Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Newer Local Hard Rock Band, Plus New Videos & CD Reviews!!

Our steady news stream continues today with new videos from a local band, reviews of the new CD of another, and leading off, a new-ish band to add to our links on the site, so here's what you should know!

We have a new band to add to our Sault Michigan band links, and they are Highway 63! Essentially the successors to Jager/Monkey's Uncle, Sir Charge, and RamWagon, the band originally formed and made their live debut in March, but the wait to add them to our listings came because they originally identified as a country rock band, though they've since shifted their focus back to a Monkey's Uncle-esque set. Currently, their lineup features Henry Switzer on lead vocals and guitar, alongside his son/frequent bandmate Nathan on guitar, Power Slug's Chris Leask (the only non-Monkey's Uncle alum) on bass, and Ron Suchey on drums, while their original lineup featured Nathan on bass with his & Ron's RamWagon bandmate Ryan Kitzmiller on guitar. Named after the H-63 highway in the Easter Upper Peninsula, Highway 63 played some test sets at The Rapids Lounge in the spring before taking the summer off to round out a full cover set.

The band returned with shows at the Dondee Lanes in October, and have since played a Halloween show at The American Legion as well as new gigs at both the Soo and St. Ignace Kewadin Casino branches, most recently at The Rapids Lounge this past weekend, though upcoming gigs have yet to be announced. It should be noted though that Highway 63 are much more active on Facebook than Sir Charge ever were, so that's great news for fans! In terms of their sound, we do have samples of it via some Facebook video posts and shares, which include videos of them covering The Outfield's "Your Love" in St. Ignace, and from this past weekend, covers of Shinedown's "Save Me" and (as embedded below) Bad Company's "Rock 'N Roll Fantasy", while Black Sabbath and Foreigner covers have been teased in status updates. If you were a fan of Henry's past local cover bands, you should have a similar enjoyment for Highway 63, who at this point are showing a unique cover selection of their own!

The new band sounds good and tight so far, with the guys' old Monkey's Uncle-era chemistry carrying over to Highway 63, and Henry has highly praised the new band in recent days as well, so be sure to keep an eye out for them in the area! No word on what Chris' involvement means for Power Slug's status, as they haven't posted on their Facebook page in almost a month, and haven't played very much over the fall, but hopefully we hear more soon. Check out Highway 63 above, and here they are this past weekend in the Soo!

Next up, here's some more new videos from Sault Ontario grunge/alternative trio The Pixo Control! Courtesy of Gnaeus drummer Brendan Garlick's new YouTube channel, these come from their set at Lopstock at LopLops Lounge on June 28th, and feature The Pixo Control playing their songs "The Great Salute To Radio Edits", "Reasons", and as embedded below, "Sixty Extra Chances Called Minutes". All filmed by attendee Jason Lloyd (who also filmed this Gnaeus video at Lopstock), these are great quality live videos, and capture some songs that haven't gotten the same amount of filmed attention from their sets, so give them a look above and below for some nice and grungy original action from The Pixo Control!

Finally for today, here's some long overdue new reviews of local sludge/doom metal trio AlgomA's debut CD "Reclaimed By The Forest"! On November 5th, Chris Wheeler from the Quebec metal site Ondes Chocs reviewed the album, giving it a 7/10 while saying that the guys made "a noticeable impression" with unconventional riff ideas. Solid if brief review, so check it out here! Diego Benedetto from the Spanish metal blog Puro Roido ("Pure Noise") reviewed the CD on November 11th, and while you'll need Spanish knowledge or a translator to read it, Diego called the album a "pleasant surprise", and also praised their guitar riff variances. Hard to read through an auto-translator, but you can tackle it at this link! Lastly for now, the metal blog Wonderbox Metal checked out "Reclaimed By The Forest" on November 12th, where the reviewer called it "a smorgasbord of heaviness, crunchy guitars and bile", praising the album's sludge content and heaviness. Solid review also, so check it out here, and stay tuned for more!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

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