Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Two More Band Breakups, Plus New Sault Michigan Videos!!

Happy Canada Day to all of our Canadian readers! Ironically, things fell into place where today's post is 100% dedicated to Sault Michigan-area updates, but don't worry, there's some big Canadian stuff to come in July! Today, we have a podcast episode find that you might want to see, our first glimpse at one of the surprise bands from LemmaFest, and like yesterday, we're leading off with two more bands that we're adding to our inactive links, so here's what you need to know!

One of the bands that we're now considering as inactive is Brimley metal trio Half A Man, as they have not issued a new Facebook page update concerning the band since June 28th of last year (when they shared an SMS post referencing their 2013 LemmaFest set), while later updates have been strictly to promote open mic nights that frontman Erik Rintamaki put on. Of course, if I'm wrong on Half A Man being inactive, we'll correct this! Launched in late 2009, Half A Man quickly became one of the most prominent original metal bands in the Sault Michigan area, featuring alumni of known bands like Lower S.E.S., Bludgeoned, Bent Rollercoaster, Drayton Fever, and Infathom in their various lineups. Fans may remember them from a number of prominent early 2010s headlining dates and festival appearances, as well as circulating a demo CD, undertaking some notable studio sessions, and even appearing live on Rock 101! However, band activity slowed in 2012 & 2013, and Half A Man were only seen live at those years' LemmaFests.

If they are done, it's definitely disappointing, as Half A Man's gritty Black Label Society-esque sound was a welcome addition to the local scene in the last few years, and their live shows and original material lived up to their talents and experience! You can still see Erik occasionally with Train Wreck, but hopefully everyone else stays active musically. Best of luck to Erik, Gary, Mikey, and other former members in the future, and fingers crossed they come back down the road!

The other band that we're now listing as inactive is Sault Michigan hard rock trio Scofflaw, as they too have not issued an online update in over a year, and have also not played a known live concert since last year's LemmaFest. While there hasn't been a public announcement concerning their status, frontman Jeff Barnes remarked on a photo comment on his personal Facebook page last month that arthritis in his hands was a factor in Scofflaw not playing this year's installment, while the photo itself was captioned in part: "One last look. Scofflaw was your best entertainment value." Also featuring Mr. Fister bassist Barney Gravelle and ex-Blind Baby drummer Ivan Schliska, Scofflaw developed a loyal fanbase during their run, which saw them play a number of memorable concerts since the late 2000s, including at The Soo Theatre's Rock Starz event in 2008, each of the first 3 LemmaFests, and assorted other gigs at venues like The Merchant's Bar during their peak.

Scofflaw were a unique and entertaining trio that fans of Sykotyk Rampage and grunge/alternative fans should really take to, with raspy vocals, punk rhythms, and lots of reckless abandon! Hopefully this isn't the absolute end for Scofflaw, but hopefully everyone keeps at some music work, and best of luck to Jeff, Barney, and Ivan in the future! For reference, I've also changed their link on here to their MySpace page, as it now has more information than their Facebook page due to MySpace's photo & video restorations there.

We'll close today with new videos, including our long awaited first glimpse at a band that did play at LemmaFest outside of Dondee Lanes last month, that being Nightmare Grin! While we knew two members going in (RedStone Riot's Ryan Harrison and ex-I.S.O.M. drummer Bart Rennels), there were still some unanswered questions, but attendee Joe Harrison (a relation of Ryan's presumably) was on hand to film two videos of their set for Facebook, which he shared on the LemmaFest Facebook page over the weekend! So, are they a heavier band? Looks like it, as the videos are covers of Ugly Kid Joe's "Everything About You" and, as embedded below, Grand Funk Railroad's "We're An American Band", so check them out above & below! In terms of the lineup, Ryan (who's grown an impressive beard since we last saw him) appears to have returned to his old Riot! By Night role as singer for Nightmare Grin, though I am yet unable to determine the identities of the guitarist and bassist, who weren't tagged on Facebook with Ryan & Bart when these went up, but we'll let you know if we hear anything.

It's yet unclear too whether Nightmare Grin were a one-off band or will continue for more gigs, but they have a good sound on these videos, with a hard rock grit and a solid stage presence, and everyone has talent on display, with Ryan a nice fit on vocals! Hopefully we learn more on Nightmare Grin in the coming weeks, but check out their Grand Funk Railroad cover below, and see more above! (Also, note that comments on shares of these videos imply that Wayne Kozeyah filmed bands all day for an upcoming project, we'll have to see what comes of that!)

Finally for today, here's a video podcast from New Year's Eve in December that I'm surprised we haven't featured on the site until now! Uploaded to the aforementioned Wayne Kozeyah's YouTube channel, this is from a local series called Muckleash's Podcast, that was active through at least January, though not visibly since. This episode features host Malcolm Sutton (and I believe Wayne from off-camera) interviewing Scofflaw bassist Barney Gravelle, and it's an interesting watch! The 16 minute clip features Barney talking largely about his guitar playing & work with that instrument, including his early experiences with guitar, the first songs that he learned, and teaching music to his niece and nephew, before ending with a solo acoustic guitar composition. Perhaps most surprising about this interview is that Barney barely even talks about his recent local band work (I didn't even catch a mention of Scofflaw), though he did allude to early battle of the bands experience. Solid listen though, and it'd be nice to see Malcolm revive his podcasts, so check out this installment below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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