Remember how a new local punk band named Habitat Shuffle were slated to play at the Great Sabatini concert at The Moose Lodge in June, but later dropped out? Well, they finally have a Facebook page, so here's what you should know on them! Their lineup features 3/4ths of the defunct local ska punk quartet Free Beer (a.k.a. M.O.B. & Sarah's Valley), with singer Christian Lemay, guitarist Dustin Goodall, and drummer Ryan Gray reuniting for this new project, albeit with Dirty Few/ex-Vertically Impaired bassist Blair St. John enlisted in place of Free Beer's Keith Gagnon. Surprisingly, the band has already released a digital EP via their new Bandcamp page featuring 4 songs, and it's available on a "name your price" model, so it's free if you choose! The EP (entitled "Sober Drift") was recorded at Tidal Records with producer & Rising Tide frontman Dustin Jones, and later mixed in Toronto by Fairmounts guitarist Simon Head. It should be noted that Habitat Shuffle are hyping a live debut, physical EP release, and merchandise coming "soon and/or never", so take from that whatever you want.
As this is a new album release, and is available for paid release if you choose (support the guys and pay something!), it is eligible for a review on the SMS, but how do Habitat Shuffle sound? Honestly, fans expecting the ska punk sound of Free Beer may be disappointed, as this is more of a groovy alt-punk sound with more of a laid back casual feeling, but with grungier vocals. Interesting change of pace, and as it's new, this could be our first CD review on the SMS to come via our punk band expansion, so keep an eye out in next week or so, and Habitat Shuffle are now in our active band links!
Bad Back! New media of theirs are now online via drummer Nathan Sauve's Soundcloud page and new YouTube channel, and on the former, you can now hear long new original songs named "Boyz" & "What I Want", as recorded at recent jam sessions. "Boyz" has a summer anthem sort of feel to it, while "What I Want" has more of an alternative chaotic bent, though neither have the fury of their live sets. Solid songs though! For what it's worth, the band's newest Facebook page post yesterday implied that they had begun full recording sessions, though whether this is for an album or not has yet to be proven. As for Nathan's new videos, he uploaded clips of Bad Back at the recent Das Bunkerfest private concert event in Garden River this past weekend, and they're of covers of NOFX's "Linoleum" and (as embedded below) their cover of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' "American Girl".
Diverse lineup, but they handle these covers in their own unique minimalist style, and Nathan's lead vocals on the latter work out well! The video quality is the main fault of these clips however, as they're dark, poorly lit, and very far from the stage, so you don't see too much. Check out Bad Back's newest media above & below!
Also today, Full Throttle/ex-Bottom Line guitarist Joe Jenkins has posted a brand new solo performance video onto his YouTube channel, this time a revised version of his own original song "Pitch Black". His first upload there in 3 months, this actually isn't a video per say, as all you see is a partial shot of an amplifier. The song itself has an early tuning issue due to Joe breaking in new guitar strings, but this is still a solid modern rock original that could benefit from having a full band around it, so check it out below, and stay tuned for more from Full Throttle in the Sault Michigan area!
Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter items from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:
- In terms of clarifying some unanswered questions regarding the lineup of the aforementioned Das Bunkerfest event, we can now confirm that The Beau Regards were actually Bear Hunters drummer Johnny Belanger's new punk band under a temporary name (though they have yet to publically launch otherwise), while Mikey Thomas is a local rapper. We'll keep you posted on Johnny's new band as we hear more, and thanks to AlgomA's Darby Wigwaus for filling in these gaps!
- Former March Into Regression guitarist Christopher Neveau is looking for a drummer and bassist for his new progressive metal project, who have apparently already written an album that is ready to be jammed and recorded. Chris has actually shown me some rough demos of his recent originals, which do sound promising, so if you're interested in trying out, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from last week!
- The Sault Ontario hard rock solo project StrykerGC has apparently changed their name to StonesmithGC, as per recent updates on their Facebook & Reverbnation pages. A reason for the change has not been announced. Unless it's necessary due to a naming conflict, I honestly like the StrykerGC name better, but at least Troy's keeping at his original music, and check out their new song "Blue Mountain" on Reverbnation, it has a slow driving feel to it!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!