jesse, and a fun melody, and if you like Northwest, you'll be at home with this band as well! Check out more from The Small Town Rivals on Facebook, Twitter, CBC Music, and Bandcamp, and here's a preview video for their song "Heartbreaks & Fairy Tales"!
their profile on Tidal Records' website says that they're a "straight forward power pop/punk band" with a "no holds barred... kind of rock 'n roll" that's full of energy and soaked in hooks. Their lineup is comprised of label co-owners Dustin Jones (also The Rising Tide's frontman) on vocals & guitar and Dan Nystedt (also a local filmmaker) on drums, alongside Role Models guitarist Marco Pedalino and former Spigots frontman Trevor Harding (another partner in Tidal Records) on bass. From what I've seen, The Wing-Its don't play live that often, but they debuted at The Rockstar Bar last February, and they were among the bands at Tidal Records' kick-off show at the same venue last November. Live concert footage isn't plentiful online, but Marco did upload three videos of a Wing-Its jam session to his YouTube channel in October, so how do the guys sound here?
Curiously uploaded upside down (with Dan completely out of frame), the songs are either all originals or I can't discern the songs well. The three songs don't strike me as having a lot of the hinted indie rock influences, but the talent is present on these well filmed videos, and there's a familiarity for fans of the members' older bands! Nice solid punk rock, so give the videos a look at the above links and below (though note that "tune 3" has a camera mishap late), and hopefully we hear more on The Wing-Its soon!
I hope you guys liked our recent look at active local punk bands! When we pick things up on local punk features, we'll be looking at defunct and inactive ones in the coming days, so stay tuned for them soon, and look out for much more on our current active punk bands, no matter the subgenre, in the coming months and beyond! Thanks everyone!